The BEST Way To Exercise Over 50!
Let’s all face it, most people over 50 can’t do what they used to do 20 years ago, or if they try they end up hurting themselves. It’s life, it’s real, but it should not hold you back. You just have to make some modifications and get the most out of your precious exercise time.
I’m over 50 and have worked with many clients in their 50’s, 60’s and beyond. What I have learned is that it takes a balance of 5 forms of exercises,
STRENGTH TRAINING, LOW IMPACT HIIT CARDIO, PILATES, STRETCHING AND FOAM ROLLING
And you need all of them to help you feel your best!
But you only have so much time in the day right? Of course, so here is my “Best Way To Exercise Over 50 Formula”. I’m a recovering engineer so I love formulas and it makes it so much easier to follow this way.
Are you ready?
The NUMBER 1 form of exercise you should be prioritizing above everything else is STRENGTH TRAINING.
Strength training, yes you’ve heard me talk about it many times (or if you haven’t, welcome to my website!) So why is it so important for women over 50? Because our bodies are changing during this menopause or perimenopause time of life. I’m in menopause right now and a few years prior my estrogen levels started dropping. As estrogen goes down our bone density starts to drop and this puts us at a huge risk for fractures. Strength training, lifting heavy weights puts stress on the bones which helps them get stronger.
Strength training also prevents the loss of muscle mass. As we lose muscle mass our metabolism slows too and we start to put on weight and fat which no one wants.
If you’re wondering, is it too late? NO WAY! Why not start today to not only improve your bone density, boost your metabolism so you can lose some weight, tone up so your clothes fit better but even more important continue to do EVERYTHING you love to do. I guarantee that you can start looking and feeling fantastic even if you are over 50. This key is to do it smart and from my experience it doesn’t take much.
A full body routine 2 Times a Week is all you need. Maybe doing this on a Monday and giving your body a good 2 days rest (which is super important especially after 50) and doing the routine again on Thursday. It doesn’t mean you don’t do anything else, walking, cardio, Pilates, yoga stretching are perfect things in between. When you are doing your strength training workouts you are focusing on good form, lifting as much as you can so you start the muscles break down process and then allow them to recover and become stronger then you keep going and get stronger, leaner and younger!
Here is a FREE workout example of Strength Training Full Body Workout (click this link and I’ll send you the workout )
The next in my formula is CARDIO but not the long cardio sessions we were taught to do in our 30s.
I was one of them…spending hours on the cardio machines. There was a row of them at gym we had at HP and it was a great way to catch up with a friend, read a book… I used to pop one up on the elliptical or listen to my Walkman! Yes, it was back before audible and podcasts. But is it the best thing for me to do now at 58 when I have little time and want to maximize my fat burning?
NOPE! What I’ve been learning is that HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is the way to go! First what is HIIT? HIIT involves pushing your body harder (to the point of being very out of breath) for 30 S to a minute and then resting for about half of that time. It’s really very simple.
The benefits are huge
1. Shorter workouts! Who has time to waste? Not a single person I know and you can get an effective HIIT workout done in 20-30 minutes
2. Improved calorie “afterburn”. The harder you work during your workout, the longer it takes your body to get back to normal, meaning you’ll burn more calories after your workout when you do HIIT
3. Better for burning belly fat. Let me talk about stress first and what it does to your body. When you are stressed your body releases a hormone called Cortisol which can be good, it gives you that edge when you have to do a presentation or it can push you to get something urgent done. But long periods of elevated cortisol or stress works against us, not for us. Cortisol also tells our body to store everything for later if we need it especially fat and typically around the belly. Exercise is stress on your body and that long steady state stress is not the best for belly fat.
Shorter workouts, better results and a body that burns calories like a furnace! What’s better than that?
There are some risks to HIIT workouts. You have to be really careful you don’t hurt yourself during the High Intensity Intervals. If you’re over 50, I recommend low impact moves. If you are good with running or jumping and it doesn’t hurt your knees, hips or back God Bless You! I’m so jealous. Do them if it feels good but please listen to your body and stop when it hurts. My recommendation is to get at least 30 Minutes of HIIT 3 times a week (and to be honest you can get a good HIIT workout in 15 Minutes)
I have so many HIIT workouts on the Be Healthy Enough Digital Fitness Studio. Check them out here Be Healthy Enough Digital Fitness Studio (click this link)
The next is PILATES or any exercise that works on your Core, Balance and Posture Muscles.
Have you walked by a mirror and thought, “who is that hunched over old lady?” If you said “yes”, than you need to be working on your posture muscles. If you said no, then you better start now because that hunched over old lady could be you one day.
And let’s FACE it, our world is filled with things conspiring to trip us. Uneven walkways, slippery floors, rocks we don’t see and that ever dreaded banana peel. OK has anyone you know ever tripped on a banana peel? Tripping is gonna happen. What we have to fight against is FALLING. Falling, especially as we get older can be traumatic. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year. Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. YIKES
This is where Pilates comes into play. Most of the moves focus on your core which in turn will help your balance and posture. One day a week Pilates is in my fitness formula or you could incorporate core, balance and posture moves into your strength training days.
I have over 25 Pilates workouts on the Be Healthy Enough Digital Fitness Studio. You can try them all FREE for 7 days here Be Healthy Enough Digital Fitness Studio (click this link)
STRETCHING is also another key part of the over 50 exercise plans
I was the one that skipped the stretches at the end of the workouts AND despised Yoga. Not any more. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage. Convinced? Then this needs to be added at the end of your workout or whenever you feel tight.
Lastly FOAM ROLLING or anything that does some myofascial release
The Myofascia is a 3D matrix that covers the entire body, it supports your muscles, joints even your internal organs and with injury or just daily living it can get stuck or dried out. Before I go on, let me talk a little bit about pain so you understand why it’s so important to not ignore it in your body.
Pain is either acute or chronic. You all know what acute pain is. It’s that pain you get when you do something silly like twist your ankle or fall or grab a hot pan. You know exactly what you did to cause that pain.
Chronic pain typically has been building up for a long time and starts out as “normal” discomfort. You know when you wake up in the morning feeling stiff and by the time you’ve gone to the bathroom and made your coffee it’s gone, or after you’ve been sitting at your computer all day your shoulder or low back aches.
Research has shown there is a direct link between chronic pain and your fascia or the connective tissue. Connective tissue provides the support our bodies need to maintain an upright posture and pain free movement. It also keeps our skin lifted for a youthful look. Connective tissue can only do its job when it has an adequate amount of fluid and mobility. With repetitive motion such as sitting at your desk for hours at a time, walking, running, intensive hobbies, etc. your connective tissue gets dehydrated which can lead to stiffness and pain.
The good news is a simple foam roller or little ball or a good massage can help rehydrate your connective tissue and release any knots that could be either causing you pain now or will cause you pain in the future. By gently rolling your body over these devices you wake up tissue and stimulate them to produce and absorb fresh fluid. Like squeezing out a sponge so it can draw in fresh fluid, you can relieve joint compression and muscle tension by applying appropriate pressure to the surrounding connective tissue.
Once a week is great but every day even better! Do it in front of the TV or before you go to bed to release the tension of the day.
Need more convincing here is a video I did on The Benefits of Foam Rolling (click this link)
In summary here is my “Best Way To Exercise Over 50 Formula”
Fit Over 50 =
Strength Training (2x per week)
+ Low Impact HIIT Cardio (3x per week)
+ Pilates/Core/Posture/Balance (at least once a week or add to your strength day)
+ Stretching (after every workout and as often as it feels good)
+Foam Rolling or Myofascial Release (at least once a week or every day if it feels good)
If you’d like some help with your health or fitness journey why not schedule a FREE 30 Minute Wellness Consultation with me. I’d love to help in any way that I can. Click the book now link below and find a time that works for you
If you’re a women over 50 and you’d like to get moving and feel better you should try one of my online workouts designed just for us; low impact cardio to protect our joints, strength training because its a must as we age, Pilates because a strong core = a strong body and more.
Oh and you can try ALL of my workouts FREE for 7 Days by clicking HERE and signing up!