I always knew I wanted to look good and be strong since I was in my teens. The early days of growing up in York, PA (Muscletown USA) was to be like the men at York Barbell, strong and physically great looking. Well, let me tell you, “Growing old ain’t for sissys” as my painting buddy Don says, who by the way is 69 years young and still going strong.
Can you get fit after 50, as a 61 year old Home Improvement Contractor, I am here to tell you that emphatically YES you can get fit after 50 and stay that way well into your golden years.
Yes, past a certain age, people begin to lose muscular strength, balance and flexibility, but that does not mean that you can’t get fit after 50. Fitness after 50 means learning to listen better to your body, varying your exercise, and modifying your eating habits.
We can categorize the over 50 generation into three types: those that never stopped training; those who have stopped and are starting again; and those that have never trained at all…
The one that never stopped
So you’ve been in the gym longer than cell phones have been around. You’re in
great shape, and you still train like you’re twenty-five. But sooner or
later, you’ll notice that one notable factor of age is the increased level of recovery time.
The one that’s stopped and is starting again
If you finished training and are urging to get back on the horse, where do you start once you reach the big 5-0?
“Start from the very beginning,” If the lift is an old favorite the muscle memory doesn’t forget, but there’s bound to be some issues due to the time lapse. Maybe they have been sedentary for quite some time or just not quite as active as yesteryear or maybe there’s been a shoulder injury.” The emphasis should not be on the amount of weight used, so put your ego to one side and take it a little light.
Once the muscle memory has kicked back in with the focus on proper technique then you can kick in some more intensity with adding some weight or increasing your repetitions and/or sets.
The one that’s never trained
First, complete beginners at 50 should be concentrating on doing basic movement exercises.
You can use either machines or free weights or a combination of both in order to accomplish building and keeping your lean muscle mass and builder strong bone density as we seek to be fit after 50.
Squats, Deadlifts, Dumbell Chest Presses, Reverse Grip Pulldowns, Bent or Seated Rows at a slower pace with emphasis on correct form and breathing properly.
Flexibility, mobility and safety are of the utmost importance here and getting a trainer in order to coach you for a little while would be advantageous.
Nutrition and Eating Habits
Solid nutrition is applicable at any age, and there are a few things that every over-50 person can do to ensure the middle-age spread is kept at bay. Don’t eat until you’re full, As far back as 2008, the British Medical Journal found a correlation between eating quickly until you’re full and mounting obesity. 80% full is the benchmark that’s going to keep you eating well while watching your waistline. Beyond that, it’s simply good nutrition, lots of protein, healthy fats, fewer white carbs, and lots of water.
Green leafy vegetables are the best form of carbohydrates in your eating habits to lose body fat. The cruciforous ones are great too, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale.
Stay away from refined sugars, refined grain products, bread, etc…and refined white table salt, use Hawaiian red sea salt for flavor. This has a lot of natural mineral content…
Your water intake on a daily basis should be about 50% of your body weight in ounces, in other words, if you weigh around 200 lbs, you should be consuming around 100 ounces of water a day which equals a little over 3 quarts.
I personally find it easier to refill 1 qt water bottles from my Primo water dispenser and take them with me wherever I go. We get the 5 gallon bottles for this unit refilled at a local “H2O to go” station at our local Weis Market grocery store and cycle them using 4 containers.
Supplements that are affordable
You can do a lot of research on your own, to see which supplements you might want to take in order to optimize your performance and health. I personally recommend if you’re a Sam’s Club member you can go to www.Samsclub.com and start using the Juice Festive brand of organic fruit and vegetable blends of vitamins and minerals, also the Member’s Mark brand of supplements that Sam’s Club carries. One of the ones I take to keep my digestive system at it’s optimum is their 10 strain pro-biotic Digestive Care Supplement. It has a 12 week supply of 10 billion active cultures of friendly bacteria.
You can also help boost your digestive tract with a good quality enzyme as well.
Members Mark also has a great Red Krill Oil supplement for heart health which is rich in Omega 3s. You might also consider their 1000 mg Vitamin C with Rose Hips for optimal health benefits and that is one of the immune builders and disease fighters.
During the winter months a good vitamin D-3 supplement with k-2 is a good combination supplement to take because you’re probably not getting enough vitamin D from the sun. This is also a natural helper in boosting testosterone in us males in the fit over 50 crowd.
You can also find a lot of good resources on www.Amazon.com for supplements as well. Do your research and find the best products and the best deals in combination or multiple purchases, sometimes for substantial savings.
So, as you can see, the answer to your question of can you get fit after 50, with the right mental attitude, eating right being an important attribute, proper exercise with progressive resistive weight training using proper techniques and supplementing your diet with good nutrient rich vitamin and mineral supplements, a good probiotic and enzymes for a healthy digestive tract, you really can get fit after 50 and stay that way.
So stay tuned for future information for training at home, finding and joining a gym that fits your budget