13 Mar 2015

How to be Fit after 50

Fitness after 50 used to mean something entirely different in another era. There is a stigma going around about the elderly, a stigma that is at the moment being torn down by thousands of entirely fit, not at all elderly working men and women in their golden years. It is a more difficult process, getting your body to work with you after the loose and uncaring 20s, 30s, the stressful 40s, but at some point, people get bored with the rut they are in, and they get unsatisfied with the body that betrays them more and more, day by day.

Today, you will find the largest party of marathon runners to be 40 and 50 year olds. Taking back control of your body is one of the most satisfying things a person can feel. You get these celebrations throughout your life: you learn how to walk, you learn how to ride a bicycle, you grow out of your puberty, you gain muscle, and you take over your tummy after childbirth. Each one of these moments was a milestone of happiness and an ode to the intricate forces within a human body. Staying, or even getting into shape when your body would rather take it easy is just the next logical step. There are ways to keep a healthy lifestyle that does not include a lot of sacrifice or time.

Living on company time is something best left to the busy 30-somethings who are working around mortgages. When you grow older, you also grow more cynical, and more downtrodden by life. For the sake of their mental health, 50-year-olds are encouraged to try new things in life, and you will notice that most amateur organizations comprise of older men and women looking to learn new skills. Few are those lucky ones who stay in love with their job even after 10 years. It is important to find something else to do – not for the money, but for the satisfaction. It is harder to spark new passions as you grow older, but this is why you need to start, well, speed-dating hobbies. Read more! Get inspired by literary characters. Relive your childhood hobbies – whether it is building ships in a bottle or reading up on world history. You now have the time for it. And if you really get a grip on a new skill, you can even consider changing your career – who’d have thought!

A 20-year-old’s metabolism could have been another lifetime. Your body is no longer as ready to battle the junk food you put in yourself, in search of something nutritious. You need to make that easier for your body. If you had never kept a diet before, you have no excuse to not start one now. It starts with plenty of water, naturally. Junk food is a no go, you can’t digest that fast enough. Fresh fruit and veggies are a wonderful thing for you. If you were never a fan of fruit, and I know plenty of people for whom fruit is just chocolate that doesn’t do it for them, then you need to train yourself to like it. It’s easy really, just have them at reach. Going to the grocer’s, and getting a bag of fruit is going against your instincts, but if you were to, say, order a mixed fruit box, you’d have a fresh selection to start with, a morsel per day. It’s nicer when somebody else picks out the things we don’t like for us. Even more importantly, it is time to think fibers – grains, grains, grains! As for meat, stick to leaner cuts. All you have to think about really, is keeping the digestive system running, and the bad cholesterol out. And lots of water, that’s all it takes.

Maybe sports weren’t your thing in high school, but once you start working, your stress levels pile sky high. You’d give anything for a boxing bag. This is the reason gyms are so popular today – young people don’t go there to get physically fit as much as they need the peace of mind. Now, gyms can be cruel places, and they do smell bad, and the injuries older bones can acquire there are horrific. But outdoors sports were always better. Golf, shuffleboard and tennis – all sports you used to look down upon once. But not only are they a great opportunity to exercise right now, but they are also the best place to meet your like-minded peers, people who are ready to give life another go, and who are not burdened by their age. And you do need these people in your life to remain as positive.

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