Right away I want to make it clear that these steps for better exercise after 50 could apply to anyone, any age. It’s so very true though that women who are right now in their 50’s (and 60’s – I’m talking to you, Boomer babe) learned certain habits as young adults and it’s really hard to let go of things you’ve thought about in a certain way for so very long.
Even when they’re not working and we have evidence that they’re not, habit gravity, as I like to call it is hard to overcome. So in this post, a repost of one of THE MOST POPULAR of all Flipping 50 posts I share some motivation.
Motivation, comes from clarity. If you’re clear on what you want, how to get it, and why then you’re far more likely to be motivated. Even when things aren’t convenient or easy and that’s … every day that ends in y for many of us.
So, let’s dive in. I’d love to hear from you, too – your comments (and your sharing these posts) really matter. I read and listen to them all!
Do some cardio. You do, after all, have a heart. More is not just more though, more is more stress and potentially more load on a tired adrenal system. The best exercise after 50 will help you keep your lean and lose the fat through metabolism boosting. Hold onto your muscle or even build a little by keeping your cardio short most often and then focus on weight training to fatigue at least twice a week.
Make sure “functional” is tied to your exercise after 50.
This buzz word can be a buzz kill if your trainer is defining motions with his or her own defined set of exercises and not your goals. Exercise after 50 is about the most results in the least amount of time. If you’re 80 and you need to stay strong to get out of a chair, a leg press is pretty functional. If you are a women over 50 who wants to work on bone density and lean muscle mass or fat loss, heavy weight training done safely for you as a beginner may mean machine weights. It might deem your trainer less necessary in his or her own eyes. Promise him or her you will need them for other exercises. But tell them not to hold you back from reaching your goals.
Eat a small amount before, wait to eat after.
Studies show that those who eat a small snack before exercise (easy to digest) worked harder and for a longer duration, without perceiving it to be longer or harder. If it feels hard because you lack energy or you’re hungry, you won’t use as much energy or get as good results. Myths about exercising fasted are based on studies done on 20 year old men fed high calorie diets that were 50% fat. If it doesn’t apply, it doesn’t apply.
Waiting to eat after is relatively new. There’s evidence that for women like you and I who want to optimize our growth hormone (we’re making less of it now than in our 20s) and muscle protein synthesis (we’re not as good at that either), waiting about an hour until the muscle protein synthesis blunting effect dissipates will help us improve lean muscle tissue. About 60-90 minutes after a tough or vigorous workout is perfect time to eat a high protein meal. Exercise after 50 is not about getting skinny, it’s about staying strong and that requires muscle. Muscle requires protein.
Warm up and cool down like a boss.
A proper warm up is your fat-burning primer. The more you increase your breathing and circulation the more energy you will expend during that session. Plus, you’re going to feel better while you exercise. We move away from uncomfortable, difficult, and unpleasant. Help yourself want to repeat it.
Stop skipping the cool down is part two of this tip. Moving through the proper stretches and a moving warm down will start the recovery process before you even finish your session. Less sore, you’ll do it more. The faster you recover the sooner you can do a high quality workout. The difference between good fitness and great is the ability to do more frequent high quality workouts.
To exercise after 50, we often have to more carefully look at the risk: reward ratio of any exercise. One way to reduce risk for all exercise is warm up!
Get off your back.
The best position to do core is not belly up. That’s true of exercise after 50 or before. With the exception of a few stabilization exercises your goals may be realized more effectively off your back. There are dozens of exercises beyond the crunch and sit up that will help you get a flat belly more safely and effectively. Click here for my Cure for the Common Core video playlist.
and then… I have an exercise after 50 bonus #6:
- Time between intervals and sessions needs to truly be recovery. Way too many women have been confused about lifting weights. More is not better. The rest between strength sessions is when you make progress! Wait at least 48 hours between and better yet is 72. Research suggests that many adults over 50 can enjoy a fitness level as good or better than they had in earlier decades by working just as hard, but may need more rest to enjoy a better fitness level.
- Nutrition and protein both have to be adequate. In the event calorie reduction occurs, adequate protein has helped prevent the loss of muscle that will happen with weight loss. Any loss of muscle is like putting the brakes on your metabolism. If you lose weight that is both muscle and fat and then regain weight, it is 100% fat. It’s that very cycle that contributes to creeping weight gain over the years.
- Active recovery is better than passive. You shouldn’t really be exercising to the point of not walking well the next day. The risk of injury when you have that much soreness is also fairly significant. Suffice to say that even with mild soreness, moving to increase circulation and warm the muscles will both speed recovery and reduce soreness.
- The ultimate recovery is sleep. Despite a perfect exercise prescription and your diligent nutrition…without sleep you have too few of the right hormones and too much of the wrong ones. Sleep is your way of sealing the deal for energy and best weight.