In Exercise, Hormones

This post is full of tips for fitness after 50 from recent research.

Fitness After 50 Tip #1:

Ditch your split routine and do a full body workout.

fitness after 50 weight training

Unless you’re planning to do a figure competition focused on building each muscle in an isolated way, you want to do  full body workouts for your best after 50 fitness. Why? You increase your testosterone and adiponectin most, which provide improvements in body fat and insulin.

Fast Flip: Don’t forget that you need a minimum of 48 hours between workouts and some adults over 50 do better with more rest. If you aren’t seeing results, wait an additional day.

Fitness After 50 Tip #2:

Use it or lose it.

During 12 weeks of strength training subjects made significant changes in body fat %, increased fat free mass (muscle) and gained strength. During the following 4 weeks of detraining there were significant increases in fat, decreases in fat free mass, and strength. No surprise that you’ve got to be consistent.

Fast Flip: That means on those busy days, doing an abbreviated workout is better than skipping altogether.

fitness after 50 treadmill running

Fitness After 50 Tip #3:

Reduce menopause symptoms with moderate exercise.

In a study published in Menopause Review, women in menopause completed 12 weeks of physical activity, 3x a week for an hour. The sessions consisted of walking, stretching, and band exercises. The women who were all previously sedentary reported improved quality of life, vitality, and mental health. Moderate exercise results in fewer problems with insomnia, and vasomotor problems, fewer hot flashes, and less depression.

Fast Flip: Just start.

Fitness After 50 Tip #4:

Say yes to cocktail hour in moderation.

Post menopausal light drinkers (2-3 times a week 1-2 drinks at a time compared to non-drinkers or heavy drinkers) had higher hip bone density. Non-drinkers and heavy drinkers were 1.7 times at greater risk for osteoporosis.

Fast Flip: If you don’t drink this isn’t a suggestion to start. Be responsible and consider the sugar impact if you’re struggling with weight loss.

fitness after 50 weight loss

Fitness After 50 Tip #5:

Overweight or obese respond well to interval training.

This is one study to take with caution: it’s done on rats rather than humans, and not on menopausal women. Rats fed high fat diets to sabotage their metabolism had lower body weight, lower fat, and reduced liver fatty deposits with interval training than with moderate steady exercise.

Fast Flip: If you’ve got significant amounts of weight to lose, be sure that you’re following a program designed for fat loss that caters to your amount of weight to lose (which is different than losing 5lbs).

Fitness After 50 Tip #6:

Resistance training tips the scale.

Neither interval training, sprint training, nor moderate continuous exercise boost fat burning significantly. A recent study in Obesity Review (Aug 2017) revealed that after 4 weeks there wasn’t a significant result from any of them, but surprisingly, moderate intensity continuous won slightly over the others. None of them did so in a time-efficient manner, which is the message used so often in promotion of high intensity intervals. Even with comparable time, in this review of studies (not a single study), moderate continuous reduced fat more. [In contrast to the study in #5, subjects weren’t significantly overweight]

Don’t jump in just yet. None of the three produced statistically significant fat loss. However, if you combine your favorite option with weight training of significant intensity you will improve your odds of getting and or keeping that lean muscle tissue that makes your clothes fit best, and powers you through the day with energy left over to do the things you love to do.

Fast Flip: No matter what cardio you do, listen to your hormone signs. Fatigue? Mood swings? Constant appetite? You haven’t found the right mix. Above all, add resistance training. It is most responsible (along with adequate protein) for boosting lean muscle tissue that boost fat burn.


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