The Best Exercises After 50

The Best Exercises After 50 have been shown to improve the mental and physical health and quality of life of older individuals while addressing the stressors of depression, anxiety, and illness. People who live sedentary lifestyles or stop exercising may be predisposed to anxiety and depression. “Physical activity has benefits for physical health and has also been shown to have benefits for the treatment of depression. Interventions to reduce sedentary behavior and increase physical activity may reduce anxiety and depression.” (Pengpid, S., & Peltzer, K., 2019)

Everyday movements are improved by becoming physically fit. Physical fitness begins with an exercise program that induces physical stress on the body increases brain sensitivity to serotonin (which regulates mood and anxiety), norepinephrine (which motivates the body to take physical action toward a stressor), and the production of endorphins which is the body’s natural response to the pain caused by a stressor.

Fitness and the Aging Population

It is assumed that people over 50, who pursue an active lifestyle, are seeking to improve heart health, live longer and delay the onset of illness, heart disease, and chronic disease associated with postmenopausal women, joint pain, weight gain, lowered immune function, and poor digestion. For individuals 50 and over, exercise can enhance energy levels necessary to conduct basic daily functions, maintain a healthy weight, and hopefully reduce physical disabilities associated with aging.

Challenges

Loss of balance and stability and the fear of Injury are the greatest concerns for inactivity and the lack of motivation to pursue a workout plan, while the concern for bone health is not an issue until they have a fall and fracture a bone, most individuals do not see how fitness will add to their quality of life. The best exercises for people after 50 are expressed in terms of aerobic activity, strength training, and stretching.

Preparation

Exercise preparation begins with your intention and that intention should be to do something that you enjoy and look forward to doing daily to stay fit. Walking 15 or 20 minutes daily (at the minimum) should be complemented with regular strength training, balance and stability exercises, and stretching. This will best prepare you for the best at-home workout routines that reduce injury and increase mobility.

People should seek information on best exercises after 50 through an ACE certified personal trainer or qualified fitness professionals who have a background in personal training, physical therapy, sports medicine, etc. This health benefit will best prepare them to understand their body’s strengths and limitations while teaching them how to exercise effectively. If you do not establish trust in your personal trainer or fitness professional, then seek out other best workout plans to perform on your own. Rest assured that you will not achieve desired results in your comfort zone.

Benefits of Stretching

Before doing any workout routine, it is best to stretch for 5-10 minutes while focusing on the muscles being worked that day. Safe stretching exercises for standalone or pre-workout warm-up; build joint flexibility and reduce the risk of injury or strain. Along with stretching, a short meditation session can best prepare you mentally and physically for strength training.

Stretching is best performed after weight training to remove any lactic acid that has accumulated in the muscles, which reduces your ability to regain strength for 30 minutes. Stretches can best be performed by incorporating exercises that best suit your physical condition and prepare you for the best exercise routine at home.

Here are the best stretching exercises for people over 50:

Chest stretch – loosens and increases the flexibility in your chest, biceps, and shoulders.

Kneeling lunge stretch – Helps to loosen the glutes (behind), hips, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps (upper) thighs. 

Hamstring stretch using a chair – Increases flexibility and improves the range of motion in the hip to perform daily tasks, such as walking upstairs and bending over. Easier than lying on your back and can be adjusted in accordance with your level of back pain,

Standing quadriceps stretch prevents back and knee pain, along with injury

Lateral calf stretch- helps stabilize the ankle to prevent injury to the ankle and the Achilles tendon. 

Aerobic Activity

Aerobic activity involves jogging, walking, swimming, dance, or some other type of aerobic exercise that burns calories and increases your heart rate and the blood flow through your body. It best improves cardiovascular function, reduces stress and anxiety, strengthens the heart muscle, increases lung capacity, reduces the risk of injury to bones and joints, increases balance and stability. People can best perform aerobic exercise at home by taking walks daily that will burn more calories and build endurance (gradually increase walking time), strength train twice per week, stretch each day (before or after).

Outcomes

The overarching outcomes from the aerobic activity are to burn calories, excess fat, lose weight, and loosen your muscles and joints so that you may further prevent injury from strength training than stretching alone. Having the stamina (improved through aerobic activity) to complete a strength training routine may also reduce the risk for injury and overexertion of your muscles.

Strength Training

Strength training improves muscle mass, bone mass (density), retains or builds muscle density, and reduces the risk of back injury. Your best strength training exercises are best determined by your body’s capabilities. Strength training is more than just lifting weights; however, If you like to choose weights (or resistance bands) that are light or medium, then ensure that the proper form while lifting weights is maintained to prevent injury (best done under the supervision of a personal trainer). Generally, the health benefits of strength training are that it should target all major muscle groups including the chest, back, abdomen, arms (biceps) which support the ability to lift weights and move objects; along with improving poor balance to prevent falls.

While you are executing your workout, building muscle requires more oxygen than what they typically need, therefore, you must ensure effective breathing techniques and coordination with muscle contractions even when executing exercises that target populations over 50. Proper breathing ensures that your muscles receive adequate oxygen to the muscle fibers to fuel their movement. The more effort required to lift the weight, the more oxygen is required by your body to successfully execute it. If you have an adequate breathing technique, you can efficiently deliver oxygen to your muscles, thus improving your performance.

The best weight lifting or resistance training exercises recommended for individuals after 50 include: – bench press or push-ups (to strengthen chest muscles to improve the ability to push objects around)- bicep curls (strengthen arms for picking up objects and pulling motions)- lateral pull-down or rows (strengthens the shoulders to assist with lifting objects above the head)- lat machine pull-down or rows (strengthen back to assist lifting and pulling movements).

Note: Ensure that the proper form is maintained throughout each exercise and breathing is coordinated with muscle activity. Do not hold your breath as push the weight because it will raise your blood pressure, or cause you to lose consciousness.

Post-workout Exercises

The importance of post-workout exercises best improves recovery time, reduces the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness, enhances your best workout results, and best helps you to avoid injury. You can best achieve these by cooling down or stretching after each workout session. This exercise routine will better support the recovery and repair of strained muscles, so that you may re-energize for the next session.

Post-workout best exercises that best improve recovery time, reduce muscle soreness, and best helps you avoid injury include: – the elliptical machine (continuous movement lowers hypertension and increases cardiovascular fitness)- swimming (low-impact workout to strengthen your best cardiovascular function after the effects of gravity are removed) – the stationary bike (which increases the best circulation throughout the body and keep large muscle groups from cramping up as they recover).

Staying Committed

Research shows that the benefits of staying committed to the best exercises after 50 are improving your best physical wellness; promoting a healthy, active lifestyle change (without supervision), and mitigating the risks of chronic disease and decreased muscle mass and strength due to aging. An exercise is a great option for boosting your immune system and energizing the body to carry out your daily life activities. After committing to your fitness goals, it’s time to remain consistent in sustaining them and setting new goals. As you continue to build more confidence through your commitment to exercise and health, it becomes a habit with increased focus.

“One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that as we age we can’t do the things we did when we were younger. However, there are thousands of people out there proving this theory wrong every day. One of the biggest factors that cause us to deteriorate as we age is a sedentary lifestyle and quitting the healthy activities we did in our youth. There are people in their 70s, 80s and beyond still competing in competitive sport, so the limitations we have are the ones we impose on ourselves – simple as that.                                                                                                                                                  ”Sam Theyers, Head of Fitness, Anytime Fitness”

Pengpid, S., & Peltzer, K. (2019). High Sedentary Behavior and Low Physical Activity are Associated with Anxiety and Depression in Myanmar and Vietnam. International journal of environmental research and public health16(7), 1251. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071251

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