In our 20’s and 30’s, health and fitness are a priority. As we get into our 50’s, it often becomes less of a priority. This is a major issue facing society today. Healthy lifestyle and fitness is crucial to maintaining muscular and skeletal systems. Staying fit has been shown to prevent many of today’s chronic conditions including diabetes, arterial sclerosis, osteoporosis, and joint and back injuries according to numerous studies by the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics.
So what is stopping most people from taking an active role in their fitness after 50? Factors such as long work hours, raising children, family issues and economic changes, are often reasons for putting fitness on the back burner.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common excuses:
“I don’t have enough time to exercise.” This is the number one excuse and one of the easiest to discredit. Instead of sitting on your lunch break consuming fast foods, prepare a healthy lunch and bring it from home. Take a walk for half of your break and then reward yourself with your home made meal.
The average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day. Why not give up just one of those hours for a little workout? We all have an equal amount of time. A second, a minute and an hour are the same no matter where you live, what job or business you have, or what age you are. It is how you manage your time that makes the difference.
“It is too late for me to begin exercising now.” Research has shown that strengthening exercises are both safe and effective for men and women of all ages, including those not in perfect health. In fact, people with health concerns – including heart disease or arthritis–often benefit the most from an exercise program a few times each week. Regular cardio exercise is proven to help maintain cardio pulmonary health.
So where do you begin?
- Consult your doctor for a recommendation based on your current fitness level and be mindful of any limitations for specific issues.
- Consult a fitness trainer or other fitness professional to determine the best approach to meet your specific goals.
- Get moving! It is important to begin the process right away. Stop the excuses and begin your fitness program at a pace that works for you.
- Begin a fitness journal to track and monitor your progress. As you become stronger and your body adapts to your new routine, you will continue to build to the next fitness level.
- Find ways to make fitness fun. Is there a certain music that motivates you? A friend with whom you would like to exercise? A certain sport you would like to learn? Do you like exercising indoors, outdoors or a combination of both? Find what works for you and just do it!
Take this opportunity to build your body to support you through your golden years. A regular fitness routine will increase your energy and well being… and is the first step in living a long, healthy life!
Lew Bronstein is a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Life Coach at Revitalize Life. You can reach him at 760.328.8080 or online www.revitalizelife.com