Aging is often associated with a slow, sedentary lifestyle, when in fact the opposite is true. Growing older allows more opportunity to enjoy physical activity as kids and work become less of a presence in our daily lives. While the over-50 set might not be able to sprint across a soccer field as swiftly as a six year old, they can certainly enjoy various forms of fitness to improve their overall health, well-being and longevity. Check out the four best exercises for over 50 if you’re ready to make fitness part of your lifestyle!
1. Swimming over 50
Dive head first into fitness over 50 with swimming. The full-body aerobic workout is low-impact and easy on the joints. In addition, swimming is less strenuous on your body because the water supports your weight. For those who can’t bear exercising in humid weather or a stuffy gym, swimming keeps you cool despite giving you a tough workout.
2. Tennis over 50
Tennis is often called the “lifetime sport” because it’s played by people all ages, and many active participants are well over 50. In fact, there are plenty of people who learn to play tennis later in life and reap the sport’s physical and social benefits. Playing tennis improves your balance, flexibility and agility, and also adds some competitive fun to your daily workout.
3. Lifting weights over 50
While cardio is often touted for people over 50, strength training is not as emphasized for seniors. But weightlifting is not restricted by age or gender, and it may be even more important that those over 50 perform strength training exercises. Lifting weights can increase bone density, reduce blood pressure and improve your functional strength, which helps you accomplish daily activities like bending over or reaching up.
4. Cycling over 50
There’s nothing like a scenic bike ride to clear your head and get your blood pumping. Cycling is a great workout for those over 50 because it puts less strain on your bones than walking. In addition, a study by Harvard University found that men over 50 who biked for three or more hours a week had a 30 percent less chance of being impotent. Biking has become such a popular form of exercise among seniors that between 1995 and 2009, people between ages 60 and 79 accounted for more than 20 percent of new bike trips.
If you’re over 50 and not yet active, remember that fitness is not a fad, it’s for life. If you’re having trouble getting started, pair up with a local personal trainer and find an activity that works well for you today!