Are you interested in getting fit but are afraid it is “too late” to do so because of your age? One of my greatest fears is that someday I’ll be too old and physically unfit to participate in the activities I’d like to be a part of. I’ve found that the only way to conquer this fear is to get moving NOW. No matter what age, weight, or fitness level, it isn’t too late to get in shape. Consider these five tips for getting into the swing of later-life fitness.
If you haven’t worked out in weeks, months, or even years, then you probably haven’t been pushing your body regularly or lifting heavyweights. If you jump right into an aggressive workout routine, you’ll likely injure yourself and experience burn out. To avoid these negative outcomes, I encourage you to start your fitness journey slowly. Find an activity or workout class that suits your fitness level to do regularly throughout the week.
Rather than wearing yourself out as a weekend warrior, focus on attending your desired workout class or completing your preferred physical activity five times a week. Pushing yourself to go, go, go twice a week while remaining sediment the other five days of the week won’t get you very far. Our bodies weren’t made to sit. They were made to move consistently.
BUILD MUSCLE GRADUALLY
Allow your body to catch up with your lack of movement by gradually introducing it to a variety of weights and exercises. Start by working out with little or no weight to build your muscles and avoid injury. Once you feel stronger, begin to incorporate heavier weight into your fitness routine.
Seek out variety in both your food and exercise choices. Enjoy an assortment of healthy meals, instead of forcing yourself to exclusively eat chicken, rice, and vegetables. Consider workouts like Zumba, pilates, yoga, barre, and water aerobics to keep your body moving and excited about working various muscles.
Become aware of what your body needs to properly recover from exercising. You may need an extra hour of sleep on the days you workout. You may need to drink more water to replenish your body on cardio days. You may need to incorporate more protein into your diet after a high-intensity workout. Do what’s best for you and your body.
It is NOT too late to get into shape. Consider these five tips for getting into the swing of later-life fitness to avoid injury and burn out. Tune in to Episode 50 of the Fit Is Freedom podcast to hear inspiring stories about how Mimi Secor, James Owen, and Daphne Belt exceeded their fitness goals throughout their golden years.
Great Podcast, and Happy Birthday Kelly! Agree with your approach, which parallels the one I use for “mature” clients at FIT SENSE, LLC. One additional caution though, suggest extra vigilance / awareness when “trying something new” for variety – I managed to tear a medial meniscus during a step aerobics class, which was something “new” for me at the time. The motivation to “keep up with everyone else” is natural; overlooking things that your body is telling you, can literally lead to injury in a heartbeat – not something any of us needs. Love your interesting and informative podcasts – keep up the great work!