In your 50s, loss of muscle and bone mass as well as increased storage of fat are major changes. Your fitness routine can help beat these changes and keep you feeling strong and healthy.
Cardio is essential for weight management and weight loss. However, in your 50s, your joint lubrication begins to decrease, and declining hormone levels can make your joints more prone to injury. Therefore, Laurie Ann Smith, a clinical exercise specialist, medical exercise specialist and certified personal trainer since 1992, recommends low-impact cardio activities to prevent joint pain and injury. She suggests swimming, water fitness classes and speed walking instead of running. This is also a great time to switch up your fitness routine. Try something new like kayaking or in-line skating.
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Whole body strength training
Smith recommends strength training with moderate weights to help strengthen your entire body. If you’ve never strength-trained before, take a class or use a DVD featuring a strength-training routine.
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Remember to start out with lighter weights, and focus on perfecting your form before moving up to heavier weights. If you’re familiar with strength training, incorporate moves like chest presses, bicep curls, wall squats and bicycle abs into your workout two to three times a week. Doing these moves even while you’re watching TV can have great benefits.
Working on your balance now will help ensure better balance when you are older. It also helps develop the mind-body connection, burns calories and forces you to stabilize by using your core, which helps build muscle. Smith suggests using stability devices such as balls, BOSU or a balance board. Exercises done standing on one leg also help build balance. Try one-legged squats, one-legged deadlifts or step-ups. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive routine, try yoga, Pilates or tai chi, all of which are offered in group classes.