You’ve decided to get back to fit after 50 and your motivation is high!
This time it’s going to be different, because this is about more than just weight loss – although some weight loss would feel nice – but this is more about living the second half of your years really enjoying life, energized, active and loving every minute of it. Yes, this not just about vanity. You want to embrace a new healthier lifestyle.
With this new excitement and motivation to do this “right” you’ve decided to get up and get active. You’re all into making daily goals of heading for a walk, going for a run, or doing some form of exercise on all or most days.
But what if this new-found enthusiasm is actually what will cause you to fail?
This is one of the first blog posts I’ve written that is incredibly personal to me because I’m lucky enough to have found a purpose and a passion in coaching women after 50 to better health.
And over these 11 years, I have become more and more sensitive to the early warning signs of the cycle starting and stopping again and again, and I feel drawn to help you create a new shift in action.
If you create a small shift in this fitness cycle, you WILL create long term success and your new found motivation will truly lead you to lasting fitness, lasting energy, strength and that best quality of life that you genuinely deserve.
If you follow these 2 simple must-do’s you’ll stay motivated and excited to stick to fit after 50, making these years truly the best years of your life.
Ok, mini rant is over.. I promise.. let’s start creating lasting Success:
1. No Matter How Motivated You Are START SLOW:
You’re so motivated you want to do a bit of “something” every single day.
You feel like fitness keeps you on track to healthy eating and it makes you feel like you’re working towards your goal.
While it is so wonderful to feel compelled to exercise every single day, doing too much too soon will only lead to inflammation, repetitive stress injuries, and pain.
The body get’s stronger, leaner and fitter not actually during the workouts, but afterwards, when the small micro tears in your muscle have time to repair into a stronger muscle.
Inflammation during this down time slowly shrinks away and not only does the body feel better but the body becomes stronger and has more stamina.
After fifty. repair rates are slightly slower too. This means that you may need more down time to recover. Even activities such as longer walks, that you may think you can do everyday, need adaption time.
Instead Try This:
Choose 3 or 4 very different activities you can do each week and alternate each day. Make sure the activities not only exercise different muscles, but they focus on different systems within the body.
If you create a plan that follows the 3 R’s (Rest, Rev up the Heart, Resistance) you’ll make sure to tick all of the boxes:
Rest: Never fear, rest doesn’t have to mean you sit or lie down all day. You can, but if some form of movement is what you need to feel on track, then rest to you means stretching routines. You can do them standing, sitting or lying down but the focus is on elongating and relaxing the muscles.
If stress management is a big reason you wanted to get fit, deep belly breathing for 10 minutes or a “learn how to meditate” class may be the best action rest day for you.
“Rev Up” the Heart:
This part always seems the easiest to get on board with (at least during warm summer months). These activities that get the blood flowing include walking, swimming, cycling and, if your knees can handle it, then running too.
Start with smaller distances so your body has time to adapt. Begin with 20-30 minutes and for low to moderate cardio options (such as walking or light swims) increase your time.
Often overlooked for it’s counterpart, “Cardio”, Resistance training is by far the best to stave off osteoporosis, enhance lean muscle mass and rev up the metabolism. Upper body resistance routines are exceptionally valuable if you’ve done leg work (your cardio) the day before, because they not only give your upper body strength and stamina but also allow your legs a day to heal.
Do one resistance exercise for each upper body part. The back, the tummy, the chest and the arms.
Here’s a sample itinerary that follows the 3 R’s:
Monday: Deep breathing or stretching routine
Wednesday: Resistance training exercises
Thursday: Day off
Friday start the cycle again.
If you repeat this cycle it gives your body the repair time it needs, but also helps you feel on track towards your new healthy lifestyle. Now that’s a program you can stick with for life!
2. Don’t Quit, MODIFY:
Universally we all have activities we absolutely love to do. Personally my love is running and at times when I’ve had injuries or pain, I’ve had to give it up and it’s been hard…
Many of my clients choose to walk for the same reason I love to run. It’s an activity you can do easily by simply leaving the house.
The problem with walking is it can sometimes be short lived. When the weather gets bad or when arthritis or old injuries act up, often it’s seen as the “beginning of the end” of a fitness journey.
It is so important to know that when all odds are against you, there are ways to modify. But, whatever you do, don’t give up because all of the hard work you’ve put into it up until now will be gone, and quickly.
When it comes to injuries and arthritis, it’s usually the frustration that creates the feeling of wanting to give up. Your mind wants to do more, but your body want’s you to stop.
Negative thoughts start to take over. You feel “old”, and wonder if this is just what aging is all about. and that’s when thoughts about giving up start to take over.
It’s important to remember that injuries, aches and pains are a natural part of each and every stage of life. Ok, that sounds pessimistic, but what I mean is whether it’s a sore muscle from exercise, an achy shoulder from an old injury or knee arthritis acting up again, pain is natural.
We can choose to give up or we can modify what we do, and if this is just the beginning of your new healthy lifestyle, creating a quick and simple modification tactic will mean that IF (not when) something hurts, you’ll have a no brainer strategy, a zero guess work plan, to keep on track no matter what.
Because this time, NOTHING’S GONNA GET YOU DOWN!
Here’s a Simple Strategy to Create Your “No Brainer” Plan:
For the most part you already know what previous injuries, inflammation and arthritis you have had, so it’s time to take inventory so you can choose completely different areas to workout.
Then, once you know what may hurt, create a modifiable plan:
For knee or ankle issues: Do an Upper Body Workout
For Shoulder Issues: work the lower body and cardio
For Low Back Issues: Focus on Stretches for the lower legs (as low leg stretches may actually help alleviate back pain)
That’s it! Just by adding these two very simple changes into your new Fit For Life Plan, Slow Down and Modify, you’ll finally break that horrible cycle of stopping and starting. This is it! The best years of your life. Fit after 50 and Fabulous!
I believe that if all exercise felt as doable and as enjoyable as walking with a friend, then finally the the yo-yo exercising would stop and you would genuinely fall in love with fitness.
That’s why I created a fun (and FREE) Workout Series with a new workout delivered right to your inbox weekly. The Best part is, each workout takes 10 minutes or less to complete. Give it a Try!