I don’t usually do videos like this, but a recent Youtube video from a popular fitness expert had me riled up when she stated, “Fitness over 50 is not a thing”… “It’s a marketing concept that could be dangerous”.
I want to address this damaging perspective that overshadows and overlooks this very valuable and unique demographic.
Inside of the video, she assures her audience that there should be no differences between a workout program given to a 20 year old versus a workout given to someone in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and beyond.
Hearing from a fitness expert in the fitness industry that in fact you should be able to continue to train as you did when you were 20 is where the real danger lies.
It places blame on the individual and disregards health concerns and lifestyle factors unique to women over 50.
I don’t know many 20 years olds are going through menopause.
Over 50 you’re going through hormone shifts that you’ve probably never before experienced, affecting your sleep, your energy, weight loss and weight gain, all which affects your fitness training and the solutions to get you results.
Hormone shifts continue into post menopause, affecting your bone density, you’re your heart health and while it definitely wasn’t healthy to eat whatever you wanted in your 20’s, you could “get away with it” without feeling horrible the next day, without it zapping your energy, without the doctor saying you were prediabetic.
Not to mention, Over 50 you have a lot more responsibility and a lot less time than you did in your 20’s ..
Maybe you’re taking care of an ill parent, maybe you’re working, you’ve got bills to pay, a household to take care of, not to mention family responsibilities.
You may not have as much time to dedicate to fitness and health as you may have had in your 20’s.
There was one Valid Argument I Did Agree With However:
The danger of “fitness over 50” as a concept lies in the potential belief system that may go along with it.
If you google fitness over 50 because you no longer believe you are capable of achieving certain physical or athletic feats due to your age (i.e “I’m too old to lose belly fat”, or “I’m too old to put myself through a workout”)
this creates limiting ageist beliefs that hinder your ability to live your best quality of life.
The speaker explains that at any age you can achieve any athletic feat you put your mind to. You can climb Kilimanjaro, or run a marathon. It’s not your age that defines your ability to do this. You just train for it.
I do really agree. In fact, I did an entire Youtube video about this crippling belief that stops many women over 50 from achieving the fitness and weight loss goals they desire. (click here to watch the video)
We both agree that With Proper Fitness and Nutrition, you can Reverse the signs of Aging, Increase Bone Density and Lose Belly Fat
But here’s my issue:
There is a lack of representation of this demographic in mainstream fitness programs, weight loss plans and even in scientific research.
Which means there is a lack of solutions that take into consideration the physical, physiological and psychological differences that may make succeeding with your fitness and weight loss goals a reality.
Training, and especially starting your fitness and weight loss journey in your 40’s your 50’s, your 60’s your 70’s and beyond is very different than starting in your 20’s.
So, to refute this fitness expert. I think this time they’ve completely missed the mark.
Fitness over 40, over 50 over 60 IS a “thing”.
This is your time to have a plan that suits your stage and lifestyle!
We as fitness experts need to create a space for you the individual over 40, over 50, over 60 and beyond to openly discuss changes you may face with age,so that we may delve deeper into science backed, research based strategies and solutions meant for you.
YES! you can still climb Kilimanjaro (if you want to)
YES! You can train to do high intensity interval training or still complete high impact
YES! you can reverse biological and physical symptoms of aging through proper nutrition and exercise
But you may need and want to shift the way you get there, making key adaptations along the way unique to you
And if we don’t create open dialogue and real solutions that address these adaptations, then as fitness experts we become a part of the problem.