As you get older it can get harder and harder to keep fit. Many people just can’t find the time, or the motivation, to exercise or watch their diet. However, keeping fit and healthy is arguably more important when you are older. Our team of experts from Simply Gym Cwmbran are here to explain why health and fitness is so important for those over 50, and what you can do to try and improve.
Why Health and Fitness is Important for over 50s
Staying fit and healthy as you get older is incredibly important, as it can help you prevent or delay age-related diseases, reduce stress, lose weight and even keep up with the grandkids! In a nutshell, if you are fit and healthy you will feel great.
Research shows that just by walking regularly you can cut your rate of physical decline by 50%. Experts recommend thirty minutes of moderate exercise five times a week. You can do this all at once, or you could split it up throughout the day, the choice is yours!
If you are worried about the demands that running or other sports will have on your body, treadmills could be great for you. Treadmills allow you to walk or run on top of a moving belt so that you stay in the same place but cover a lot of ground! The great thing about treadmills is that you can adapt them to your level by increasing or decreasing the incline and speed as you see fit. We have found that treadmills are becoming more popular amongst older adults in the UK, which is testament to the benefits they bring.
If you can’t find the time to keep up this level of exercise be sure to keep your levels of physical activity up. Physical activities such as walking the dog or gardening can help manage stress, improve your mood and keep you active, helping to cut physical decline. A combination of exercise and physical activity would be fantastic.
We have also found that weight training has become very popular amongst the over 50s. You don’t have to become a bodybuilder, but basic weight training can make everyday tasks such as carrying the shopping that much easier. Importantly, weight training strengthens your bones, helping to delay and event prevent osteoporosis problems that arise as we get older.
Any gym worth its salt should have a range of free weight equipment with room for everyone — no matter what stage you’re at. Don’t be afraid to hit those weights, even if you start slow and light it’s progress!
We always recommend talking to a Health & Fitness professional to develop a programme for you. This will ensure that the exercises you are doing, and the intensity you are working at, will reap the benefits and results you are looking for in a safe manner. If you work out in a professionally staffed gym there will always be someone to answer a question or give support should you need it.
Healthy eating can improve your quality of life and help you avoid diseases associated with ageing. A healthy diet can also help you to target age-related weight gain. The rate at which you burn calories decreases as you get older, and unfortunately excess calories turn into surplus body fat.
To lose weight you need to use up more energy than you consume. If you follow the steps above and keep active you will burn calories (energy), helping you to lose weight. Though you will also need to look at the calories you consume.
As we head into our 50s and beyond we actually need to consume less calories than we do when we are in our 30s. Luckily there is a lot you can do to reduce the calories in your diet and introduce healthier foods, without having to give up all of your favourites!
Make sure that you eat your five portions of fruit and veg every day, drink water like a fish, eat more fish and cut down on foods that are high in sugar or saturated fats (such as butter). Choose leaner meat, lower-fat dairy products and reduce your salt intake.
You could also try drinking less alcohol, though this might not be the most popular suggestion!
As part of your welcome to Simply Gym we will advise you on sensible eating, as well as a personalised exercise programme. We do not recommend dieting but rather a balanced approach to food and exercise. By combining these two factors you can significantly improve your health and fitness, fighting the effects of age.
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org