Studies show that putting on more than a few kilos leads to a shorter lifespan for men. Rediscover the fountain of youth with these 15 easy fitness tips!
1. Consult your doctor
It’s never a bad idea to check in with your doctor or general practitioner to get regular health checkups as we pile on the years. Your friendly neighborhood general practitioner can give you the complete 411 on your vitals and your bloodwork, while measuring your stats to guarantee you’re in good shape before going on a training or dietary regimen.
2. Lay off the alcohol
As the mileage starts to accumulate over the years, alcohol consumption may impact factors that lead to certain health issues in men above 50. Reducing your alcohol intake lowers the risk of developing chronic health concerns like heart disease, certain cancers, or cirrhosis. Better still, reducing alcohol intake may help you lose weight and feel healthy in general.
3. Stay motivated
Lacking the motivation to stay fit? It’s normal. But making an effort to do so leads to a longer life. Fitness levels are a better indicator of lifespan than body mass index can. The risk of death from all causes decline by 15% as men’s fitness levels improve, while the risk of dying from heart disease dropped by 19%.
4. Do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily
Adults aged 50 and above are encouraged to perform at least half an hour of moderate exercise on most days, if not daily. If you’re just starting out, you don’t even need to do 30 minutes; any form of physical exercise is better than nothing at all. It can be as simple as doing chores like gardening or cooking. The possibilities are endless.
5. Ask for help (and you shall receive)
If you haven’t the faintest idea about training and exercise, get in touch with a personal trainer. They are trained in designing and performing safe, efficient workouts depending on your fitness and experience level. It’s always a smart move to get personal training if you’re just beginning.
6. Consider taking up cycling
Cycling or biking is a great aerobic workout that does wonders for your circulatory and respiratory system. Cycling helps you burn off the calories, breathe better, and raise your fitness levels in a jiffy.
7. Take the stairs whenever you can
Don’t underestimate the power of climbing stairs. It burns more calories than your usual walk, while potentially helping you lose more weight – in a low-impact, safe, and functional manner.
8. Incorporate bodyweight exercises
No equipment? No problem. Your body is your gym. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, step-ups, and squats all help tone and firm up muscles, maintain strength, improve bone health, reduce injury risk, burn fat, and boost stamina. Consider doing bodyweight exercises at least twice a week for the most benefit.
9. Hit the weights like a man
Resistance training isn’t only one of the best ways to build and maintain muscle mass and definition as men age – it’s also scientifically proven to increase your testosterone levels naturally. Lifting weights really one of the best things you can do for yourself. Fact.
10. Exercise with a partner (or two)
We often neglect the social aspect of exercise. While a group HIIT class may not immediately burn off the weight you’ve piled on for nearly half a century or more, enjoying it with other individuals and having a good time will make you feel better instantly. Feeling good about yourself makes you more likely to come back the next day to boost your health. Plus, exercising with just a partner makes you more accountable.
11. Get in the water
Ever consider trying hydrotherapy? Hydrotherapy has a variety of benefits and is used to treat all sorts of conditions using low-impact, controlled movements in a heated pool. Sounds comfy? It sure is.
12. Pay attention to your core muscles
Core strength is more than just getting washboard abs. Core muscles help keep the spine stable through a wide range of motion, flexion, extension, and rotation. Learning how to utilize these muscles helps prevent injury, improve pelvic stability, and improve sexual health. What’s not to love about sit-ups and crunches?
13. Nutrition is everything
Proper nutrition is the bedrock of healthy aging and good quality of life – especially when the former brings its bag of age-related physiological changes. Every calorie counts when it comes to getting sufficient nutrition, and consulting with a dietitian or a professional can get you back on track.
Learn how to maximize your fitness no matter what your age is by nourishing your body with the right diet and supplementation.
14. Try something new
There isn’t one single regimen, routine, or workout that will do the job for you. Every person is different. That said, there’s always a physical activity that is right up your alley. The important thing is to make something you enjoy doing a habit, so it’s easier for you to stick to the process.
15. Keep your heart happy
Exercise is proven to keep a healthy heart. But it’s important to also monitor your heart rate when performing moderate physical activity or exercise, or about 50-65% of your age-adjusted heart rate. This can be calculated using the following formula: 220 (max heart rate) – your age. If you’re 55, then your maximum heart rate would be 165.
BONUS: Set time for recovery
As your body may never recover as quickly as it used to back in your prime, it’s essential to set enough time to recover. Every time we exercise, we put our bodies through the stress that it adapts to – the byproduct of such adaptation may manifest in fatigue, soreness, and mild strength reduction. That’s why recovery is so important. Ensure that your body is recovering at its best by getting ample amounts of quality sleep and staying hydrated throughout the day.