Exercise Now More Than Ever When You’re Over 50

Exercise is key to your independence and a good quality of life as you age. A 50- or 60-year-old body isn’t the same as a 20-year-old one. So, what kind of exercise can you do without hurting yourself?



Cardio or aerobic exercise gets your heart rate up and makes you breathe harder, which builds your endurance and burns calories. Strength or weight training keeps your muscles ready for action. Flexibility exercises help you stay limber so you can have a full range of movement and avoid injury. Balance training becomes important after age 50, so you can prevent falls and stay active.


Exercise: Walking

Simple and effective! It builds your stamina, strengthens lower body muscles, and helps fight against bone diseases like osteoporosis. It’s easy to work into your day. You can go solo or make it social. At a moderate pace, you’ll get exercise and still be able to chat with a friend or group. Try to walk at least three times a week for between 10-30 minutes each time.


Exercise: Jogging

Jogging elevates your heart rate, and that’s a good thing. As long as you take it slow and steady, wear the right shoes, and take walking breaks, your joints should be fine. Soft surfaces, like a track or grass, may also help. Pay attention to your calves and hips, with extra stretching and strengthening to lessen your chance of injuries.


Exercise: Dancing

It doesn’t really matter what kind: ballroom, line, square, even dance-based aerobics classes like Zumba and Jazzercise. Dancing helps your endurance, strengthens your muscles, and improves your balance. It burns a lot of calories because it gets you moving in all directions. Research shows learning new moves is really good for your brain, too, as it releases endorphins. Who knows, one day we could see you on TV’s Dancing With The Stars!



Don’t laugh! Much of the benefit of this sport comes from the walking. An average round is more than 10,000 steps, or about 5 miles! In addition, your swing uses your whole body, and it requires good balance and calm focus. If you carry or pull your clubs, that’s even more of a workout. But even using a cart is worth it. You’re still working your muscles and getting in steps along with fresh air and stress relief.



It’s especially recommended when you have stiff or sore joints, because your legs don’t have to support your weight. The action gets your blood moving and builds muscles on both the front and back of your legs and hips. You use your abs for balance and your arms and shoulders to steer. Because there’s resistance, you’re strengthening your bones, too. Specially designed bike frames and saddles can make riding safer and easier for various health issues.



Playing tennis 2 or 3 times a week is linked to better stamina and reaction times, lower body fat, and higher “good” HDL cholesterol.


Strength Training

Muscle loss is one of the main issues as people age.  When you lift weights, work out on machines, use resistance bands, or do exercises with your own body weight (like push-ups and sit-ups), you build strength, muscle mass, and flexibility. It’ll make things like carrying groceries and climbing stairs easier.



Swimming is great exercise and lots of fun! There’s no weight putting stress on your joints, and the water offers resistance to build muscles and bones. It also burns calories and works your heart like jogging and cycling, but you won’t overheat. The moisture helps people with asthma breathe.



Actively holding a series of poses will stretch and strengthen your muscles, as well as the tendons and ligaments that hold your bones together. Mindful breathing makes it a kind of meditation, too. Yoga can help lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and relieve anxiety and depression.


Exercise:  How Much Is Good?

If you’re in good health, at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity a week is very good. Spread it out over several days for a minimum of 10 minutes at a time.


Watch this informative exercise video:

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