As we age, the common belief is that we shouldn’t stress ourselves as much. For many people this means that they give up their strength training routine altogether when it comes to their exercise routine, and lean more towards endurance exercises.
For those people who are new to training and want to start exercise, weight training is usually a low priority for them as well.
Not only is weight training not bad for you as you age, weight training can greatly improve your health and may increase your lifespan as well. Maintaining muscle and bone mass is a must when trying to maintain our health, and can both be done through weight training.
With that being said, you obviously aren’t going to be able to train in the same manner that you did when you were younger, so there are some techniques and methods you are going to want to know before doing so.
The Best Ways to Stay in Shape After 50
1-Know the Cost and Benefit of the Exercises You Are Doing
Unfortunately as we age we tend to have less energy to devote to our exercise routine, making the time that we do devote to exercise all the more valuable. We need to get the most out of our exercises, so energy devotion is important.
You don’t want to be spending too much time on isolation exercises because you won’t have time to work on the rest of your body. Also you need to consider the risk of injury of an exercise as a cost as well.
For example if you are new to exercise over 50, you probably want to stick to a routine that consists of lower weight and higher repetitions to gain muscle. Generally speaking higher weight and less repetitions are a better way to gain muscle, but when you get older you have to consider the other factors.
When you hit your 50s the recovery time you need between sets is going to go up dramatically if you are lifting heavy, as does the injury risk as well. Even though you are doing more reps when you lift lighter you are still going to finish faster than you would if you were to lift heavy.
Another thing to consider is the impact the exercise is having on your joints as you age, especially for people who are overweight or obese. If you have back problems, stay away from traditional squats which will put additional pressure on your spine and instead do an alternative like lunges or split squats which don’t stress the back as much.
2- Don’t Cheat on Your Diet to Best Help Your Muscle Growth
Diet becomes more important as we age, and it is not just because of our slower metabolism. Our body doesn’t synthesize food as well either as we age, meaning we need to get even more macro nutrients especially more protein to help make up that difference.
Knowing these two things it makes sense for us to ditch some of these carbohydrates in our diet and replace them with proteins to help better balance our diet. You should be eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight if you are over 50, which is much more than most people that age tend to get.
3-Be Open to Taking a More General Approach to Exercise
You don’t have to give up on weight training altogether when you get older however you may want to vary up your routine from time to time. You are not going to be able to weight lift for example at the same frequency when you were younger, especially if you were someone who trained more than once a day.
Throw in some cardio to you training to vary things up. Cardio is a great supplement to your weight training routine and is something that you should be doing every day period no matter what your age is.
You are also going to discover that you aren’t going to be as good as you were at football for example as you were in high school. Try another sport like volleyball, tennis, or another low impact sport which you can build a foundation from and improve from there.