As you get older, there are plenty of things to look forward to, like a slower paced life, the ability to relocate or travel, grandchildren, the wisdom that comes with age, and a deeper understanding of life.
But along with the positives, there can also be some challenges that come with aging. For women over 50, one of the most important things is to stay active.
There are many benefits to remaining active as we age. Exercise can help keep our bones and muscles strong, improve our moods, and help us maintain a healthy weight. It can also help protect us from diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
So how can we stay active as we age? And, how to live a more active lifestyle? There are plenty of ways to get moving – from taking walks to playing golf or tennis. You can even join a fitness class or take up a new hobby that involves being active. Whatever you do, make sure it’s something you enjoy so you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
The key is to find what works best for you and make time for it in your schedule, as well as tailoring it to your overall health. Let’s take a deeper dive into the ‘why’ of keeping ourselves healthy as we age and live a more active life.
- Why is It Important to Remain Active as We Get Older?
- So, What Does It Mean to Live an Active Lifestyle After 50?
- How to Put Your Desire Into Action: Be More Active!
- How to Live a More Active Lifestyle: 15 Things to Consider
- 1 | Talk with your doctor first if you're not sure what is right for you
- 2 | Set your activity times with intention – plan them
- 3 | Begin the day with some stretching
- 4 | Set a timer to keep from sitting for too long
- 5 | Get up and walk around or exercise during commercial breaks
- 6 | Walk to the kitchen to refill your water cup or container
- 7 | Set a daily or weekly goal
- 8 | Learn a new sport or activity
- 9 | Walk every day, several times a day if that is more do-able for you
- 10 | Cleaning the house is an activity!
- 11 | Dance for 5 or 10 minutes
- 12 | Do indoor walking workouts
- 13 | Find activities that you enjoy
- 14 | Follow along with YouTube videos for strength, balance, and aerobics. Many are free.
- 15 | Listen to your body
Why is It Important to Remain Active as We Get Older?
As we get older, it becomes more and more important to remain active. Our bones begin to weaken, our muscles start to atrophy, and our balance isn’t what it used to be. Staying active helps to slow down these changes and can even reverse some of the effects of aging.
Exercise helps to improve our balance and coordination, strengthens our bones and muscles, and boosts our energy levels.
In addition, being active can help to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis.
We also can help improve our mental health, possibly lose weight, and even improve existing health conditions.
So, What Does It Mean to Live an Active Lifestyle After 50?
An active lifestyle means different things at different stages of life. When you’re in your 50s or 60s, you may not be able to do the same things you did in your 20s.
No matter your age, though, if you are physically able, your activities should include strength training exercises, aerobic exercises (how about a brisk walk every day?), balance exercises, and overall daily activities
Here are a few of examples of what a typical day might look like:
As you can see, living an active lifestyle doesn’t mean that you run 5 miles a day, spend hours at the gym, or push yourself too hard physically. That would defeat the purpose, my friend.
When you think about how to live a more active lifestyle, you want to incorporate activities into your day that you enjoy, that fit the climate and environment in which you live, that work for you physically and emotionally, and that might be enjoyed by your spouse, mate, close friend, etc.
Do you track your workout goals and results? How about other tasks, goals and dreams?
Thinking about a goal is one thing; putting it in writing takes you so much further toward turning it into a reality!
These are the tools and resources I use to keep myself accountable & plan for the future. LEARN MORE
How to Put Your Desire Into Action: Be More Active!
It’s easy to think about what we should be doing. You know…those thoughts that rattle around in our heads as we’re starting the day. “I really should do (you fill in the blank) today to be more active and burn off some calories. Maybe after I finish my coffee I’ll think about it again.”
Then the phone rings or you decide to check Pinterest and see what’s trending, and all thoughts of that healthy activity have gone ‘poof’! Before you know it you’ve toddled through mid-afternoon and forgotten all about making today the day to start living healthier.
The good news is that making these changes can be easier than you think if you’re willing to commit.
First, it’s important to get clear on what your goals are. What do you hope to achieve by becoming more active?
Once you have a good sense of your goals, it can be helpful to put them into writing. This will give you a concrete plan to follow and help to hold you accountable.
For example, you might say, “I’m going to walk around the block before lunch, 3 days per week minimum.” That might mean putting a sticky note on the frig to remind you, setting the reminder on your fitness watch, on Alexa, or wherever you are most likely to see or hear it.
Next, commit to yourself that you will make these changes. This may mean setting aside time each day for exercise or planning healthy meals in advance. Whatever it is, make sure that you are realistic about what you can commit to.
Finally, be patient with yourself. Making lasting changes takes time and there will inevitably be bumps along the way. But if you persist, you will ultimately achieve your goal of living a healthier life.
How to Live a More Active Lifestyle: 15 Things to Consider
Let’s look at fifteen things to consider when you’ve decided that it’s time to become more active. I’m not suggesting that you incorporate every single one into your personal lifestyle. See what might speak to you and make a note of those.
1 | Talk with your doctor first if you’re not sure what is right for you
It’s great that you’re considering becoming more active! Exercise is an important part of staying healthy as we age. However, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting or making any changes to your exercise routine.
They can help you figure out what kind of activity is best for you, based on your overall health and any existing medical conditions. They can also give you advice on how to start slowly and build up your activity level safely.
And if you have any concerns or questions about exercise, they can help put your mind at ease.
2 | Set your activity times with intention – plan them
As you age, it becomes even more important to be intentional about how you spend your time. Your body changes, and you may not be able to do the things you used to do without consequence. Maybe you can’t walk for miles like you used to. Maybe you need more recovery time after a workout. Maybe you’re starting to experience chronic pain.
It’s natural for us as women over 50 and over 60 to slow down a bit, and that’s ok. The key is to be mindful of your body’s changing needs and adjust your activity level accordingly.
That might mean shorter walks or yoga sessions several times per week instead of one long hike on the weekends. It might also mean adding in more rest days or modifying certain exercises to reduce impact on joints. The most important thing is to listen to your body and make changes as needed.
3 | Begin the day with some stretching
By starting the day with a few simple stretches, we can help to reduce stiffness, improve range of motion, and prevent injuries. Additionally, stretching can help to increase blood flow and improve circulation. This is especially important for women in midlfe, as circulation problems are common in this age group. Finally, stretching can also help to boost energy levels and improve mental focus.
4 | Set a timer to keep from sitting for too long
Setting a timer to remind you to move around every 30 minutes or so can help remain active, especially if you’re working from home or retired and living a life of leisure. Too much sitting has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
And while it may seem like a small thing, making a point to get up and walk around for a few minutes each hour can make a big difference in your health over time.
Even if you can’t fit in a full workout every day, simply standing up and stretching or taking a short walk will help keep your body moving and lower your risk of health problems down the road. So next time you find yourself glued to your chair, set a timer and make a point to get up and move!
5 | Get up and walk around or exercise during commercial breaks
When you’re watching TV, it’s easy to get glued to the screen and stay in one spot for a long time. But did you know that getting up and moving around during commercial breaks can be good for your health?
Walking is a simple and easy form of exercise, it can help improve your balance and coordination, reduce your risk of falls, and increase your bone density. It can also help improve your heart health, lower your blood pressure, and boost your mood.
6 | Walk to the kitchen to refill your water cup or container
Did you know that walking to the kitchen to refill your water cup or container has several health benefits? It’s true! Just a few minutes of walking can help to increase your heart rate and improve your circulation.
Walking also helps to strengthen your muscles and bones. And, of course, staying well-hydrated is essential for good health. So next time you’re feeling thirsty, take a little walk to the kitchen and fill up your cup.
7 | Set a daily or weekly goal
One way to increase your activity level and establish healthy habits is to set daily or weekly activity goals, as we discussed above. For example, you might commit to walking for 30 minutes every day or going to a yoga class twice a week.
Setting specific goals gives you something to work towards and can help you stick to your new routine. Additionally, aim to gradually increase the difficulty of your goals as you become more comfortable with your new lifestyle change.
Eventually, you may find that you are more active than ever before and that your overall health has improved as a result.
8 | Learn a new sport or activity
One way to increase your activity levels is to take up a new activity or sport. This doesn’t have to be something overly strenuous – even taking up walking or gentle yoga can make a difference.
Learning a new activity can also help to keep your mind sharp, and can provide a much-needed sense of social interaction.
So if you’re looking for ways to boost your activity levels, why not sign up for that dance class you’ve always wanted to try, or join a local sports team? You might just surprise yourself at how much you enjoy it.
9 | Walk every day, several times a day if that is more do-able for you
Walking is a great way to stay active, no matter your age. Just 10 minutes of walking several times a day can have a positive impact on your health.
Walking is a low-impact form of exercise, which means it is easy on your joints. It is also a great way to increase your flexibility and range of motion.
In addition, walking can help to improve your balance and coordination. And because it is an aerobic activity, it helps to increase your heart health and lung capacity.
If you live in a 4-season climate and there are seasons when walking outside isn’t possible (unless you’re a polar bear), consider a budget-friendly treadmill for your home.
So if you are looking for a safe and effective way to live a more active lifestyle, start by putting one foot in front of the other. You may be surprised at how far you can go.
10 | Cleaning the house is an activity!
There are all sorts of ways to be active and stay healthy, but sometimes the simplest things can make the biggest difference. Take cleaning your house, for example. It might not seem like much, but it’s actually a great way to get some exercise.
Vacuuming, dusting, and mopping are all excellent forms of aerobic activity, and they can help to increase your heart rate and burn calories. In addition, cleaning can improve your flexibility and range of motion. And, of course, it’s always good to have a clean house. 🙂
So next time you’re feeling stuck in a rut, try doing something as simple as cleaning your house and reap the physical benefits of that seemingly tedious activity!
11 | Dance for 5 or 10 minutes
Dancing is a great way to stay active, especially as we age. It’s low-impact and can be done almost anywhere, making it a convenient way to get moving. And while it may seem like a small amount of time, even just 5-10 minutes of dancing can have significant health benefits.
You don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to. Just turn on the music and start to move. No one is going to watch or judge you, my friend. Enjoy it.
Dancing is a great cardio workout and can help to increase your heart health. It also helps to improve your flexibility and balance, both of which are important as we age. In addition, dancing is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood.
12 | Do indoor walking workouts
Walking is a great way to get active, and it’s an activity that just about anyone can do. When it comes to indoor walking, there are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your workout.
First, look for a flat surface to walk on. This could be a treadmill, the inside of your home, a shopping mall, or an indoor track. If you have any joint pain, be sure to walk on a soft surface like a carpeted floor or turf.
Second, try to walk at a moderate pace. You shouldn’t be so out of breath that you can’t hold a conversation, but you should also be moving faster than a leisurely stroll.
Finally, be sure to warm up and cool down for a few minutes before and after your walk. Walking is a great way to get active, and by following these tips, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your indoor walking workouts.
13 | Find activities that you enjoy
Research has shown that being physically active can have numerous health benefits for women over the age of 50, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Furthermore, regular exercise can help to improve cognitive function, alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, and promote weight loss.
The key is to find activities that you enjoy and that fit seamlessly into your lifestyle. For example, if you enjoy spending time outdoors, you might consider taking up hiking or gardening.
If you prefer indoor activities, there are plenty of options as well, from dance classes to yoga. No matter what your interests are, there’s sure to be an activity that’s perfect for you.
14 | Follow along with YouTube videos for strength, balance, and aerobics. Many are free.
You don’t have to be a fitness expert to get a great workout on YouTube. There are workout videos for all levels, from beginner to advanced. You can find yoga classes, Pilates workouts, cardio workouts, and strength-training workouts.
And the best part is that you can do them in the comfort of your own home. No need to go to the gym or sign up for a pricey exercise class. Just put on some comfortable clothes, grab a mat or towel, and press play.
Here are a couple of YouTube channels that I have enjoyed:
15 | Listen to your body
You know your body better than anyone else. You’ve been through a lot together!
So, when it comes to deciding how much activity is right for you, it’s important to listen to what your body is telling you. If you start to feel pain or discomfort, take a break. And don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or a certified fitness professional for guidance in developing a safe and effective activity plan.
Remember, even small changes can make a big difference in your overall health and well-being. So, get moving at a pace that feels comfortable for you and enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle!
No matter what your age, it’s important to stay active, every single day. And for women over 50, there are a number of activities you can do to improve your health and well-being.
Whether you enjoy being outdoors or prefer indoor activities, there’s sure to be an activity that’s perfect for you. So get moving and start reaping the benefits of a healthy lifestyle today!
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