The best exercise for women over 50 is……well read on.
There’s no doubt that one of the most important things older women or older men can do for their health is to start exercising. The evidence is in that exercise is one of the single most important aspects of overall good health, and that applies to men and women over 50 as well as those lucky people amongst us who are still young. So what’s the best exercise for us older folk, given that there is now no doubt that exercise is essential to good health? Lets see.
Almost all of the more common health conditions that afflict so many in our society, particularly as we get older, are positively impacted when you add exercise to your lifestyle.
Medical professionals are now in complete agreement that along with other healthy lifestyle factors like a good diet, incorporating regular cardiovascular exercise into your day can positively impact your health over time.
Whether it’s reducing your risk of heart attack, helping reduce your weight, improving your cognitive function, reducing your risk of contracting diabetes or any other of the dozens or hundreds of health conditions we are at risk of contracting, particularly as we get older, exercise will help.
However as you get older it gets harder and harder to exercise regularly. When you were in your 20s exercise was probably a big part of your week, and was probably not even intended. That’s because younger people tend to have sporting interests, and the time to pursue them, and enjoy pursuing their passion for the activity as much as for the exercise.
However as you grow older life tends to get in the way. You have commitments. You get married. You have children. You have a mortgage. You have responsibilities. You put on weight.
And as a result fun activities like sports tend to take a back seat, and the sad fact is that as we approach our 40s and 50s we find that we are exercising less and less, if at all.
I know because that’s exactly what happened to me, and friends of mine. I’ve been there.
I also know what it’s like trying to incorporate exercise back into your life. It’s not easy. It’s even harder if you’re overweight, but probably more necessary.
There’s so many choices. Do you go to the gym? Maybe you should take up swimming? Jogging is convenient, you can do it right from your front door. Perhaps you should learn golf or tennis. Perhaps buying a dog to walk is a good idea.
However if you’re an over 50 man or over 50 woman, struggling to find the perfect exercise for you, I have one recommendation. I can make that recommendation from personal experience.
The best exercise for over 50 women or over 50 men is the exercise that you ENJOY.
It might sound obvious, however so many older people take up exercise for the sake of the exercise, not the enjoyment. And they can’t keep it up.
Remember when you played sports when you were young? You didn’t play the sport for the exercise, you played it for the sport, the exercise was just a byproduct.
That’s exactly how you need to approach your exercise if you’re over 50, or 60 or even 70. Do it for the fun, not for the exercise. The exercise follows.
If you love having dogs, and walking them, the best exercise for you is walking your dog. If you love tennis then tennis is perfect. If you love both then do both.
Don’t get hung up on strengthening this or stretching that, because I can guarantee you that if it’s not enjoyable then no matter how much it might benefit your health you won’t keep it up. After a month, or 2, or 12 or 20 you’ll eventually ditch it because it’s no fun.
I ditched swimming, I hated it. I ditched jogging, I hated it. I couldn’t even bring myself to go in the front door of a gym. I knew I’d last a week at most.
I found out the hard way that unless I enjoyed it then I couldn’t keep it up. The hard way was 6 months of excruciatingly boring swimming, up and own, looking at that black line, keeping at it through sheer willpower. But willpower only lasts so long.
The exercise for me was road cycling. As soon as I took it up I loved it, not for the exercise but for the fun. And I know I’ll keep doing it as long as I’m able. Not for the exercise but for the fun.
So if you’re a man or woman over 50, or over 40 or over 60, and looking to reintroduce exercise into your life then it’s crucial to find something that introduces fun into your life, and the exercise will follow.
Oh, by the way, try road cycling. It’s fun, it’s hugely social and it’s easy low impact low stress exercise. If you love it like me it’s the best exercise for you. But if you don’t then look for something else. Whatever you love is the best exercise for you.