Specific exercises for 50+ help to build core strength and more
The biggest lie fed to North Americans is that we need to be young to be happy, fit, beautiful, wanted, useful and fun. We are inundated with not-so-subtle messages everywhere we turn. Why, as a culture, we decided this was okay and even remotely true is beyond comprehension. In my experience, the exact opposite is true.
As we age, we become more comfortable in our skin. We make smarter choices, bring experience to the boardroom table, know how to laugh at ourselves and learn what is truly important to lead enriched lives. Many people turn 50 and decide that is it too late to change. It is never, ever too late. When it comes to fitness and exercise, 50 and beyond are the years that we must change. We must embrace ourselves and train our bodies to carry us happily through the second half of our lives.
We know that cardio activity is integral for increasing heart function, decreasing fat and lowering cholesterol. These reasons are all well and good, of course, but there is a much more compelling reason for you to get off your posterior and quicken your pulse: it feels great! It feels like new love, hope, joy, and invincibility. Cardio activity quickly releases endorphins into your system that have an immediate blissful effect. It will calm anxiety, soothe stress and can even alleviate depression. If that were not enough, cardio activity regulates hormones.
Bone density becomes an area of concern around 50 and beyond. Proper nutrition and weight bearing exercise will ensure resilient bones well into the future. Weight bearing exercises are just that – exercises that require you to bear your own weight against gravity. Examples include walking, jogging, playing tennis and dancing. Examples of non-weight bearing activates are cycling and swimming.
Sometimes joints can become sore as we age. It is natural to want to rest them so not to stress them. It is a much better idea to work to strengthen your joints. In spite of common belief, exercise does not cause arthritis. In fact, exercise will help reduce the pain in people who suffer with arthritis.
There was a time when people thought that aging inevitably caused a decline in muscle mass and strength. This is not true. Not exercising causes these things. Strength training will build muscle, which keeps us strong and independent, while raising metabolism and decreasing fat stores.