Exercising After Age Fifty to Stay Healthy and Strong
As we age, it may seem inevitable to lose strength, energy and vigor—but that doesn’t have to be the case according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Weakness, frailty and decreased energy associated with aging are in part due to muscle loss due to inactivity. When it comes to muscle, the old saying is true: “Use it or lose it.”
Doctors recommend that one of the best ways to keep muscles healthy and strong is through strength training exercises. Regular strength training builds muscle, bone, and helps to preserve strength and increase energy. These exercises are safe and effective for men and women of all ages, even if you’re not in perfect health. If you have health concerns, such as arthritis or heart disease, you may benefit the most from lifting weights a few times each week.
Strength training can also reduce these signs and symptoms:
- Obesity. By increasing your metabolism, you’ll burn more calories which helps with long-term weight control.
- Arthritis. You’ll find reduced pain and stiffness while increasing strength and flexibility.
- Diabetes. It improves glycemic control.
- Back pain. With stronger back and abdominal muscles, you’ll reduce stress on the spine.
- Osteoporosis. Strength training builds bone density.
- Heart disease. You can reduce cardiovascular risk by improving lipid profile and overall fitness.
In addition, studies have shown that people who have a regular exercise routine sleep better and feel better about themselves.
Strength training exercises are easy to learn and have been proven safe and effective through years of medically-backed research. You’ll be happy to learn that there are ways to train without undue strain, aches, and pains.
Tips to Get the Most out of Your Exercise
- Work out for 20 minutes 2-3 times a week to maintain general fitness.
- Challenge yourself to take the stairs at work
- Park your car at the edge of the parking lot and walk a few minutes to and from your car.
- Take 2-3 minutes a day for yoga breathing and movements for body maintain balance, usable strength, flexibility, and muscular restoration.
- Before working out, do leg stretches and forward bends.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated before, during and after your workout.
If you have been over-training, you might have some signs to look out for such as a higher than normal resting heart rate, disrupted sleep due to an elevated heart rate, muscle cramping, and muscle twitching. These are all signs of muscle strains and pulls.
Eat right. In addition to lots of fruits and vegetables and a few lean meats, consume foods with magnesium, which helps fight inflammation, and with vitamin B12—especially if you’re over 50—such as fortified cereals. Drink three cups of fat-free or low-fat milk throughout the day or consume the equivalent in yogurt, cheese or other dairy products. Consider an anti-inflammatory diet—cut out sugar, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant.
About Dr. Fisher’s Medical Weight Loss & Aesthetic Centers
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