Whether you’re 50, 60 or beyond, exercise has never been more important to implement into your daily routine. On the verge of retiring? Great. Now you have more time than ever to focus on a strength training program. Your kids went off to college last fall and you’re dealing with empty nest syndrome? If so, there’s never been a better time to do something good for yourself. But, no matter what your lifestyle looks like, exercise is a must—and strength training is the way to go! Here’s some tips to set you up for success.
Before starting any fitness program (regardless of age) consult a doctor. When you have the ‘go ahead’, invest in a personal trainer. While he/she won’t be cheap, locking down 5-10 sessions with a professional who can show you how to stand, sit, lunge, lift and curl won’t just give you results you want—he’ll set you up for success. Meaning? Your trainer will give you pointers to minimize your risk of injury, boost your metabolism and repair muscle mass. Do you want to improve your flexibility and overall mobility? Your trainer will show you how to accomplish that, too. For anyone and especially the 50+ year old crowd, a trainer is worth every penny.
Start Off Slow, Then Build Your Momentum Up
Don’t let your ego slow you down. Know your limitations, where you’re starting from (especially if you haven’t worked out regularly in years) and most of all, know where you’re going. What are your goals? Start your workout program identifying three goals you have for yourself. Is it to lose 40 pounds, or simply to improve your daily activity? Whether you want to improve your strength or just add some activity into your life, start off slow. Build your way up. Begin exercising for just 20 minutes a day, and lift with a ‘less is more’ motto.
The biggest goal you should have? Walking away from each and every day without an injury. The second biggest goal? To have fun! The best part about exercising is seeing the transformation day by day. Focus on learning all of the basics, and get those down: correct posture, how to change the weight of each machine, how much you should lift or how intense your jog should be. Then, work on the details.
One of the greatest things about being 50 or over is having a true and honest approach to fitness. You’re not 21 anymore—and thank goodness for that! That means, you’re in a whole different stage of your life, and you’re not concerned about killing yourself to get thin and trim. This time around, you’re doing it to feel great and reclaim the energy of your youth. When you devote yourself to a consistent workout plan, you’ll accomplish just that.