In the words of the notorious (albeit fictional) Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Before you know it, you are 50+ years old, which means your fitness dreams may start to lose steam.
Don’t let those misconceptions about aging stop you. I’ve compiled a few of my favorite tips for getting fit and staying that way.
Act Your Age
It’s true — the older we get, the smarter we have to work out. This means spending more time stretching, varying your exercises so you’re working multiple muscle groups (also called cross-training) and sleeping more to achieve better recovery.
Shop the perimeter
Aside from the fitness side of things, eating healthy is equally important. At age 20, scarfing down a burger, fries and a shake was no problem, especially after a tough workout. In your 50s and beyond, eating unhealthy foods is not only a detriment to your heart health, but it also leads to lower energy levels. And if you don’t have enough energy throughout the day, you have little to no chance of meeting your workout goals consistently.
A few good rules of thumb are to stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet of nutrient-rich foods (these are the foods usually found along the perimeter of the grocery store), ensure you have healthy snacks on hand (one of my favorites is the protein-rich Quest Bar), and make sure you’re getting enough calcium in your diet.
Determine your purpose
The next step to achieving your fitness goals is to find what motivates you, also known as your purpose. You have to find your own internal drive to stay disciplined and consistent with your fitness. Once you’ve determined what drives you, adopt the mentality that your workout is a non-negotiable, non-reschedulable appointment.
Whatever your purpose is, whether it’s having energy to keep up with your grandkids, enjoying long walks along your favorite beach, or getting in shape for your next vacation — find something that reminds you of that purpose every day and use it to motivate you to always maintain your health and wellness goals.
Phil Slater is a blogger, nutrition expert and fitness enthusiast who writes about all things relating to health and fitness. Over the years, Phil has helped many of his personal coaching clients live happier lives by helping them achieve their fitness goals.