Make Your 50’s Your Fittest Years Yet
Dad-bods, mum-tums, bingo-wings, thunder-thighs. Any of these sound familiar? If like so many people in your 50’s you wish you were a bit fitter, stronger and want to drop some weight, there is no better time to start than now. You will have to accept the fact that you can’t eat like you used to in your 20’s and ‘get away with it’. A fast food meal will leave you feeling sluggish, lacking energy and generally a bit blah. At university, late night studying and fast-food deliveries were normal and you could somehow function on this. But those days are now behind you, so it is time to make the most of your 50’s.
Resistance training is very important. After the age of 30, we lose between 3 to 5% of muscle per decade via a process called sarcopenia. Along with diminished strength, it can make us more prone to breaks and sprains in older age. You don’t need to lift super heavy weights alongside the bodybuilders at the gym however. Instead, start with your own bodyweight before increasing the intensity. A very simple bodyweight circuit you can do literally anywhere can be:
1. Squats x 15
2. (Kneeling/Full) Press ups x 12
3. Forward Lunges x 10 R+L
4. Bench/Chair Dips x 12
5. Plank x 30-60 seconds
6. Walkouts x 10
Repeat this 20 minute bodyweight circuit 3-4 times for 2-3 times per week and the ball is well and truly rolling.
The hardest thing about making a change is the start. Once you have designated the time in your week and have a workout plan in place, your over half way there. Put your headphones in, blast out some 70’s beats and get on with it.
Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand. One won’t have as much of a positive impact without the other. By this stage in your life, you should know what foods agree with you and those that don’t. Perhaps you feel bloated after your morning toast? Instead of this just being ‘normal’, change your breakfast for boiled eggs and see how your stomach feels. You should ensure sure you are eating enough protein. “Aim for at least 1g per kilogram of body weight and spread it out across the day,” Protein keeps you fuller for longer which will reduce cravings and keep you going until your next meal. It also helps sustain and build muscle tissue as well as strengthen your bones.
As a personal trainer of 13 years, I have heard a lot of excuses. In fact I haven’t heard a ‘new’ excuse in some time! More often than not, we put barriers up as a way to protect our vulnerabilities. We might feel we aren’t in the right headspace to make a change, so we tell ourselves we are just too busy, and we need to wait until work gets quieter before starting. Work will always be there and will always be busy. Your mind and body however won’t be there if you don’t look after it.
Commit to making small changes that, when compounded over time, make the world of difference. It doesn’t need to be a drastic change that is unsustainable as you will yo-yo back to your old habits when it gets too tough.
If you aren’t sure where to start of need a hand in the right direction, I would love to help you. Or have any other questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on instagram (Robcarrpt) or Facebook (Robcarrrpt).