Build muscle, gain energy and feel better!
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
Staying active is important for physical and mental health at any age, and is especially important into your 50s, 60s, and beyond.
Exercise lowers your risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It maintains muscle mass, improves testosterone levels, especially as you age, and reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction. Physical activity also helps with your mental well-being, energy levels, productivity, and focus at work. All really good things- but you may need to adapt your workouts as your body ages. You may find that you’re not quite able to do the things you did when you were in your 20s and 30s.
As your body ages, the purpose of your workouts may also shift from training for hours to build your beach body, to a focus on longevity and overall health.
The best workout plan for men over 50 includes a mix of cardiovascular fitness, strength training, balance exercises, mobility, and ‘NEAT’ movement (I’ll explain more in a bit).
Before we dive into creating your plan, it’s a good idea to get checked out by your doctor in case there are any health concerns that need to be addressed. I’ve never met a doctor that didn’t recommend exercise- but it’s good to get checked out first.
Cardio is any type of exercise that raises your heart rate and breathing rate. The return on the time investment of cardio training is big: improved mood, stamina, brain health, weight loss (or maintenance), and improved heart health. Examples include brisk walking, hiking, cycling, circuit training, swimming, tennis, and running. For best results, aim for at least 3 x per week for 30+ minutes. Within reason (it is possible to overtrain), the more you move your body the better. If you’re new to exercise, start at a pace where you can talk, but not sing. As you get fitter, you can increase the time and/or intensity of your workouts.
Strength training is CRITICAL for improving or maintaining muscle mass, body composition, and testosterone levels. While the right strength training program will differ depending on your fitness level, injuries, and any muscular imbalances, more well-rounded programs will include:
- Hip Hinges (eg. Deadlifts)
- Pulls (eg. Bent Over Row, Cable or TRX Row)
- Push Exercises (eg. Chest Press, Cable Push, Push-Up)
- Rotation Exercises (eg. Cable Wood Chops)
- Core Exercises (eg. Planks, Bird Dogs)
- Postural Exercises (specific to your individual needs)
- Injury Prevention or Rehab Exercises (specific to your individual needs)
Aim for at least 2 full-body strength workouts per week.
Many people, especially as they age, experience low back pain and other injuries due to overuse, poor posture or sitting too much. To stay mobile and strong into your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, make sure you stretch!
- Start your workout with dynamic stretches (moving your joint through its full range of motion) for 5 minutes. Examples include body-weight squats, trunk rotations, arm circles, or a few sun salutation exercises.
- Stretch after your workout (if you’re inclined to skip this part, remind yourself WHY it’s so important! Set your timer for 5 minutes and do it!)
- Take a 2-minute stretch break every hour at work (bonus: you’ll be more energized and productive!)
Ideally, stretch daily. Anything is better than nothing.
Balance training does just that – improves balance, therefore improves overall function and prevents falls. Simple exercises such as heel-toe walking on a straight line or balancing on one foot will improve balance. Balance exercises are best-done everyday.
NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
Neat is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, a fancy name for activity outside of your planned workouts. Think parking your car further away, walking to speak to a coworker, cutting the grass with a push mower, walking the golf course. From a weight-loss perspective, NEAT activities speed up your fat loss. Also, our bodies are meant to move. Being sedentary leads to low energy, poor posture, and injuries. The more you can move the better!
Worth a Mention
While I focused on workout plans for men over 50, there’s more to your overall health than exercise. Proper nutrition, staying hydrated, stress management, and engaging in meaningful activities (hobbies, social gatherings, etc.) are also very important.
I’ll conclude with one more quote. “Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.” – Josh Billings
If you’re reading this article, it means you want to take good care of your health. I celebrate you! Now take this knowledge that you gained and take action. If you want to learn more about how we can help you improve your health and fitness, let’s chat. Give us a call at 604-392-0892 or click get started at www.ascendfitnesslifestyle.com