5 Sneaky Tips to Enjoy Exercise After 50, Experts Say – Eat This, Not That
You’ve heard it over and over again since you were a kid: Exercise! Personal fitness and a regular regimen of physical activity have been advocated as a mainstay of a healthy lifestyle for centuries. Even Hippocrates, widely regarded as the father of medicine, handed out written prescriptions for more exercise to his patients during the days of ancient Greece.
Indeed, it’s impossible to seriously argue that exercise isn’t important when it comes to living the best (and healthiest) life. Beyond the seemingly endless parade of physical health benefits of exercise, a solid workout can also do wonders for the mind and overall mental health. Research from Yale University and Oxford University published in The Lancet even concludes that regular exercise is much more important to mental health than income or the number of zeros in your bank account.
Post-workout euphoria is well documented, and probably more synonymous with enjoying a ârunner’s highâ after strenuous jogging. Ironically, however, while exercise can help us feel good afterwards, it’s not exactly enjoyable while we growl, sweat, and lift. Getting started is often the hardest part of the exercise, as the sofa is usually much more inviting than the treadmill.
Many older people use their age as an excuse to sit still, thinking that fitness is not worth it after a certain age. This is a major mistake and downright wrong. For example, research published in Series B gerontology journals found that even older people considered frail could still derive major physical and cognitive benefits from regular exercise.
Fortunately, there are a number of secret strategies and tips that can help you get more out of exercise, even if you’re over 50. Read on to find out more, and then, don’t miss out on the best workouts for stronger muscles after 50.
If the thought of hitting the gym or putting on a free weight makes you cringe, consider adding a walk to your daily routine. Fascinating research published in the scientific journal Emotion found that taking a relaxed walk can both improve mood and increase overall energy levels. Importantly, this research also indicates that walking can have this effect even though the person actively expects to feel worse after walking.
In other words, if you find yourself feeling particularly lazy or shabby one day, take a walk. You may later find that you feel more energetic and willing to tackle some more intense form of physical activity.
Another interesting aspect of this study is that the participants examined simply walked as part of their usual routines, and not as a strict form of “exercise”. So if it helps, avoid qualifying your daily walk as exercise. Instead, see it as a recreational activity or a means to an end (walking to the store, etc.).
“Taken together, the experiments show that accidental ambulation (walking as part of a routine) systematically promotes a positive effect regardless of the stress placed on such movement, and that it can negate the effects of other events. emotionally relevant such as boredom and fear, âthe authors conclude.
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Not crazy about visiting a public gymnasium and sweating with strangers? You’re not alone. A recent survey reports that two-thirds of Americans prefer to exercise in the comfort of their own homes rather than hitting a gym.
Plus, for seniors looking to tick their home fitness boxes, there is plenty of research telling us that âformal exerciseâ isn’t always necessary. A study reports that older people can exercise and improve their physical and emotional health just by keeping a house tidy and staying on top of household chores. Housekeeping is often heartwarming, and seniors can get the best of both worlds by exercising through housekeeping.
âCleaning the house kept them upright and moving,â says Kathy D. Wright, Ph.D., RN, CNS, KL2 Postdoctoral Fellow at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. “A clean environment is therapeutic.”
Another study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society concludes that older women can add years to their lives by committing to just 30 minutes of household chores per day.
âImproving levels of both light and moderate physical activity could be almost as effective as regular, rigorous exercise in preventing major chronic disease,â comments lead author of the study, Dr. Andrea LaCroix. . “We don’t need to run marathons to stay healthy. The paradigm has to change when we think we are active.”
Related: The Best Way To Get A Slim Body After 50, According To Science
Almost everything is better in the company of a friend, and exercise is no different. Specifically, however, research indicates that finding an exercise partner close to your age is especially helpful when it comes to staying in shape for the long haul. Published in Health Psychology, the experiment brought together more than 600 seniors and each assigned a 24-week training program. Those who were placed in a training group with people of the same age ended up attending about 10 more exercise classes than the other participants.
âAll of this together underscores the power of social bonds,â says lead author of the study and UBC professor of kinesiology, Mark Beauchamp. “If you set up the environment in such a way that participants feel a sense of connection or belonging with these other people, then they are more likely to stick with it.”
In addition, this research project published in the British Journal of Health Psychology arrived at similar conclusions. Researchers say that training with a partner allows you to spend more time exercising, especially when your training partner is emotionally supportive.
âOnce we saw that having a new exercise buddy increases the frequency of exercise, we wanted to know why this is beneficial and what quality of support they provide that has that effect. Our results showed that the emotional social support of the new athletic companion was the most. Thus, it is more important to encourage each other than to do the actual activity together, âsays Dr. Pamela Rackow of the University of Aberdeen Institute of Applied Health Sciences.
Golf rarely enjoys the fitness standards accorded to other sports such as basketball or football, but playing a few rounds on the green can provide many health benefits for seniors. A recent comprehensive review of relevant research regarding golf and its impact on the body reports that playing golf regularly helps the mind, body and improves overall longevity. Specifically, the report published in the British Medical Journal tells us that golf can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve both strength and balance in older people.
Picking up the putter is a particularly attractive option for older athletes, as it is a sport that gets us moving with minimal risk of injury. Over the age of 50, playing basketball or tackle football might not be the best idea if you’re looking to avoid injury, but golf is a safer option. In addition, golf by its very nature is a social sport, which is usually carried out in a group outdoors. In this way, golf is a great way for the elderly to move, hang out, and hang out with friends all at the same time.
Other research from the American Heart Association even shows that playing golf as little as once a month can reduce the risk of death in the elderly.
âWhile low-intensity walking and jogging can be comparable exercises, they lack the competitive excitement of golf,â says lead author of the study, Adnan Qureshi, MD. âRegular exercise, exposure to a cleaner environment and the social interactions that golf provides are all positive for your health. Another plus point is that older people can continue to play golf, unlike other more intense sports like soccer, boxing and tennis. the positive aspects are stress relief and relaxation, which golf seems to be better suited to than other sports. “
Related: Secret Effects Of Playing Golf, According To Science
Exercise routines, like personalities, come in various forms. If you can’t seem to master a specific exercise program that you’ve tried, it’s probably time to turn things around. A remarkable study by the British Psychological Society asked more than 800 people about their personalities and habitual exercise habits – and an interesting relationship emerged.
According to the data, extroverts (extroverts) are more likely to prefer training indoors in a gym and people who prioritize logic over feelings / values ââappreciate carefully planned and regulated exercise routines. Meanwhile, people who are more creative and who like to play with new ideas generally like to train outdoors through more casual exercises like biking or jogging.
âThe most important piece of advice to take from this research is that there isn’t one type of exercise that is right for everyone,â comments licensed psychologist John Hackston. âThere may be a pressure to follow the crowd at the gym or sign up for the latest fad of exercise, but it would be much more effective for them to match their personality type to an exercise plan that is more likely to last over time. “
To learn more, check out the Worst Exercises You Should Never Do After 50.