50plus.org

Seniors Sitting on Grass

For people 50 years and older, staying fit and healthy becomes more important than ever. As the body ages, it loses its ability to bounce back from unhealthy lifestyles the way it could in younger days.

Indeed, unhealthy habits for those 50 plus can quickly lead to serious health conditions. Additionally, bad living habits at this age can dramatically lower one’s quality of life even when serious problems do not develop.

Here are some tips that can help the 50 plus crowd in choosing healthy lifestyles.

  • Set goals – One way to keep on a healthy tack is to aim high by setting goals in your fitness program. For someone who is overweight, they might think about how they would like to look at their ideal weight. For those who enjoy running, they can set a goal of finishing a 5k run or even a half-marathon. By concentrating on accomplishing fitness goals, many people find it is easier to motivate themselves to work on a healthy body every day.
  • Build a home gym – The most convenient type of workout facility is a home gym that provides for easy exercise without having to travel anywhere. The costs of building your own home gym can vary depending on the type of exercise equipment that you choose. Simple weights and bike machines are relatively inexpensive. Treadmills and fancy weight or resistance machines require larger investments.
  • Join a health club – One way to work out and socialize at the same time is to join a health or fitness club. Some people have problems exercising all alone in a home gym. A membership at a private or public gym allows you to keep fit in the company of others who share the same goal.
  • Consider a fitness trainer – Many people do well when they have a professional fitness trainer who works with them on their own specific body requirements. A trainer can quickly assess what a customer needs to get in shape, so there is less trial and error that occurs compared to going it on one’s own. Make sure the trainer has the necessary qualifications for the job.
  • Go at your own pace – While it is good to set goals, it is generally a good idea to choose a workout program that fits your needs. Pushing oneself too hard can lead to injury and avoidance of the exercise schedule. Try to make the workout routine fun and invigorating. For example, people who like to dance could choose a dance-based exercise program.
  • Vet your restaurants – For those who eat out frequently, they should really look closely at the establishments that they frequent. Restaurants often use extra fat, salt, sugar, etc. to stimulate the taste buds of customers. However, you can ruin a good diet very quickly if you are not careful about where you eat out. Even dishes that seem healthy may contain a lot more harmful substances than you realize. Salad dressings, for example, can contain loads of fat, salt and sugar. Look for health-conscious restaurants that have low-sodium and low-fat options and particularly those that will make hard data available on food content.
  • Take up gardening – Working in a garden has multiple benefits including providing exercise, fresh air, sunshine, healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, and a feeling of accomplishment. Make sure to include the produce from your garden in your regular diet. Learning about plants that grow throughout the year using permaculture and other methods allows gardeners to have something to tend to regardless of season.
  • Eat meals more frequently – Research shows that eating more meals each day can increase the body’s metabolism rate. Therefore, instead of the old three square meals a day you might want to consider four or five smaller meals a day instead. Many people actually consumer less when they include regular snacks in the daily diet. The fasting between meals often leads to overeating when mealtime comes around.
  • Do not forget about rest – In addition to exercise and diet, rest is an important factor in maintaining fitness. One way that people get burned out quickly is when they fail to rest the body properly giving it time and energy to heal in between workouts. Not resting properly while exercising can also lead to injury. For example, when weight training; make sure to let the body rest properly between sets to avoid injuries to ligaments, tendons, muscle and cartilage.
  • Choose outdoor activities for fitness – If you prefer to combine fitness with your other regular pursuits, choose those activites that naturally provide exercise like swimming, skiing, hiking and bicycling. In this way, you can have fun while keeping the body in shape. Travelers might want to consider packages that include camping, trekking and similar physical activities rather those in which you spend more time with sedentary pursuits.