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CREATING AN EFFECTIVE FITNESS SCHEDULE FOR PEOPLE IN THEIR FIFTIES

Mya Care Blogger 21 Sep 2023
CREATING AN EFFECTIVE FITNESS SCHEDULE FOR PEOPLE IN THEIR FIFTIES

In our fast-paced world, the importance of exercise cannot be overstated, especially for people in their 50s. This critical stage of life calls for a dedicated approach to fitness, which can be achieved through a well-structured fitness schedule. In this guide, we will explore the benefits of such a schedule and how it can significantly improve the well-being of individuals in their 50s.

As people enter their 50s, their bodies undergo various physiological changes. Metabolism tends to slow down, muscle mass may decrease, and joint flexibility can decrease. Additionally, the risk of chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis can increase. This is why exercise becomes even more critical during this stage of life.

A well-designed fitness schedule can help address these challenges. It provides structure, consistency, and a roadmap for staying active and healthy. Moreover, it can enhance both physical and mental well-being, promoting longevity and a better quality of life.

Assessing your Fitness Level

With so many fitness options available, it is challenging to know where to start. Evaluating your current physical condition to determine your own level of fitness is the initial step.

Some of the ways you can assess your fitness level are listed below:

  • Fitness trackers: There are various mobile applications and gadgets that can help track your fitness level. Mobile phones and smartwatches can track your steps, heart rate, time spent exercising, and other parameters.
  • Fitness tests: This involves a graded exercise that measures heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen consumption during exercise through tests like the Bruce protocol test and the 12-minute run/walk test. A healthcare provider can perform these tests for you.
  • Body composition assessment: Contact your healthcare provider if you want a thorough assessment of your body composition. Measurement of body fat percentage, muscle mass, and bone density through a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan is used to determine your body composition and fitness level.
  • Muscular strength and endurance assessment: You can see the number of times you can do push-ups and sit-ups to assess your upper and lower body endurance. The one-repetition maximum (1RM) test assesses your weight-lifting capacity.
  • Posture and movement assessment: Your healthcare provider can assess your gait, movement pattern, and overall fitness level.

Setting Fitness Goals

It is important to set fitness goals so that you get the desired outcome. Your fitness goals should be achievable and realistic. They help keep you on track and make it easier to progress. Setting fitness goals will keep you accountable and help you stick to a timeline.

Here are some tips that can help you to set your fitness goals:

  • Pinpoint your ultimate fitness goal: Write down your fitness goal. Make sure your goal is achievable. It should reflect your own aspirations and not the expectations of others.
  • Make your goals specific: Setting vague goals can make it hard to achieve them.
  • Set small mini-goals: Make short-term mini-goals and break down your goal into achievable and manageable steps. For example, if you want to lose 10 kilograms, then a realistic weight loss of 1 kg every 2 to 4 weeks can help you get to your long-term goal over a period of time.
  • Regular monitoring of progress: Your progress is measurable in concrete ways. Tips for this include keeping track of your weight, repetitions of exercises, the weights you use, and the time you spend exercising.
  • Adaptation to changing circumstances: Make some space to adjust your goals to adapt to emergencies, holidays, and other changing circumstances.
  • Moderation: Keep yourself challenged, but do not set goals that leave you exhausted. Celebrate small achievements and keep working on your goals.

Choosing the Right Type of Exercise

As we age, the importance of choosing the right types of exercise becomes increasingly evident. In our 50s, our bodies undergo changes that require a thoughtful approach to fitness. It is not just about staying active; it is also about selecting exercises that address the specific needs and challenges that arise during this stage of life.

Cardiovascular exercises

Cardiorespiratory fitness has been established as a significant prognostic marker for older people. Cardiovascular exercises help to lower blood pressure and maintain a good lipid profile. They prevent diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes. They also promote remodeling of the heart to increase cardiac output and decrease arrhythmia.

Some exercises suited for people in their 50s include:

  • Low-intensity exercises: This includes exercises such as walking and swimming. Going on a slow walk or low-intensity swimming can improve your heart health.
  • Moderate-intensity exercises: Dancing, hiking, and cycling can be some good moderate-intensity exercises for people in their 50s.
  • High-intensity exercise: Elliptical machines for jogging and high-intensity interval training can be beneficial but need to be done without over-exertion.

Strength training

Strength training increases bone density, making the bone strong and decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. The main benefits include improving your ability to do everyday physical activities and also helping to manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, obesity, and various musculoskeletal issues.

Squats, pull-ups, push-ups, planks, and lunges are body-weight training exercises. Classic training tools such as dumbbells and barbells can be used for free-weight strength training. Resistance tubing and belts are alternatives. Do these exercises two to three times a week.

Flexibility Exercises

Older people need flexibility exercises to prevent joint pain and decreased range of motion. Flexibility exercises help to maintain mobility and also keep muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments healthy in older people. With a loss of flexibility, older individuals may be unable to do daily tasks like tying shoelaces or brushing their hair. They are prone to stumbling and injuring themselves.

After ensuring the proper equipment and space required, you can customize your stretching routine. Some exercises, such as the standing quadriceps stretch, seated knee-to-chest stretch, hamstring stretch, soleus stretch, shoulder stretch, overhead side stretch, and triceps stretch, are suitable for people in their 50s to avoid unnecessary difficulty from joint stiffness.

Creating a Personalized Fitness Schedule

Make your goals specific. It can be losing a certain amount of weight or gaining muscle in a particular area. Write this down or note it down on your mobile phone.

Determining the time you can dedicate to the fitness activity is also important. Consider the extra time involved in, before, and after the exercises. Account for your work, chores, and personal life. You can use a fitness schedule or time planning application to keep your schedule realistic and prevent overbooking your day.

Make sure your workout is balanced. Focus on exercise that complements each other throughout the week by targeting different muscles and body parts at an appropriate frequency.

Some things to consider when creating a fitness schedule include:

  • Personal health and medical history, which can impact your choice of exercise.
  • Types of exercises based on the muscle groups you want to focus on or the joints you want to work on.
  • Workout frequency.
  • Time of day that you prefer to exercise.
  • Adequate rest and recovery periods to avoid injury.
  • Regular monitoring and consultation with fitness instructors and healthcare professionals.

Staying Motivated

Lack of motivation: When you lack motivation, remind yourself why you started and consider the benefits of regular fitness activity with positive reinforcement and mindfulness. To stay motivated, you can work out with friends or hire a personal trainer.

Time constraints and inconsistent schedules: Prioritize your schedule and use time management techniques to get the best out of your busy schedule. Accommodate for unexpected changes in your schedule and ensure accountability.

Injury or health issues: These can be great challenges to staying motivated. Try to adjust your exercises to your current health condition. Listen to your body.

Lack of quick results: Patience is essential to focus on long-term progress. Accountability to your long-term goal is more important than immediate results.

Here are some ways in which you can stay motivated and accountable:

  • Write down and define your specific goals; revisit every month to evaluate your progress and what you want to change or improve.
  • Post the list of your fitness goals at a place where you will see it every day.
  • Set your milestones and celebrate them.
  • Maintain your fitness journal/note, and try mixing up your workouts to stay excited about exercising.
  • Consider signing up for group fitness activities to meet people on a similar fitness journey.
  • Surround yourself with positive and supportive people and have patience in your daily continuous efforts.
  • Stay informed and inspired through healthcare providers, instructors and reliable articles about fitness.

Safety Measures

Heavy exercises or incorrectly performed exercises can induce stress on the body. Incorrect alignment of the body makes our joints and tendons more prone to injury. You might have heard people complaining about joint pain after a workout, which can be simply prevented by certain safety measures. Safety and injury prevention during exercise are crucial. Tips to avoid injury during exercise:

  • Initial warm-ups: These help to increase the blood flow. Warming up can activate muscle fibers and mobilize joints so they are not exerted to sudden large forces or movements. Try light jogging and other low-intensity warm-ups to prepare for harder exercises.
  • Stretching: Stretching is essential to prevent injury to your tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Stretch the areas of your body you want to exercise to ensure proper form and prevent injuries.
  • Proper form and equipment: It is essential to adopt safety measures while doing exercises. Watch videos or consult experts to ensure proper form. Use suitable equipment and ensure that the equipment is well-maintained.
  • Recovery time: Ensure that you get enough recovery time for your body to heal. Putting stress on the body every day results in negative effects. Get proper sleep.

Conclusion

The road to better health and well-being for individuals in their 50s begins with the creation of a well-thought-out fitness schedule. Recognizing the importance of regular exercise as a means to combat the challenges that come with aging is the first step. With a fitness schedule in place, individuals can harness the myriad benefits, from improved cardiovascular health and increased stamina to enhanced mental resilience and a more active lifestyle.

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References:

  • Rutherford OM. Is there a role for exercise in the prevention of osteoporotic fractures? Br J Sports Med. 1999;33(6):378-86
  • Skelton DA, Mavroeidi A. Which strength and balance activities are safe and efficacious for individuals with specific challenges (osteoporosis, vertebral fractures, frailty, dementia)?: A Narrative review. J Frailty Sarcopenia Falls. 2018;3(2):85-104.
  • Ross R, Blair SN, Arena R, Church TS, Després JP, Franklin BA, et al. Importance of Assessing Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Clinical Practice: A Case for Fitness as a Clinical Vital Sign: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2016;134(24):653-699.

Disclaimer: Please note that Mya Care does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided is not intended to replace the care or advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Always consult your doctor for all diagnoses, treatments, and cures for any diseases or conditions, as well as before changing your healthcare regimen. Do not reproduce, copy, reformat, publish, distribute, upload, post, transmit, transfer in any manner or sell any of the materials in this blog without prior written permission from myacare.com.