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Best Exercises For Over 50s

I often get asked questions like this ‘what is the best exercise for… age group’ or ‘what is the best exercise for… body part’ or ‘what is the best exercise for… medical condition’. If you have Googled any of these questions I understand why, but you are far more than just your age, body part, gender of medical condition. 

It is very much like asking ‘what is the best car for the over 50’s’. It depends so much on the individual it is impossible to answer. If you read any of the articles it will tell you to do exactly the same thing as it recommends for people in their 30’s and 40’s, just with a slightly patronising 'start with light weights and be careful!' 

If you want to know what is the best exercise for you then you need to start off by looking at you. 

I am almost 50 years old and I have worked in gyms and worked out all of my life, I can survive brutal spinning classes and weight sessions that would finish off the average 25 year old. It is not about age and it certainly isn’t about chronological age. 

I have covered fitness age in previous blogs, but just to recap, it is a measure of your age based on various fitness metrics like flexibility and leg strength. This is a far better indicator than chronological age when it comes to longevity. The question you should be asking it what is the best workout for me. 

If like me you are strong and have good cardiovascular fitness, turning 50 probably isn’t going to change the type of workouts you do. Listen to your body, concentrate on good form and adapt slowly to slight reductions in strength and fitness as you age. There is no magic workout routine for over 50’s, just do what you always did. If it ain't broke, don’t fix it. 

If you are 50 years old and you are new to exercise, then my advice is the same as I would give to anyone beginning a new regime. Seek advice from your doctor, make sure there are no health concerns that might be made worse by exercise. If you have the all clear then do your homework. If you can, get a personal trainer to work with or at least create a routine for you. If that is not an option then use the internet. 

Start slowly, don’t destroy yourself on the first workout. Concentrate on form, focus on the mind body connection. Strive to get better. Run a little bit faster or further over time, increase your weights in small manageable increments. Eat well and follow a balanced diet. Remember you might not be special but you are unique! 

There is no one size fits all work out for any two people, so to try and suggest there is a workout that suits an entire age bracket is nonsense. You are not a number! Unless you are 007, who wouldn’t want to be 007 :)