Men over 50 don’t have to let health problems, old injuries, or aging prevent them from being healthy. Regular exercise is recommended by doctors to help men over 50 lower their risk of serious illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Weight-bearing exercise can also strengthen bones, prevent osteoporosis, and keep muscle mass from deteriorating. By getting smart and getting active men over 50 can improve their health and continue living the way they want as they age.
The Science Behind Exercise and Longevity
Studies show that the best thing men over 50 can do to extend their health and longevity is to exercise regularly. Making exercise a daily part of a healthy lifestyle can offset the problems that come with aging like a slow metabolism, cognitive decline, low energy levels, and stress. Combining cardiovascular exercise and strength training is a powerful way for men over 50 to combat the effects of aging on the body.
Combatting age-related cognitive decline can make it possible for men over 50 to live longer and live independently as long as they want to. Since there is no cure for diseases that involve cognitive decline like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s doing everything possible to prevent them, including exercising regularly, should be a priority for all men over 50.
Tailoring Exercise for Men Over 50
Men over 50 usually have a few things slowing them down when it comes to exercise. A lifetime of playing sports, exercising, and hard work can leave men with aching or damaged joints, old sprains and injuries, and pain throughout the body. Men who are struggling with pain or medical conditions need to tailor their exercise to make sure they aren’t doing more harm than good.
Men who are just starting out on a fitness journey should start with light exercise for short periods of time and build up the intensity and duration of their workouts as they become more comfortable exercising. It’s a very smart idea to work with a professional trainer at first. A skilled trainer can create a custom workout program for men over 50 that will combine cardio and other types of exercise to help men meet their fitness goals.
When men over 50 start a new exercise regimen they should always consult a healthcare professional and a professional trainer first. It’s important for a doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to start a regular exercise routine. It’s a good idea to work with a trainer so that you can get professional advice on what exercises will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Men also should try some functional fitness exercises. Functional fitness uses exercises that mimic everyday movements to improve a man’s ability to do the things they need to do every day. As men get older functional fitness can help them improve their balance and stability while also helping them prevent falls.
Top Exercises for Longevity
The best exercises men can do for better longevity are:
Exercise 1: Cardiovascular Conditioning
It’s a myth that cardio exercise has to be intense or difficult to be effective. Even light cardiovascular exercise can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. For men over 50 with joint problems or old injuries that make cardio exercise difficult low-impact cardio exercises like walking, riding a fan bike, or swimming are excellent for improving health.
Exercise 2: Strength Training
The best thing that men can do to keep their bones and muscles strong is strength training. Regularly engaging in strength training that uses a combination of body weight, weights, and resistance bands can significantly improve a man’s bone density and strength. Exercises like deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, and carries will help men stay strong as they get older. Men over 50 who have a workout routine that incorporates cardio and strength training can boost their metabolism and their energy levels.
Exercise 3: Flexibility and Balance
Too many men over 50 don’t think about improving their flexibility and balance through exercise as they get older. Improving flexibility and balance helps men remain mobile as they get older. And it can significantly decrease the risk of falling as men get older. Men should be stretching before cardio workouts. They may also want to try exercises like yoga or Tai Chi which are fantastic for isolating and gently stretching different muscle groups.
Exercise 4: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT training is often called the most effective cardio workout. It can be a challenge, but there are big health benefits for men who stick with it. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It’s a type of cardio exercise that involves starting out with gentle movement, then speeding that movement up to make the heart rate increase for a set amount of time, and then reducing the intensity again. That cycle is repeated a number of times as recommended by a trainer or instructor.
HIIT training is a fantastic way to burn calories and improve heart health without putting a lot of stress or impact on the joints. HIIT training can be done even by men who are just starting out on a fitness journey, although they should talk to their doctor first.
Exercise 5: Core Strengthening
Don’t forget about the core! Core strength is essential for men over 50. A strong core is necessary for freedom of movement as men get older. Having good core strength can prevent back pain, help retain mobility, and improve overall stability.
Core-strengthening exercises like planks, bridges, and rotational movements should be part of any man’s workout, especially if they are over 50.
Creating a Sustainable Exercise Routine
There are a lot of men who start out strong with an exercise routine but just give up after a few days or a week. It can take a lot of energy and effort to commit to regular exercise. The results are worth it, but building a sustainable exercise routine can be tough.
A great way for men over 50 to make exercise a daily habit is to work out at the same time each day. Or they may need to break a workout into a morning and evening workout. But exercising at the same time each day makes it easier for men to make exercise part of their daily routine.
Exercising daily and using a combination of cardio exercise, flexibility exercises, and strength training is the best way for men over 50 to stay healthy, happy, and strong as they get older.
*The information provided in the article is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice. Readers should always consult their healthcare providers before starting any new exercise program.
- Fiatarone, M. A., O’Neill, E. F., Ryan, N. D., Clements, K. M., Solares, G. R., Nelson, M. E., Roberts, S. B., Kehayias, J. J., Lipsitz, L. A., & Evans, W. J. (1994). Exercise training and nutritional supplementation for physical frailty in very elderly people. New England Journal of Medicine, 330(25), 1769–1775. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejm199406233302501
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