Overcoming the barrier of starting is half the battle
Being active in your 50s is crucial to maintaining physical and mental health, but if exercise doesn’t feature into your daily routine getting started can be daunting. It feels like every other week there’s a new fitness fad or diet and getting started can feel like… a lot.
Certain practices look really complicated and initially gyms can be intimidating.
Thankfully, the essence of exercise has remained the same for decades so if you keep it simple and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by gimmicky extras, you’ll find the activities that are right for you!
Start slowly – there’s no need to rush into everything at once. Focus on starting one thing at a time to build your strength and endurance. Gradually you’ll then find yourself loving the healthy habit of an exercise routine!
The quickest way to put yourself out of action for longer is not to warm up properly before exercising – warmups increase blood flow to the muscles and prevent injury. They only need to be around 10 minutes and are simple enough to do.
Take a walk
No gyms, no equipment, no awkward choreography to trip you up – just a simple activity that only requires a good set of trainers. Start with 10 minutes a couple of days a week and extend the time a bit each week.
Strength training is a must to build muscle, but you don’t have to lift heavy. If the weight section at the gym is too crowded, you can just as easily workout from home. If you don’t have dumbbells online or get creative with DIY equipment.
Hold a plank
Not anybody’s favorite – name one person who loves them – but this exercise is a great way to strengthen your core and only requires your body weight. One size does not fit all and there is a plank position out there to suit your strength and fitness levels.
Pop a squat
Squats are great when it comes to improving posture as well as strengthening the muscles around your hips and knees – hello greater range of motion! You can simply start and add weights as you get stronger.
Get in the kitchen
That saying “you are what you eat” is true for a reason. The better-quality food you take in, the better your overall condition. Pack as many plants into your diet as possible to feed your muscles and ensure you feel your best.
A little at a time
If the thought of doing a whole workout seems like a huge ask, you’ll get the same benefit from incorporating shorter activities throughout the day. Taking the stairs, walking a bit faster to your destination, or doing a few bicep curls with your shopping bags all add up.
Take a break
Finally, quality rest is just as important as being active. Don’t wait until you’re injured or exhausted – proper rest allows your body to recover so you can continue to build muscle and burn fat, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Remember, fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time finding what works for you, listen to your body and enjoy the process of adopting a healthier way of life. Your future self will thank you.
Healthy Living is a frequently updated content section brought to you by the Saudi Sports for All Federation. In the spirit of supporting our #HealthyActiveCommunity, we’re sharing tips around wellness, physical activity and more!