Fitness is an essential element of health and longevity. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, enhances mood, and lowers the risk of developing many diseases. Could one reason it’s so hard to stick with fitness programs later in life be that the fitness trends are simply too difficult for older people to master? The answer is no. There are a lot of fun new fitness trends popping up that cater to people over 50. Some focus on bodybuilding while others emphasize cardio, but they all center around getting fit in as little time as possible without sacrificing quality or efficiency.

Exercise in Water

Water is a wonderful medium for exercise because it is so low impact. There is enough resistance to strengthen muscles, but not enough to cause injury or pain. Many people find water aerobics and aqua fitness classes to be particularly fun and enjoyable. If you are worried about the temperature of the water, there are plenty of resources available on how to choose the appropriate water temperature depending on the weather outside. Good options include heated pools and winterized pools if you are going in cooler months.

Gym Classes for Seniors

Many older adults are fearful of participating in group fitness classes or they don’t feel comfortable in a gym full of regulars. That doesn’t mean they can’t engage in gym classes, though. 

Try searching for an affordable gym for seniors in your area and look for classes designed with seniors in mind.

Bodyweight Exercises

For exercises that don’t require equipment, bodyweight exercises should be the focus of your workouts. Bodyweight exercises can be done indoors or out, at any time of day. The possibilities for exercise are endless. Use your imagination and come up with easy bodyweight exercise ideas like push-ups and pull-ups. You could also try jumping jacks, squat jumps, and lunges. If the idea of lifting weights makes you nauseous, you can perform bodyweight exercises that target the same muscles. Find free moves for biceps, triceps, and abdominal muscles on websites like self.com.

Strength Training

Strength training with free weights or resistance bands is a much better choice than cardio in terms of increasing muscle mass, strengthening bones, improving balance and mobility, and overall health benefits to your entire body. Strength training is also the key to getting a lean and strong physique.

Recumbent Bike

If you are looking for a low-impact cardio alternative to running or jogging, get a recumbent bike. Recumbent bikes place you in a semi-reclined position, so your joints don’t have to support as much weight, making them ideal for people with joint pain or injuries. These bikes allow you to do seated exercises like sit-ups and crunches while pedaling lightly. If you want to add variety, buy an exercise tracker that can count the calories you have burned while pedaling, along with other more intense exercises like jogging.

Hiking

Hiking is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors and get a great workout all at once. You can choose to go alone or with friends and family. A hike is also a great way to start your day because you can do it before work or even while walking the dog in the morning. Hiking burns calories, tones your muscles, strengthens your joints, boosts mood, and improves balance. With so many health benefits and so little time commitment, there’s no reason not to try hiking.

Yoga

Yoga is an excellent exercise for people over 50 because it helps them recover from injury or surgery, improve balance and flexibility, reduce stress, and increase energy levels. Many older people find it easier to do yoga poses that require more flexibility and balance than traditional yoga postures. Alternatively, older people can use props like blocks or a chair to help them learn poses they are not yet able to do on their own.

Aerobics

Finding an aerobics class that caters specifically to older adults is easy. Go online and type “aerobics classes for seniors” into the search bar. Once you get a list of workouts, you will notice that many of them offer a variety of options including class size, intensity level, music style, and duration of the workout.

Pelvic Exercises

These exercises are designed to help women and men alike strengthen the pelvic muscles and prevent or treat incontinence. The exercises are simple to do and can be done in the comfort of your home without a lot of equipment. To see if you are doing them correctly, check with your doctor or physical therapist before beginning any pelvic strengthening program.

Stretching

Studies have shown that stretching for 10 minutes a day can increase your muscle strength by up to 30%. Naturally, this means improved energy levels, weight loss, and an improvement in balance across the board. You don’t have to do yoga, there are plenty of stretching programs available online that you can try for free. 

Interval Training

Short and intense workouts can have so many benefits when it comes to fitness. Interval training is the ultimate solution for people who want to burn more calories in less time while improving muscle tone, cardiovascular health, and endurance. A 30-minute interval session can be more effective than a full hour at the gym.

Heart Rate Monitor and Step Counter

It’s common for people over 50 to get discouraged by exercise because they think their goals are too ambitious or that it takes too long to see results in terms of weight loss and overall fitness. Simply increasing the number of steps you take each day can be beneficial to your health. A heart rate monitor can help you figure out your target heart rate zone, while a pedometer/step counter will let you know how many steps you’re taking per day. With both tools and a push to get out of the house, it’s possible to fit in a workout almost anywhere.

If you are having trouble with motivation or want to make exercise easier to do, then try one of these tips. If you exercise regularly as part of a healthy lifestyle and enjoy it, then keep going.

The choice is yours. If you are getting the same amount of physical activity that would be beneficial to a younger person, there is no need to worry about not being able to keep up with the larger body mass ratio. The most important thing for anyone who is older than 50 and wants to stay fit is that they maintain an active life.