Finding it Difficult to Build Health and Fitness Habits Over 50?
I believe I know some things about you and your current situation. If you are like many of us over 40 or over 50 still working hard to get after it, it can be difficult when life's commitments and responsibilities get in the way of training time.
Whether you are coming off of decades of consistent training and still pushing advanced-level fitness numbers or you have spent that time focusing on work and family - neglecting your own health, the struggle is still there. Struggling with medical health screening numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure), stress mitigation, weight, and physical performance is a constant battle no matter where you are on the spectrum of fitness. In fact, the Mastery of Recovery is needed for all levels of fitness as it goes hand in hand with our own longevity.
Tell Me If This Is You?
Are you an older guy over 40 who needs to get back in shape for better health/wellness and who dreams of becoming fit and healthy and able to enjoy working out and physical activities?
Currently, you're focused on losing weight and getting healthy to enjoy life again and trying to add mobility and flexibility to reduce pain and discomfort, right?
If you’re over 50 (or on track to have not exercised in decades) and trying to get back in shape, you’re probably familiar with the mistake of not putting fitness time into your daily schedule. Train to become an asset again!
"If it is not in the schedule IT does not exist."
Well, physical activity has been proven to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, improve mental health, and even extend your life. So, making sure to include fitness in your daily routine is essential for staying healthy and well.
Here are 3 reasons why older guys over 40, 50 and beyond who need to get back in shape often make this mistake:
1. They don’t have enough time: Many older adults have busy schedules and struggle to find enough time to fit in a workout. But define busy as hours in front of the TV or other screens can be a time to walk around for a few minutes. Just 10-15 minute walks after meals can be just as helpful as taking an hour out of your day to train as well. How much can you accumulate in a day?
2. They are overwhelmed: Starting a new fitness routine can be intimidating, leading some to avoid it altogether. No need to start training for a marathon or join a gym out of the starting blocks. Walking and stretching for 10-minute segments throughout the day is not only a great way to start but also a great stress reliever for those who already train hard.
3. They think they’re too old: Some people think that once they hit a certain age, they should stop working out and focus on other activities. Look, I am an Old Guy (over 50). Compared to the 20-year-olds I coach, I am ancient. But the 60-70-80-year-olds who stop by to say hi call me a kid. While we are training hard, these guys are doing their thing and they all give me hope for those future decades as they are still getting after it with walking, biking, calisthenics, swimming, yoga stretches, and pickleball.
Try This Starter Plan
Rather than continuing to avoid fitness altogether, there are a few things you can do to get yourself back in shape.
First, set aside even just a few minutes each day for physical activity. This can be anything from a brisk walk around the block to working in the yard.
Second, find a fitness buddy to help keep you motivated. Having someone to work out with can make the process a lot more fun and enjoyable.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun! Working out doesn’t have to be a chore — find an activity that you enjoy, like walking, gardening, biking, swimming, or dancing.
If you’re over 50 and trying to get back in shape, don’t make the mistake of not putting fitness time into your daily schedule. Even if it’s just a walk and a stretch, make sure to include physical activity for better health and wellness. We all have that lazy voice inside our head...shut it down and YOU be the voice.
Consequences of Not putting fitness time into the daily schedule
If you make the mistake of not putting fitness time into your daily schedule, you're missing out on so much. The consequences of not carving out just a little time for exercise are much worse than you think. Not only will you miss out on the physical health benefits, like weight loss and increased energy, but you'll also miss out on the mental health benefits, like improved focus, reduced stress, and even relief from depression and anxiety. And, if you don't take care of your body now, the consequences may be dire down the road with more chronic illnesses to deal with (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, even joint replacement, etc). Not to mention, a lack of physical activity can lead to a decrease in mobility, making it more difficult to do everyday activities as you age. Don't let your health slip away - make fitness a priority in your life!
Typical Solutions Older Guys Over 40 Who Need To Get Back In Shape For Better Health / Wellness Try That Don't Work
Most older guys over 40 who need to get back in shape for better health and wellness try to fix the mistake of not putting fitness time into their daily schedule by reducing their caloric intake but NOT adding physical activity. Reducing caloric intake does not necessarily mean healthier eating habits; instead, it could lead to nutrient-deficient diets. Simply eating smaller portions will work ONLY if you are already eating healthful and nutritious foods. Here are some ideas for eating foods for energy as you can also have more energy to move more.
#1 Way To Avoid This Mistake
The #1 way older guys over 40, 50, and beyond who need to get back in shape for better health and wellness can avoid the mistake is to make fitness time a priority with consistency so you can actually build a habit. During this period of inspiration and motivation (first few weeks of starting), focus on building new habits / getting rid of old/bad habits.
Once you have the habit, you are now relying on discipline to keep moving even when you do not feel like it at first. It's the absolute best option because it allows you to lose weight and get healthy to enjoy life again. To put this into immediate action, here are four practical examples of how to make fitness time a priority:
1. Set up a designated time for physical activity every day. For instance, make it a habit to go for a 30-minute walk after dinner each evening.
2. Put physical activity into your daily schedule and treat it as an important meeting that you can't miss. This could be anything from a morning yoga session to a lunchtime jog.
3. Make physical activity fun. Whether you join an online fitness class or play a game of tennis with a friend, find an activity that you enjoy.
4. Make fitness a social event. Invite friends and family to join you on your walks or to the gym. Not only will it help motivate you, but you'll also be spending quality time together.
By putting fitness time a priority, you can avoid the mistake of skipping it altogether. This is the #1 way to get back in shape for better health and wellness. It's time to make fitness a priority!
How To Fix The Mistake If You've Already Made It and How To Prevent From Making It In The Future
Not to worry – even if you're over 40, it's never too late to get back on track and reclaim your health and wellness. In fact, my business partner had a heart attack in his early 40s and is now over 50 and in the best shape of his life. He started out by walking up and down his driveway a few times each day. Now he lifts weights, can do calisthenics like a military recruit on a PT test, and even run and ruck.
Here are some practical steps to take to get you started:
1. Start small - Think Big. You don’t have to commit to long, grueling workouts right away. Start with a short, 10-minute walk each day and then gradually increase the length as you get more comfortable with exercising. These are the building blocks of you changing your life and creating a foundation of fitness to build upon.
2. Find activities you enjoy. Working out doesn’t have to be a chore. Find activities that you enjoy – from going for a swim, to playing basketball with friends, to taking dance classes – and make them part of your routine.
3. Eat a healthy diet. Eating well is just as important as exercising when it comes to getting fit. Choose nutrient-rich, whole foods, and make sure you’re getting enough fruits and vegetables every day. Drink water instead of high-sugar sodas/juices.
4. Don’t forget to rest. Rest and recovery days are essential for your body to heal and repair itself. So make sure you take a day off from exercise every week and get plenty of sleep every night.
5. Find ways to stay motivated and build discipline. Set milestones, reward yourself for progress, or create a playlist to help you stay energized. These are motivational but when you start to exercise even when you do not feel like it - you are now in the discipline phase. No one is 100% motivated to exercise each day - I am not. But after 10 minutes of giving it a chance, you are now able to finish what you did not feel like starting a few minutes earlier.
6. Don't be too hard on yourself. Even a few minutes of activity is better than nothing.
7. Don't give up. It's normal to have setbacks, but remember that every step counts.
By following these steps, you can lose weight and get healthy to enjoy life again no matter what your age. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start having fun with fitness!
Tools To Get The Job Done Faster, Better, Easier
These programs are proven for the 40+ age group but they require a few new rules if you want to stay focused and able to train (regardless of where you are on the fitness spectrum).
I'd like to invite you to check out my critical article, Fitness over 40, 50, and into the 60s and beyond, at StewSmithFitness.com OVER 40 Section. so you can not only have more energy to be a better spouse and parent, and more productiveat work (without worrying whether you're on the right path or not).
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Don't think you need a mobility day? How about a recovery day or a technique day? Consider this.
Check out the Stew Smith Fitness Store for more information on what we have available.
Good luck and keep the questions coming.
Stew Smith CSCS - If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
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