How to keep in shape over 50 (without eating like a rabbit!)

in Special Feature 28 July 2016

How to keep in shape over 50 (without eating like a rabbit!)

Grandma, Woman, Old, Senior, People, Grandmother. Take a moment to browse the web about keeping fit over 50 and you will come across all kinds of claims such as ‘I’m in my mid-50s and never been fitter!’. Are these claims as wild as we may think? When you hit the big 50, is it time to slow down?

Staying in shape over 50 is not just about exercise and diet – and no, there is no need to start substituting whole food groups for lettuce. Staying healthy is about mind, body and soul as well as avoiding what some may consider as being inevitable with advancing years.

Staying physically fit, for example, is one way of piling on excessive weight and avoiding incontinence, something that HARTMANN Direct know all about.

How do you stay in shape so that you too, enjoy your 50s, 60s and beyond in peak physical and emotional condition?

#1 Step up a gear
Just when you think you feel you should be taking life at a slower pace, along comes a piece of advice that suggests you actually do the opposite.

Many people plan their retirement and having time to enjoy yourself, kicking back and doing more things that you enjoy – other than working. If you are in this great position, then you need to start planning your retirement and getting yourself into shape now so that when the day arrives, you are fighting fit, ready to enjoy all your hobbies.

#2 Maintain brain activity
As we age, everything about us seems to start to slow down … if you let it. Staying in shape is not just about maintaining peak physical fitness; it is a combination of staying physically fit with an active brain.

Many people take on new challenges, from hiking mountains to other hobbies such as solving complex puzzles and so on. Remember that staying in shape is about keeping those grey cells active and ticking over.

#3 Choose a ‘retirement sport’
The danger of kicking back and relaxing is that we can spend all of our time doing it and before you know, procrastinating has become your retirement hobby.

You need to be aware of this and ready to fight retirement boredom - and that means choosing a ‘retirement sport’ now and getting into the swing of things. Maintaining your physical fitness gives you something to look forward to, as well as avoiding certain medical conditions that come with age, such as incontinence. These things are avoidable and rectifiable.

There are many options;

1. Outdoor swimming is a great way to enjoy the outdoors in summer. Gentle on the joints, swimming in the outdoors is invigorating. Stay safe and always have a spotter. It’s also free! Or opt for pool swimming instead.

2. Yoga is a gentle-as-you-like exercise that focuses on the body and mind. As well as taking classes, you can practice the poses at home or better still, in the open air breathing in the scent of nature.

3. Any other sport you’ve always wanted to have a go at! Some of the high impact sports may not be kind to your joints but you don’t have to be operating at Olympic standard.

#4 Get your diet and lifestyle sorted
We all know what we should be doing;

1. cutting down on processed foods

2. watching the salt and fat intake

3. eating 5 pieces of different coloured fruit and veg a day

4. You also need to make sure you are hydrated which means drinking water alongside tea and coffee etc.
5. You need to be reducing your intake of alcohol too

6. You should be cutting out sugary snacks and not relying on them to get you through the day

It’s all a question of balance but, if you kept a food diary for a week or two, you would be surprised at just how out-of-balance your diet is.

#5 Cardio-exercise is needed
Many years ago, the advice for getting and staying fit was to do exercise and perform it at a level that left you slightly breathless and perspiring slightly. That advice to a certain extent, has not changed.

So the next time you stroll to the bus stop, put a spurt on and walk a little faster. When you take the dog for a walk, have a section of the walk where you speed up or maybe have a little jog. 

Having a strong cardiovascular system, along with an active, healthy mind is great for stopping procrastination as well as other age-related conditions from taking hold, like avoiding incontinence and stiff joints.

As a leading supplier of incontinence products, HARTMANN Direct are aware of how easy it is to slip into habits that do nothing for our physical or emotional fitness. If anything, some life choices can wear us down. But, if incontinence is an issue, it can be managed with both exercise and high quality incontinence products. 

The British Wheel of Yoga