5 steps to keeping fit as a fiddle in your fifties

It is, of course, important to stay fit and healthy at all times and at any age but, never more so than during the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Bluebird Care Coventry knows only too well that, at the moment, a lot of people are self-isolating and, many more remain anxious about venturing outdoors - particularly those within vulnerable categories, such as the over fifties. 

Thankfully, you don’t need to visit a leisure centre or gym or, even go outdoors, in order to stay fit. The following is our guide to super-sizing your physical and mental wellbeing at home:

Fitness first steps

They say that the first step is always the hardest. This can be very much the case when it comes to starting a new fitness regime.  In fact, even fitness enthusiasts have the odd day when it all seems like too much hard work. 

The great news is that, by reading this article, you’ve already taken that important first step. It can be really hard to motivate yourself to start exercising, so why not enlist the help of a friend or family member? Not only will this help to kick start your fitness routine but they may even decide to join you so that you can keep each other on the right track.

So let’s get cracking with those 5 steps to approaching fitness when you’re over 50:

1. Fitness should be fun

One of the biggest mistakes that fitness newbies make is to assume that getting fit means doing lots of repetitive and boring exercises or jogging around the same old streets every day.  This is far from the case; exercise can take a number of forms including walking while listening to music, taking up a fun sport or, even dancing.

Anything that gets you moving is great for your mind, body and soul.  Depending on your level of mobility, exercise doesn’t have to mean a regimented routine on a strict basis.  Exercise can be as simple as walking the dog, doing light gardening and, even walking up and down stairs a few times a day.

2. Worth the weight

Light weight training has become extremely popular with the over 50s over the last few years.  Weight training offers a number of health benefits including increased stamina and muscle tone.  This is ideal for those who prefer to exercise at home and, weight lifting equipment can often be bought inexpensively on sites such as eBay.

3. Workout on the web

When it comes to finding a workout that suits you, the internet is a great source of inspiration.  Just a quick look online will show you that there are endless resources at your disposal from simple workouts to yoga, Pilates and dance-based exercises, as well as more advanced High Intensity Interval Training Sessions (HIIT).

So, whatever your age or fitness level, you’ll find a workout that works for you. 

Why not take a look at some of these videos for a bit of inspiration?

Exercise at home for the over 50s by www.generationgames.org.uk

The Body Coach’s Selection of Videos ‘Home Workouts for Seniors’

The Body Coach’s Selection of Videos ‘Beginner Workouts’

British Heart Foundation – 10-minute living room workout

A selection of videos by SilverSneakers designed for adults 65+

Yoga For Seniors with Adriene

The NHS Fitness Studio

4. Changing gear

Although it’s great to find a form of fitness that you enjoy, it’s easy to get bored. Give your exercise regimen the best shot by regularly changing your activities.

A good rule of thumb is to rotate the following activities: aerobic exercise, strength activities and stretching exercises. By regularly changing activities, you can avoid your workout becoming boring - which is usually a major factor in people abandoning their exercise routines.

The NHS website recommends that adults do at least 2 ½ hours of moderate exercise every week or 1 ¼ hours of more intense activity.  The site also advises against long periods of no movement at all, for example, when working at your desk.

If you’re unaccustomed to exercising, it’s important to begin slowly.  Exercise is not a competition and you should always work at a pace which is comfortable for you.

Once you’ve made exercise part of your regular routine, you’ll find that you’re able to do more.  You can gradually switch up your workout by:

  • Increasing the time you spend exercising
  • Using heavier weights
  • Adding a form of resistance into the mix
  • Increasing your exercise speed
  • Increasing the number of repetitions of a particular exercise

5. Time to rest

Once you start to enjoy your workouts, it’s easy to overdo it.  Rest and self-care is just as important as exercise and, so, it’s important to take regular breaks.  It's a good idea to have a day or two without exercise every week.  If you feel pain or discomfort while exercising, you should also take a break. 

Exercise and self-care can be hugely beneficial and can result in:

  • Better quality sleep
  • Improved mobility
  • Better mental health
  • Improved overall health

Welcome to the new you

While the advice in this article is tried and tested, it’s designed as a guide only. Should you have any concerns, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning to exercise.

How to find the right care for you or your relative

1. Find your local office

Bluebird Care delivers care from locally based offices, find yours to start your care journey today.

2. Get in touch with us

Fill in our call back form or give us a call to find out how we can help you.

3. Assessment

We’ll come out to you to find out what you or your loved one needs to help stay independent at home.

4. Care team chosen & care starts

You'll be cared for by our specially trained team to support you to remain at home for as long as possible.

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