Workout Programs for Men over 50
There’s the saying, “aging is just another word for living.” But what about when you start to feel the aches and pains of growing older? One of the best ways to promote a healthy body and mind as we age is to stay physically active.
But what does that look like for men as they age?
Stay Active with an Exercise Program
An exercise regimen for you as an older man will look different than it did when you were younger and more agile. For one thing, you have different reasons to stay active now.
A workout routine for older adults can undoubtedly help you lose weight and maintain a trim waist, but it’s not all about bulking up.
We also want to think about heart health and reducing inflammation and pain in the body.
The best workout program for 50-year-old men will increase circulation and breath control and build muscles for strength and stability. All of this will help you get or stay fit in midlife so you can live your life to the fullest.
As we age, we tend to move less, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Find a simple routine that is easy to follow and works with your lifestyle.
Try incorporating a pastime or hobby with an activity like photography and walking (or hiking) or choose one that combines an activity and an interest like geocaching for instance.
Find the Right Workout Routine for You
You can do specific things to get fit, even if you don’t have a lot of time or resources. Studies show that moving your body for only 30 minutes a day has amazing health benefits, including:
- Increase joint lubrication
- Prevent bone and muscle loss
- Reduce pain caused by chronic health conditions
- Increase stamina
- Increase blood circulation and reduce hypertension
- Relieve pain and swelling of the joints associated with arthritis
If you are creating an exercise routine for the first time, start slowly and don’t overdo it. For example, you may want to start moving for 5 to 10 minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes.
Talk to your doctor anytime you begin a new exercise routine. Since they know your health history, they might have some insight into what kind of exercises are best for you.
But what is the best workout program for 50-year-old men? Don’t let the intimidation of the unknown keep you from improving your health as you age. Use my recommendations to start building your workout routine!
Start with Cardio
Start with cardiovascular exercises when you’re putting together a personal workout routine for yourself. There are several options depending on your needs and preferences. You can do 30 minutes 5 times a week of aerobic activities a day for amazing health benefits.
My recommendation? Take a brisk walk outdoors. Walk at a pace that increases your heart rate and breathing. You should still be able to hold a conversation without losing your breath.
Get outside if you can. Breathe in the fresh air and look across the horizon. Take the grandkids along or your spouse. A brisk walk outdoors has been shown to increase mood and reduce depression, which in turn can hurt your heart and brain health.
Walking is the easiest and simplest way to get in cardio to lose weight and maintain a healthy workout routine. If you have joint pain, try an elliptical machine for lower impact movement.
Are 30 minutes too much for you? Don’t give up! Just 10 minutes of physical activity a day can improve your physical health. If it gets you moving, that’s great. But know that more movement reduces health risks and increases weight loss for those looking for that benefit.
Strength Training Is Key
For the best workout program for 50-year-old men, weight training is essential. Studies show that including strength training just twice a week can improve cardiovascular function and build muscle and impact weight loss.
When you’re adding weight training to your routine, don’t overcomplicate things. Aim to strength train 2 to 3 times a week. Make sure to work out both your upper and lower body.
To start your routine, try these exercises at home that focus on larger muscle groups:
Try wall push-ups, a great upper body exercise for beginners. Choose it for a great twist on the traditional push-up that’s gentle on joints and undeveloped muscles.
- Start by facing a wall, at an arm’s-length distance away.
- Tightening your core, place your palms flat on the wall, shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your chin parallel with the floor, lean your chest towards the wall.
- Bend your arms, trying to reach a 90-degree angle. Pause and breathe.
- Engaging your chest muscles, press into your palms to straighten your arms.
- Return to your starting position. Work towards 10 repetitions.
Do this tried-and-true exercise that’s great for beginners and pros alike. It’s simple and effective at working a large group of lower body muscles.
- Stand with your feet a little more than your hips distance apart, pointing your toes forward.
- Focus your weight on your heels and keep your toes flat.
- Tightening your core and keeping your chin parallel with the floor, bend your knees.
- Extend your arms out in front of you for balance.
- Keeping your knees behind your toes, try to reach a 90-degree angle, like you are sitting with an invisible chair.
- Pause and breathe, keeping your muscles tight.
- Pushing through your heels, return to standing with your arms at your sides. Work up to 10 repetitions.
A suggestion for those new to weight training: bodyweight exercises and free weights (like with dumbbells) rely on stabilizing muscles that may be underdeveloped in older adults at first.
Dumbbell exercises can be added to your routine when you get stronger and need extra resistance.
If you have access to a gym, try weight machines. They do the work for those stabilizing muscles that need support. You’ll still build muscle, but with the support of the machine.
The goal here, though, is to develop those small stabilizing muscles as these are the key to improving everyday functional activities.
Include stretching and balancing exercises in your workout routines for older adults. Stretching has been shown to improve flexibility, posture, and circulation. In addition, it can reduce pain and inflammation, which is especially important for those with conditions like arthritis.
Falling is a common cause of injury in older people. Stay active by including gentle movement exercises that will increase your flexibility and center of balance. Don’t let fear of falling keep you from moving.
I recommend yoga or tai chi as a gentle, mood-boosting choice for building strength, agility, and balance. You can do it at home or in a group. This is a great way to get out and meet like-minded people. Do as little as 30 minutes a day for great health benefits.
Stay Active with an Exercise Routine
The best workout program for 50-year-old men should include cardio, weight training, and stretching and balancing exercises. As older adults, we have things to do.
We have to keep up with grandkids, jobs, passions, projects, sports, and friends. We want to live well!
Add to the quality of your life a workout routine that will help you keep up. It should be easy to follow. It shouldn’t take up all your time.
Include simple movements like the ones I suggested. Just show up every day and see the investment in your health pay off.
For more on life after 50, you might like this. https://midlifehacks.com/life-after-50/