5 Fitness Habits To Avoid After 50 – The older we get the more we realize that exercise is essential for maintaining good health as we age. However, not all exercise routines are equally beneficial. Especially as we get older. Some types of exercise are more effective than others when it comes to maximizing our health-span, longevity, and independence. So, today, we’ll explore five of the worst exercise habits that can potentially harm your body after 50, and we’ll discuss how to avoid them.
Research shows that proper exercise programs, particularly resistance training, can help reduce or even reverse some common effects of aging, such as loss of muscle mass, bone density, balance, and mobility. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to your exercise habits to delay or prevent these issues throughout your lifespan. However, even if you can’t follow these recommendations for any reason, you should still try to exercise in some form.
Avoiding the weight room
One common mistake that many people make is avoiding the weight room. Lifting weights is a crucial part of any fitness program designed to slow or reverse the aging process. It’s essential to lift weights that are challenging for a low number of repetitions, and they should feel heavy relative to your current strength. We recommend that people over 50 perform sets of six to 12 repetitions using a weight that leaves one to repetitions “in the tank” after the first set.
5 Fitness Habits To Avoid After 50
Skipping mobility work
Another mistake that people make is skipping mobility work. Mobility is a vital component of reducing injury and ensuring that your joints maintain a normal, functional range of motion. Mobility exercises can include activities like yoga, massage, foam rolling, stretching, and any other activities that incorporate some form of stretching or elongation of the muscles. Active forms of stretching, such as yoga, are usually better than passive stretching, but both have benefits. We recommend incorporating 30 to 60 minutes of mobility activities three times per week in conjunction with your weight training for maximum benefits.
Focusing too much on isolation exercises
Focusing too much on isolation movements is another mistake that many people make. Many clients focus on isolation exercises like biceps curls, triceps extensions, and leg extensions, which have a place in training, but the focus should be on compound movements that load multiple muscles and joints. Weighted movements like squats or deadlift variations that load the spine vertically provide the most benefit in terms of bones, muscle, and performance improvements.
Only walking on stable surfaces
Only walking on stable surfaces is another common mistake that can harm your body after 50. While walking is an excellent addition to weight and mobility training, if you only walk on paved surfaces, you’re missing out on some significant benefits. Walking on uneven surfaces such as sand, trails, rocky terrain, and other unpaved surfaces helps improve your balance and ankle strength while reducing the impact on your joints.
Skipping exercise altogether
Finally, the absolute worst thing you can do is skip exercise altogether. Even if you can’t follow the above recommendations, doing anything is better than doing nothing. Short walks, cardio machines, taking the stairs, and other activities are still worth shooting for, even if weight training, yoga, and other methods are off the table. Take a walk and do some stretches at the very minimum. Your body will thank you now and later.
Remember, exercise is crucial for maintaining good health as we age, and it’s essential to pay attention to our exercise habits to delay or prevent common effects of aging. Avoiding the weight room, skipping mobility work, focusing too much on isolation movements, only walking on stable surfaces, and skipping exercise altogether are some of the worst exercise habits that can harm your body after 50. By following the above recommendations, you can maximize your health-span, longevity, and independence, and enjoy the multitude of benefits that exercise has to offer when properly programmed.
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