Though after you hit a certain age, you may be tempted to ease up on the amount of exercise that you partake in, getting sufficient exercise is integral to your health regardless of age. Instead of slowing down after you hit 50, you should look to make cardio a part of your lifestyle. The benefits of cardio after 50 are many and you aren’t limited to one type of exercise.
To get your fair share of cardio, you could go cycling, jogging, running, walking rowing, hiking or even elliptical training. It is considered an activity that increases breathing and heart rate. It is great for your cardiovascular health and brings with it a heap of health benefits which is sure to keep you looking and feeling young.
We will look to enlighten you on the various benefits of cardio for people over 50 and motivate you to put your running shoes on. Whether it is jogging, cycling or running, getting some cardio once you hit 50 could be the difference between you being healthy in the long run or having to use a walking stick.
Is Cardio Good After 50?
Cardio or aerobic exercise is a great way to stay healthy after you hit 50. It gets your heart rate up and pumps healthy blood to all parts of the body. It works to make you breathe harder which makes it easier for you to build endurance. Further to this, it is great for burning calories.
While strength or weight training directly works on your muscle strength and too can be a great addition to your exercise routine, cardio enables you to reap the benefits of a healthy cardiovascular system. It helps you improve your flexibility and prevent small injuries from hampering you. You are less likely to pull a muscle or have a sprained back and are more likely to stay healthy as you grow old.
Muscles burn more calories than fat and increasing muscle allows you to increase both bone and muscle strength. This prevents you from hurting yourself from a fall or even fractures that may happen during a fall.
With the risk of heart disease increasing after the age of 50, you need cardio in your life to ensure that you maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. A healthy heart goes a long way in ensuring that you live a long and healthy life.
It is recommended that adults of this age get about 150 minutes of moderate activity exercise per week. Or you can decide between 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. This isn’t hard to do when you consider the grand scale of things. For instance, I know of individuals who are over 50 who do a lot more cardio than this. The more cardio you do, the better off you will be.
Benefits of Cardio After 50
There are various noteworthy benefits of doing cardio after the age of 50. No matter what the intensity of your cardio is, you would benefit from it. The more cardio you do, the more endurance you will build and the more strength you would have.
Here is a list of 10 benefits of doing cardio after 50.
1. Better Sleep
It has been found through various studies conducted that cardio and regular aerobic exercise for a prolonged period of time can improve the quality of sleep and reduce the proneness to daytime sleepiness. It can be great for people suffering from insomnia and those who have trouble falling asleep.
You are more likely to fall asleep faster and sleep for longer. The quality of sleep is bettered by doing some cardio. Research has found that a regular exercise program can decrease the severity of sleep-disordered breathing conditions like obstructive sleep apnea.
Overall, if you would like better sleep, you should partake in some form of aerobic exercise. Be it jogging, cycling or walking, you would find yourself sleeping better.
2. Greater Mobility
Mobility is considered the ability to move freely and easily. With age, due to various sores and pain that may originate in various parts of the body, mobility starts to decrease. After the age of 50, you should be doing everything you can to improve your mobility.
Cardio is a great way to improve mobility. The stretching and muscle strengthening mechanism of cardio helps you improve mobility and make it easier for you to stretch your muscles without causing tears or damage.
Simply incorporating 30 minutes of cardio into your daily routine could drastically improve your overall health and better your mobility. Though many people after the age of 50 find it difficult to start doing any form of cardio, you can start small with exercises such as walking and slowly start jogging. You can also start with a short duration of about 10 minutes and break the 30 minutes into 3 segments.
3. More Flexibility
The fact that you are constantly moving your body makes it easier for your joints to move. Falling into a routine of cardio exercise enables you to get accustomed to the stretching mechanism of the workout, which enables you to build your flexibility.
Flexibility is an important thing to consider with age. As you age, your body becomes less flexible and you can suffer from a serious injury from a small fall. This is because your joints are simply not as flexible as they used to be.
Your balance will become better and you will find yourself less susceptible to falls. Even when you fall, due to the fact that cardio has helped you build your flexibility, you are less likely to actually hurt yourself.
4. Improved Brain Function
Dementia is a real risk with age and people over the age of 50 should be on the look out for signs that they may be leading towards the condition.
Cardio helps improve your brain function. This is because cardio helps stimulate the formation of new nerve cells and blood vessels in the brain. This results in an increase in the volume of the hippocampus which is the part of your brain that is associated with language.
Not just that, you stand to gain on improved memory and overall improved cognitive function. Memory is something that tends to weaken with age. Hence, when you incorporate some cardio into your daily routine, you combat this weakening of memory, keeping your sharp and on your toes.
5. Less Stiffness
With age, our muscles become stiff and our joints start to harden and it becomes harder to move. Not just that, but your heart starts to stiffen which can be dangerous.
Cardio helps you battle stiffness and resolve it. A recent study concluded with strong evidence that regular aerobic exercise can help reverse the stiffening of the heart muscle. It can work to greatly improve the quality of life.
Whether it is your heart, your muscles or joints, stiffness isn’t something that will help you get out of bed in the morning. Adding some cardio into your daily routine could help you fight this condition and bring about a healthier self.
6. Improved Quality of Life
Quality of life is something that is determinant on many factors. When you have pain and soreness in your body or have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, your quality of life decreases.
Cardio helps improve your quality of life. With the leading cause of death in the United Stated being heart disease, improving your cardiovascular health can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Cardio makes it easier for you to pump blood to the rest of your body. This improved circulation of blood is linked with better mood and heightened senses which increases and improves your quality of life. Have you ever seen those people who are over 50 and jog at 6 in the morning? They actually have a greater sense of vitality and life.
7. Increase Endurance
After the age of 30, your body starts to decline. Your endurance goes down, your strength goes down and this is even more so when you consider those over the age of 50.
With age, you lose the capacity of blood flow in your body. When a healthy 25-year-old pumps about 2.5 quarts of blood a minute, a 65-year-old would be pumping around 1.5 quarts of blood a minute.
Adding more cardio to your daily routine will help you improve your body’s blood flow, which will in essence lead to better endurance. Further to increasing the supply of oxygen to vital organs in your body, the benefits of cardio last long after you exercise.
The increased oxygen levels help you relieve fatigue and keeps breathlessness at bay. These are both elements that could decrease your endurance. When you add cardio to the mix, you know that you would be maintaining a healthy supply of blood and oxygen, which will help you build up your endurance. With cardio, you are more likely to build endurance rather than watch it weaken with age.
8. Increase Your Life Span
With cardio bringing in so many health benefits, you shouldn’t be surprised to see that it could lengthen your life span.
Cardio helps you stay healthy and keep major illnesses at bay. This makes it more likely that you would enjoy an increased lifespan. With age, it is natural to slow down and gain weight. This is because your metabolism starts to slow down with age.
Regular exercise after the age of 50 helps to counteract this metabolic decrease that naturally occurs. This prevents you from gaining weight.
9. Improved Function of Internal Organs
Cardio helps all your organs function at a more effective and efficient rate. For instance, your pancreas which helps convert the food you eat to energy by aiding the digestive process is bravely improved in function by adding cardio into your lifestyle.
Staying active helps you improve your blood sugar control and helps decrease stress on vital organs. It prevents the onset of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and is also known to improve cholesterol levels by lowering blood fats.
Cardio is also great for your lungs. Cardio helps decrease the frequency with which you have to breathe. This is because exercise helps improve the ability of breathing which leads to a reduction of fatigue. You are less likely to face a chronic lung condition and are more likely to stay on the healthier side of life.
10. Better Cardiovascular Health
Cardio helps improve your cardiovascular health. It helps to maintain your heart at optimum levels and improves the flow of blood in your body.
Aerobic exercise helps you by getting your heart to beat faster and is considered the most beneficial type of exercise for the cardiovascular system. It decreases your chances of developing a heart condition and can work to reduce cholesterol levels.
It also works to help regulate blood pressure. All of this helps improve the functioning of the cardiovascular system. Though you are over 50, you would find yourself with improved health, feeling like a 20-year-old.
Can You Start Exercising at 50?
Any time is a good time to start exercising. Even if you have never done any exercise in your life, you can start exercising at the age of 50. You should look to start with some light exercises and expand as your body gets accustomed to the increased activity.
50 is a great time to start exercising. It is a good time to start taking the steps that you have to take to ensure that you live a long and happy life. Even if you have never exercised in your life, 50 would be a good age to start.
You may surprise yourself with how much you start to enjoy the light exercise. With time, you would be able to increase the amount of exercise you are doing and reap all the benefits of cardio. Start by walking, take baby steps and eventually transition into jogging. Swimming is another form of exercise which is great for over 50s and can be both relaxing and fun.
How Often to Exercise Over 50
The more exercise that you do, the better off you would be. You should aim to get about 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. You can spread the time over 3 or 4 days. If you are looking at more vigorous exercise, 75 minutes a week should suffice.
That being the case, there should be nothing stopping you from exercising every day. Even if this means a 10-minute jog or 10 minutes on a stationary bike, you have so much to gain by way of better health.
You should have a good understanding of what your body is capable of and take advantage of this. If this means 10 minutes of jogging, so be it. However, you must have heard of those over 50 marathon runners. Obvious to state, they exercise on a more frequent basis.
Every person is different and everyone should aim to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. This is a good starting point to expand on if possible.
What is the Best Low Impact Cardio for Over 50s?
Walking is the best low impact cardio for over 50s. It has the same health benefits as more intense exercises such as running. The only difference, the results with walking are slower in comparison to running. Walking helps improve your heart rate and stretches your leg muscles. It is a great low impact exercise that is perfect for over 50s.
Walking is more accessible for many people and is probably the least risky form of exercise. You have the least chances of hurting yourself and the rate of injury are much lower. If you walk at a good pace, you can get a good amount of exercise.
What is even better, you can do this every day. There should be nothing stopping you from doing a 30-minute walk every day. It is much easier on the joints in comparison to other forms of exercise.
There are ways that you can increase the impact of walking by either doing a power walk or using an incline for a resistance factor. When it comes to low impact cardio, there is nothing better than walking.
Swimming is also another great low impact exercise that is great for over 50s. It is fun and the amount of activity depends on you. Though you can turn swimming into vigorous exercise, it can be a great way to get some moderate exercise and stretch and work out the major muscle groups in your body. It works to stretch your arm, leg and core muscles.
How to Lose Weight After 50
Losing weight after 50 isn’t something that is hard to do. So long as you can cut on the added sugars and incorporate a good amount of healthy exercise and maintain a healthy diet, you should be well on your way to losing weight.
For many people, as we age, it becomes more difficult to lose weight and burn fat. We get set in our eating habits and it becomes difficult to bring about the changes necessary for weight loss. However, with a few small adjustments, you can lose weight at this age.
Try to combine an element of strength training into your workouts. Weight loss is very muscle oriented. The more muscles you have, the faster your metabolism will be, which means you are more likely to burn fat.
A good way to increase your muscle content is by increasing the amount of protein in your diet. Getting a good dose of high-quality protein is very important for weight loss. It can also be crucial for stopping or even reversing age-related muscle loss.
You should try to find a diet that works best for you. If you have trouble understanding what your diet should include, it would be good to speak to a dietitian.
Include as many vegetables and fruits into your diet. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with fibre which will help you stay full for a longer period of time. When you crave a snack, reach for a fruit instead of a sugary treat. This will drastically help you reduce the amount of calories that you are intaking.
Cut back on convenience foods such as fast food, processed food and snacks. These may hinder weight loss and cause you to gain more weight.
Coupled with weight training, a good amount of cardio could help you burn more calories than you are consuming, which will in essence help you lose weight. Try to find an activity that you love, be it yoga, running or swimming. Group activities are great, but if you are more of a solo runner, you can do this on your own too.
A combination of a good amount of exercise and healthy eating habits are the best means to achieve weight loss. The trick is finding the right exercise after the age of 50. As this post highlights, cardio can be a great way to help you lose weight. Just find the type of cardio that works best for you, be it walking, cycling or swimming.
Best Cardio Exercises for Over 50
For those over 50, the best cardio exercises include walking, jogging, swimming and cycling. Any form of cardio at this age works to aid the body and optimise health. Hence, you should be looking for the activity that suits you and your lifestyle. Try to find something that you would enjoy partaking in.
Walking is a great form of cardio with the least amount of resistance. If you are looking for a low impact exercise, walking provides a good amount of exercise with the ability to reap the various health benefits of cardio.
If you are looking for a more intensive workout, you should try jogging or cycling. Both jogging and cycling require more exertion and you are more likely to experience a greater heart rate. This means, you are more likely to optimise your body’s blood flow, which brings with it a host of benefits. Though more intensive, there are real benefits of both cycling and jogging.
When you consider the best type of cardio exercise for over 50s, you should be looking to see what you enjoy. The more you enjoy the activity, the more likely you will stay dedicated for the long run. Hence, it is important to find an activity that suits you and your lifestyle.
Risks and What You Should Look Out For
Regardless of the level of activity, with age, you are more prone to injury. Hence it is advisable to speak to a doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Further to this, there are some signs that you should be on the look out for. If you see any of these symptoms during or after exercise, you should consult a doctor.
- Chest Pains
- Blood Clots
- Any type of infection
- Swelling in the joints
- Prolonged soreness
However remember, taking a break from cardio means that you would be looking to start again from scratch. This is because, as you age, you are more likely to lose endurance faster. If you take a two-week break from your routine, look to start at a slow pace again and don’t overexert yourself at the start. It is less likely that you would be able to jump back in where you left off.
Cardio can be a great way to stay healthy as you age. Though you may shy away from cardio, there is no reason to do so. You don’t have to overexert yourself. In fact, you should look to start at a slow pace with an activity that you enjoy.
The best cardio exercise for over 50s is the exercise that you enjoy the most. This could be hiking, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing or even rowing. Find the activity that works best for you and start at a low intensity and slowly increase the intensity as your body gets used to the exercise.
Cardio is a great way to reap various health benefits and is sure to keep you feeling happy and healthy for the long run. After the age of 50, you should really be on the look out for your health and incorporate elements into your lifestyle that will help you live a healthier life.
Remember, even if you have not exercised a day in your life, after you reach the age of 50, it would be a good time to start. Don’t hesitate from starting. Find the motivation to get started and you will see that you enjoy it a lot more than you initially expected to.
We hope you found this article insightful and that reading this word to word has helped you. Remember, 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week is all you need to live a healthier life. So get started!