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The Best Ways to Exercise in Your 50s and Beyond

A critical part of exercising at 50 and beyond is believing that you can get yourself in great shape

We all know that getting regular exercise is important for our health, and that doesn’t change when we get older. The problem is that working out in your 50s isn’t easy, especially if you’re not used to doing it. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start, so here are some tips on how to start exercising at 50 and beyond to improve your chances of a long and healthy life.

The Best Ways to Exercise in Your 50s and Beyond

Do More Than Walk

There are far too many folks that believe that exercise after 50 means going out for a daily walk. While that’s a good start, it can’t be all that you do. Walking for 20 minutes every day is the bare minimum of working out in your 50s. For starters, you need to do aerobic workouts that are a little more strenuous than walking. It’s also important for older folks to do strength and mobility training; one 20-minute walk isn’t going to cut it.


Find Something You Like

The best advice on how to start exercising at 50 is to find something you enjoy doing. To be honest, that’s great advice for anybody of any age who’s having trouble finding motivation. There’s no reason to assume that exercising has to feel like work. There are countless ways to exercise, so surely you can find something that is also fun. That doesn’t mean you should make that one thing your only form of exercise. But identifying something you enjoy can make it easier to stick to a routine.

The Best Ways to Exercise in Your 50s and Beyond

Stay Balanced

When you exercise after 50, it’s important to incorporate balance exercises into your routine. Ideally, you’ll do this when you’re younger as well. However, older folks are more prone to falls and balance issues as they age, so it’s vital that they remain as sharp as possible when it comes to balance. Simply marching in place of standing on one foot can be ways to improve your balance and guard against balance problems in the future. For those who want to go even further, practices like pilates and yoga can do wonders for your balance.


One Step At a Time

If you’re someone who starts to exercise after 50, don’t feel like you have to make up for lost time. You want to avoid going from 0 to 60 in record time. You need to pace yourself and build up a fitness base before moving onto more challenging exercises. In the beginning, you’ll want to focus on stretching and some balance exercises. You can then work your way up to walking and more strenuous cardio exercises. Once you’re comfortable with all of that, you can start to do resistance training with waits. Even then, don’t go overboard by doing too many reps at once. Eventually, you’ll be able to do more advanced workouts. Just make sure you start slowly and pace yourself.

The Best Ways to Exercise in Your 50s and Beyond
Credit: Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Get Into a Routine

One of the most important parts of starting to exercise in your 50s is to make it a part of your daily routine. Don’t plan on fitting it into your schedule whenever you find the time. You need to make a commitment to exercising regularly and stick to it. This means making it part of your daily routine so that you have a certain time set aside to workout. That way, you won’t forget to exercise or miss a few days and lose some of the progress you’ve made.


Remember Warmup and Recovery

This one is particularly important for older folks, no offense. At a certain age, you can’t just roll out of bed and get going anymore. Part of exercising at 50 and beyond is giving your body an opportunity to warm up beforehand and then recover afterward. Even if it’s a light exercise or a short walk, do a little light stretching before and after.

You also need to stay hydrated before and after your workouts to help your body recover. Recovery also means eating the right things to re-energize your body the right way. You can’t think that you can splurge on junk food just because you exercised for 30 minutes. Take care of your body before and after workouts to prevent injuries and get your body in optimal shape.

The Best Ways to Exercise in Your 50s and Beyond
Credit: People photo created by yanalya –

Never Doubt Yourself

Last but not least, don’t get discouraged or doubt what you’re capable of doing. Too many folks over 50 just assume that they can’t do the same things they did when they were younger. But there are plenty of folks in that age group who run marathons and take part in other kinds of competitive races and events.

While you may not be able to do those things tomorrow, you can do them eventually if you believe that you can. Don’t be afraid to set goals and challenge yourself.  So much of it is mental and having the desire to push yourself to reach your workout goals.


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