50 Tips to Stay Healthy in Your 50s

Exercise becomes more important with age because it can improve heart health and limit factors that negatively affect health. People who begin exercising in their fifties may experience challenges, but research and getting in the right mindset can improve chances of success.

  1. Learn the right techniques. Exercise is most effective when it is performed properly. Don’t sacrifice form for burning calories, as it can increase chance of serious injury.
  2. Try new exercises. If you enjoy walking, try other low impact exercises like biking or swimming. Switching up your routine can exercise new muscles and add a spark to your exercise sessions.
  3. Enjoy your exercise. Finding an activity you enjoy doing increases your chance of sticking with it and developing healthy habits. Plus, you may meet new friends!
  4. Pick exercises that make you feel good and avoid exercises that cause aches to flare up. For example, people who enjoyed running in their younger years may find that low-impact exercises suit them better as they get older.
  5. Stretch it out. Spending more time stretching and warming up by doing mobility and muscle activation exercises can help prevent injuries.
  6. Make the commitment. Regardless of athleticism, every person is susceptible to health problems caused by lack of movement. Exercising regularly is a habit with benefits that will last for a long time.
  7. Find your motivation. People who set exercise goals—like improving flexibility or being able to walk one mile a day—struggle less in adhering to an exercise schedule.
  8. Exercise your brain, too. Brain training or cognitive stimulation improves the communication between brain cells and timing within the brain, which improves limb and muscle control.
  9. Take illness in stride. Illness becomes more common with age, so adjust your workouts to accommodate your physical health.
  10. Take a holistic approach by focusing on nutrition. A healthy, balanced diet in conjunction with exercise can prevent conditions such as heart disease and high cholesterol.
  11. Keep a food journal. Bodies require less calories as they age because metabolism slows. If you feel you’re overeating, write down what you eat, which will increase food awareness and help you notice patterns in your eating.
  12. Loosen up. If you experience stiffness, start your day by stretching. Basic stretches such as extending and bending your knees, lifting your arms, and flexing your hips can keep you limber. Yoga and pilates classes can also help you stay loose.
  13. Watch your back. Focus on strengthening the muscles surrounding your spine. This can improve posture and prevent hunching and back pain.
  14. Balance your exercises. Implementing balance and stability training can build core strength and help you prevent dangerous falls.
  15. Build up strength. Strength training improves balance, helps you control your center of gravity, and prevents muscle atrophy and bone density loss. More muscle mass also means higher metabolic rate, meaning it’s easier to burn fat.
  16. Listen to your body. What worked for you in your twenties might not work in your fifties because your physiology and life has changed. Update your fitness plan to accommodate what you can do and it will become less of a chore.
  17. Don’t overdo it. If you feel exhausted by tough workouts, back off. Gentler exercises like pilates and yoga can improve flexibility and strength without putting as much strain on your body.
  18. Be mindful of what you eat. Practice portion control and eat lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Eating mindfully means eating until 80 percent full rather than eating until stuffed and helps regulate metabolism.
  19. Eat what tastes good. It’s easier to eat healthy meals if you enjoy what you eat. Additionally, this can help you avoid counting calories.
  20. Set realistic goals. Setting goals like staying healthy and doing what you love are more realistic goals than achieving melon-sized biceps and six-pack abs. Focusing on enjoyment will help you stay motivated.
  21. Train for strength, not bulk. Don’t avoid strength training because you’re afraid of becoming bulky. Strength training with light weights can make you feel more energized and helps prevent bone density loss.
  22. Strengthen your heart. Alternating upper and lower body exercises increases blood flow to upper and lower extremities, which strengthens the muscles around the heart.
  23. Don’t fall into the same old, same old. Doing repetitive movements with faulty alignments can lead to muscular imbalance. Changing your workout can prevent you from plateauing.
  24. Practice self care. If you find yourself in the sandwich generation, caring for your parents and grown children, make sure to carve out time for yourself.
  25. Drink lots of water. Drinking half of your weight (pounds) in ounces each day will keep you hydrated. Eliminate or limit drinks with lots of sugar and calories such as juice, soda, iced tea, and alcohol.
  26. Stay mobile. Practice mobility exercises to improve your range of motion in your most used and weight-bearing joints. This also prevents osteoarthritis and joint stiffness.
  27. Adopt a furry friend. Getting a dog can help you maintain an exercise routine because walking it will keep you moving. Additionally, pet owners live longer, happier lives.
  28. Make fitness part of your lifestyle. Use your time wisely and fit in exercise where you can. Power walk when you would walk or do leg lifts when you’re standing in the kitchen. Find an exercise you like. If fitness feels like a hobby, it’s easier to make it a priority.
  29. Keep testosterone levels up. To counteract the natural dip of testosterone levels, try to keep body fat in a healthy range, maintain a natural diet, sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, limit alcohol consumption, and make sure there are enough vitamins in your diet.
  30. Wear the right equipment. Wear the right shoe for the activity you’re participating in and make sure they fit appropriately in order to avoid injury.
  31. Try a low impact workout. Swimming can help you exercise your entire body without putting strain on your joints.
  32. Roll around a little. Exercises that feature rolling and crawling stimulate the the nervous system and provide a low-impact workout.
  33. Make your fitness functional. Stay active by doing things that need to be done. Cleaning your house, garage, or car is a good source of movement, keeps you active, and has a productive result.
  34. Skip seated exercises. If you sit at home and especially at work, replace seated exercises with standing exercises. Standing exercises engage your core and use more muscles while improving balance.
  35. Enjoy the outdoors. Exercising in nature boosts your mood and your immune system.
  36. Sleep enough. Setting a consistent bedtime and wake time and taking time to unwind before bed can help you make sure you get enough sleep.
  37. Give yourself time to recover. You won’t recover as quickly when you’re older as you did when you were younger. Stretching, doing warm-up exercises, and rolling out tight areas with a foam roller can help prevent injury and loosen tight areas.
  38. Sit on the floor. Regularly sitting on the floor encourages use of a wider range of motion and keeps your legs strong.
  39. Stretch to keep your hips mobile. When you bend over, perform rotational movement, or move from sitting to standing, focus on your glutes and quads. Squats, deadlifts, and trunk rotation will also strengthen these muscles.
  40. Play like a kid. Going outside and play with your kids or grandkids. Outdoor play like kicking a soccer ball or jumping rope helps you stay active and fit while you spend time with your loved ones.
  41. Get enough protein. Your body becomes more resistant to protein with age, meaning it requires more protein to stimulate growth and repair.
  42. Use strength to combat arthritis. Strengthening exercises also help knees, ankles, hips, and other joints respond better to degenerative diseases. Building muscles around the joints gives them stability and reduces inflammation.
  43. Follow your gut feeling. Make sure to eat prebiotic and probiotic foods to maintain the appropriate balance of good bacteria in your gut.
  44. Don’t kick your coffee habit just yet. Coffee is a good source of antioxidants and can reduce inflammation and oxidative damage. Moderate coffee consumption can also reduce risk of Parkinsons’s disease, depression, and prostate, breast, and liver cancers.
  45. Keep strengthening. If reps are starting to feel easy at normal resistance, increase the amount of weight you’re lifting by 10 percent.
  46. Don’t rush in. Spend some time stretching before you start a new exercise routine. This will help to loosen your joints and prepare your body for a new range of motion.
  47. Take fish oil. Balancing your omega will help you fight obesity and assists in recovery and immune responses.
  48. Practice good posture. If you find your shoulders slumping throughout the day or notice your head is too far forward, you could experience back pain or spasms and tight muscles. Good posture prevents back pain and has the added bonus of building core strength.
  49. Make progress. Make sure your workouts get progressively more intense as you start to build strength. This will prevent you from plateauing and keep your body fit.
  50. Catch rays. Sunlight stimulates vitamin D production in the body. As long as you maintain a proper diet, it also helps your body regulate calcium level, which is critical to strengthening bones and preventing bone density loss.