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5 Best Exercises for Men Over 50 To Live Longer
Getting older is a concern for a lot of men, but there are some things that men can do to improve their health and longevity. One of the most often recommended ways for men to maintain their health as they get older is to exercise regularly. Engaging in regular exercise can improve physical health and help men live independently as they get older. Some men find regular exercise challenging after 50 because of sports injuries or health injuries. But exercising regularly is important for good health, especially after 50.
The Science Behind Exercise and Longevity
There is no fountain of youth, but according to medical research, exercise comes pretty close to being a source of ongoing health and youth. Study after study shows that exercise is the key to healthy aging. Men who exercise regularly and perform a combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercise have lower rates of serious diseases like heart disease and diabetes. And they have stronger muscles and bones, which can help with mobility and overall health as men get older.
Another benefit that men over 50 can get from exercise is better cognitive health and slower cognitive decline. Studies show that physical exercise can help prevent overall cognitive decline. Sleep, diet, and other factors also contribute to better brain health, but exercise is a primary factor when it comes to maintaining good cognitive skills as men age.
Tailoring Exercise for Men Over 50
When men over 50 start a new exercise regimen they should always consult a healthcare professional and a professional trainer first. It’s important for a doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to start a regular exercise routine. It’s a good idea to work with a trainer so that you can get professional advice on what exercises will help you achieve your fitness goals.
It’s very important for men over 50 to start off with light exercise and build up their strength and endurance. If you rush through the conditioning process and try to do too much exercise right away, you could end up hurting yourself.
It’s also important for men over 50 to choose exercises that match their individual fitness level and take into account any health conditions that they have so that they don’t make their health worse by doing exercises that are too intense for their current fitness level.
Functional fitness, or incorporating exercises that mimic everyday tasks and movements, is a great way to ease into an exercise regimen. Men over 50 should consider consulting an occupational therapist to find out what exercises they can do that will enhance their functional fitness level. Functional fitness exercises can help men maintain their mobility, flexibility, and ability to live independently as they get older.
Exercise 1: Cardiovascular Conditioning
Cardiovascular conditioning is the best way to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other serious medical conditions that can impact a man’s quality of life. Low-impact cardio like brisk walking, using a fan bike, or swimming are excellent ways for men to get cardiovascular conditioning without putting a lot of stress on their joints. Regular cardio exercise can help men sleep better and have more energy too.
Exercise 2: Strength Training
Strength training is strongly recommended for men over 50. Strength training exercises like deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, and carries will help men maintain good bone strength and density. Strength training will also help men maintain their muscle mass. Men over 50 should use a variety of strength training techniques that use weights, resistance bands, and body weight exercises so that they are working as many muscle groups as possible.
Strength training may not seem like a great workout, but it’s highly effective. Varying cardio workouts and strength training will boost metabolism and increase flexibility, which can help prevent injuries as men get older.
Exercise 3: Flexibility and Balance
It’s also important for men over 50 to increase their flexibility and maintain their balance. As men get older, they have a higher risk of falling or injuring themselves when working out or playing sports. However, increasing flexibility and performing balance exercises can help men stay agile and mobile. The best exercises men can do to maintain flexibility and work on balance are yoga, Tai Chi, and occupational therapy exercises.
Exercise 4: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT training is more than just a trendy type of workout. There are very real benefits that come from a HIIT workout. HIIT stands for “High Intensity Interval Training”. During a HIIT workout, men will increase their heart rate for a short period of time, then reduce their activity and heartbeat, and then speed it up again, then reduce it again.
That might sound difficult, but low-impact HIIT workouts can be done while just walking or riding a fan bike. The benefit of the HIIT workout comes from increasing your heart rate, then lowering it, then increasing it. A professional trainer can help men over 50 design a customized HIIT program that will be appropriate for their fitness level. HIIT training is the most effective way to burn calories and improve heart health.
Exercise 5: Core Strengthening
A strong core is important for men over 50 because the core muscles are responsible for overall stability, good posture, and freedom of movement. Strong core muscles also can help prevent back pain. All movement comes from the core, so men over 50 have to have a strong core if they want to continue moving freely as they get older.
Men over 50 should do core-strengthening exercises like planks, bridges, and rotational movements as part of a strength training workout.
Creating a Sustainable Exercise Routine
Creating a workout routine that incorporates strength training, cardio exercise, and flexibility exercises can be a challenge. Men over 50 may not have a lot of time to exercise because of work and family obligations. The best way for men to create a sustainable workout regimen is to set aside 30 minutes to an hour each day for exercise. It can be in the morning, at night, or even at lunch as long it’s at the same time each day.
Then men should rotate through a cycle of exercises that incorporate cardio exercise on some days, strength training on another day, and flexibility exercises on another day. That way the workouts won’t be boring, but they will be effective.
Fiatarone, M. A., O’Neill, E. F., Ryan, N. D., Clements, K. M., Solares, G. R., Nelson, M. E., Roberts, S. B., Kehayias, J. J., Lipsitz, L. A., & Evans, W. J. (1994). Exercise training and nutritional supplementation for physical frailty in very elderly people. New England Journal of Medicine, 330(25), 1769–1775. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejm199406233302501The Ultimate Guide to Training and Staying Fit at 50+ – Men’s Health Exercising When You’re Over 50: Best Practices and Routines – Australian Seniors