Just because you're over 50 doesn't mean that you can't exercise anymore! Trying to be fit and building muscles is what every one of us should aim at, no matter our age. So, don't be scared, the good news is that you can do it. With age, your metabolism starts to slow down and that is natural. But, that shouldn't stop you from exercising and living your life to the fullest. It is important that you stick to a serious exercise plan and optimize your diet for muscle gain. We are here to guide you through the whole process. Of course, before you begin any new diet or training regimen, you have to consult your doctor.
Good plan as a firm foundation
Before you start your fitness journey, you need to come up with a good exercise plan. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, people over 50 should strength-train all major muscle groups at least two and up to four times per week in order to gain muscle. Allowing at least 48 hours between strength-training workouts for full recovery is a must. Remember that you mustn’t over-train! If you do that, you are risking dangerous injury and setbacks in your plan. That can only be bad and lead to muscle loss. Of course, you have to pay attention not to under-train either. We recommend that you do cardio training every week as well, not only strength training. That way, you'll be safe when it comes to both health and fitness. Aging ladies are at a greater risk of osteoporosis than men and benefit from focusing on high-impact cardio as long as their knee joints can handle the weight. But, before you start, consult your doctor just so that you learn how much exercise you can do. Your doctor will also help you choose the right exercise plan for you.
Prepare yourself and your exercises on time
Remember that being persistent and well prepared is essential if you want to succeed with your plan. Before we go into details about your training routine, we have to emphasize that you need proper clothes and proper gym equipment, especially if you want to work out at home. When it comes to strength-training exercises, do one to two exercises per muscle group in each strength-training session. Vary the exercises from session to session. Remember to do exercises that activate your chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs, back, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. Multi-joint exercises work more than one muscle group at once. For example, squats, lunges and leg presses build the glutes, quads and hamstrings all in one exercise. Over-50 adults should prioritize multi-joint exercises more than exercises that isolate one muscle, since they improve stability, balance and coordination and can help you avoid injuries when doing other types of exercise. Other examples of multi-joint exercises are pushups, pull-ups, bench presses and shoulder presses. However, be extra careful when choosing the amount of weight you lift! Combine that with days where you do cardio and cardio only and you should be all set.
We've already mentioned that men over 50 don't digest and metabolize food and nutrients like they used to. And it is common knowledge that muscle gain goals are linked to body fat loss ones which makes every calorie you take in crucial. Therefore, you need to pay extra attention to your calorie count. Let's say that you are operating on a calorie budget of 2,000 calories per day, getting essential proteins, low-glycemic carbohydrates and healthy fats becomes a challenge, right? Well, by taking macro-nutrient supplements like whey protein and micro-nutrient supplements like multivitamins, you will be sure that your body gets what it needs while keeping those calories low. Of course, you have to stay well-hydrated and get enough sleep if you want your diet and exercise plan to really work for you. We've mentioned sleep and it is almost as important as proper diet. Remember that you need to provide more time for your muscles to heal than before. The healing process is as vital as the building process. Keep yourself and your muscles healthy!
When it comes to aerobic workouts, we have to underline that your maximum aerobic capacity decreases over time. Unfortunately, that lowers your cardio fitness level. So, to stay healthy, get aerobic exercise that works your entire body, like walking, jogging, swimming, dancing and the elliptical machine. Cardio-vascular workouts burn way more calories than strength-training so we recommend that you do more cardio if you want to lose weight. In the end, the more active you are, the better. You can even transform chores and everyday activities into mini-workouts. Do gardening, walk the dog and make the most out of it. You can even choose a fitness class that you enjoy doing to help you squeeze in more aerobic workouts.
All in all, aging isn't that scary because you can fight it as long as you have the desire to work on yourself. Eat to keep fit, build, make sure to stay active and sleep well. You have our guide, now it's your turn. Do you want to make the most of your life? We believe that you do.
Peter is a men's grooming and health writer at The Beard Mag & High Style Life magazines, living between UK and Australia. Beside writing he worked as a grooming consultant for many fashion events around UK & Australia too! Follow Peter on Twitter for more men’s grooming tips.