Training priorities in your 50s (part 1)

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Let’s face it, getting older is inevitable. The expansion of medical technology, pharmaceuticals, and other health practices have increased life expectancy. However, the combination of excessive processed foods, obesity, and being sedentary has reduced the overall quality of life for the remainder of those years. A few weeks ago we talked about the health/fitness priorities of children, 20s, 30s, and 40s. Today we’ll be covering the health/fitness priorities in your 50s.

There are quite a few changes that happen to the body once we cross the 5th decade that include decreased immunity, lean muscle, bone density; and an increased risk of developing chronic diseases. Joint degeneration is also a part of the aging process resulting in smaller joint spaces. These age related changes will result in a shift in focus when it comes to pursuing a sustainable and effective health/fitness program.

As described in the articles before: fatigue, exhaustion, soreness or even “sweatiness” are not the indicators of an effective workout, especially in our 50s. It is increasingly important that we are able to properly recover from our workouts, as well as incorporate the right type of training to improve health and maximize results. When it comes to choosing the right plan for you, it is important to take into account the changes that happen as we cross into the 50s.

Immune function starts to decline at age 50 and will significantly decline when approaching the 60th year and beyond. This is a result of the decreased responsiveness of the T cells responsible for fighting off infection. Studies show that exercise can boost immune system function in both short term and long term bouts of activity. Different types of exercise will stimulate various types of immune cells, which promotoes the concept of variety when it comes to selecting a type of workout. However, chronically long and frequent bouts of cardio can result in a stress response. Combine this physiological stress with the other stresses faced in daily life, and immune function can decline.

Overall cell turnover (replacement) slows down as we age. It slows down even more once the 50th year is reached. This can be seen in the accelerated reduction of bone density; even more present in women over 50. If not properly addressed women can lose up to 1-2% of bone density per year and slightly less bone loss in men. This can lead to conditions like osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures. As a result this can lead to increased pain, decreased independence and overall function. Common areas of fracture are the hip, spine and wrist. This can be remedied with weight training and properly loading the axial skeleton (the vertebral column). Strength training and applying pressure through the bones stimulate bone growth and increase the overall strength of the structures. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and pushups load up the body in a way that it is pushing against resistance. Intensity and impact will also have a huge role in proper bone formation as it will stimulate growth significantly greater than lower intensity exercises like walking.

Age related sarcopenia (muscle loss) begins at age 50. This means that if not managed correctly, adults can lose up to 3% of their lean muscle per year. This will result in the following: muscle weakness, fatigue, decreased independence, reduced feeling of wellness. Muscle fibers can be replaced with fat and as a result, there can be an increase in overall adipose tissue and losing muscle tone. With less muscle there is also a lower metabolism. In order to combat this muscle loss, strength training is going to be crucial as this method of exercise is going to increase lean muscle and muscle tone. High intensity cardio may reduce fat, but the functional unit of movement, muscle is going to be crucial for overall health.

As we age, the need for strength training increases. Not just for aesthetic purposes but for general function and health. It is important that we focus on incorporating resistance into our routines because we will be able to develop muscle, and improve our immunity and bone density. The main exercises that we focus on to help with that are squats, deadlifts, presses and pulls. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s email where we talk about joint issues, chronic disease, and give you a sample workout that you can do on your own to help you!

Can’t wait and want to get started with a coach today? Book your call by clicking here. We will talk about your goals, motivating factors, and the best plan for you to follow so that you can age like a fine wine, or cheese (whatever you prefer).


PS- Please join us for our anniversary workout and party on February 8th, starting at 11am. All are welcome! We will start with a really fun workout and then celebrate together. Please RSVP at this link so we can know how much food to order!

PPS- We are having a nutrition challenge starting February 1st. If you want to make a change to your diet and are tired of jumping from diet plan to diet plan, then this program is for you. Look good and feel even better by working with our nutrition coach Amber! It is $149 to enroll with the chance to win back $25! Click here to enroll.

***The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in the information provided nor will the owner be liable for any accidents, injuries or other damage, howsoever occurring to any person or property arising out of or in any way connected to the use or application of information obtained from this message


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