Can a Body Get Back in Shape At 50 Years Old?

Getting in shape at 50 is no easy feat. Keeping a healthy body weight becomes trickier as the years go by.

When paired with poor food choices, sedentary habits, and unhealthy routine, your metabolism just can’t take it. That’s where many older adults hit a brick wall. 

Burning the excess fat seems impossible.

And even if you do lose a little bit, it just doesn’t feel rewarding enough.

But, don’t get discouraged just yet!

You can lose weight, keep the body in tip-top shape, and get the results you’ve always strived for.

With a solid workout and a nutritious meal, you can turn the tide. Here is how.  

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Aging and Fitness

Between 2004 and 2012, the obesity prevalence rate in older American adults skyrocketed from 31% to 35.4%. Such an increase in prevalence is particularly concerning. According to experts, obesity is linked to disability and increased mortality rates. 

Obese individuals are susceptible to sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension, cognitive dysfunction, osteoarthritis, and more. Plus, the bigger the body weight, the higher the healthcare costs. In fact, obesity accounts for 2.8% of all healthcare expenditures. 

That means older women and men who are overweight are spending 11%-17% and 6%-13% more on healthcare during their lifetime. 

You can change that. 

Exercise, a healthy diet, and the right mindset are a cost-effective way of managing excess weight. Harvard experts advise that with options such as these, you can implement a gradual and slow, yet effective method of avoiding some serious medical complications. 

How to Get Your Body Fit Again

Starting in middle age, a person’s blood vessels begin to stiffen. Their blood consistency changes, becoming stickier and thicker. Therefore, the system has trouble carrying the oxygen and red blood cells to the organs. 

The majority of Americans are gaining weight in midlife. They put on 3 to 4 extra pounds annually. The problem is, they lose muscle once they turn 40, making that additional weight only fat. As a result, it becomes hard to control the cholesterol and blood pressure, making them susceptible to a metabolic condition. 

Getting back in shape at 50 demands strength training, cardio, and a highly nutritious diet. Push-ups, deadlifts, and forward lunges are great strength training activities.

There are no shortcuts to achieve your fitness goals. Instead, you have to dedicate plenty of time and effort to your workout routine. Follow the tips below, and you can deal with the weight gain.

Start With an Optimistic Mindset

It doesn’t matter if you’ve had a sedentary lifestyle for 5, 10, or 20 years. What matters is that you want to change that. Motivation has a major role to play. When you start your weight management journey with the right mindset, you have a better chance at overcoming your physical and mental limitations. 

It’s about incorporating a practical exercise plan and eating routine that you will stick to. Without motivation, it becomes difficult to overcome these boundaries. 

To evaluate the impact of motivation on weight-loss behaviors, scientists analyzed young and older adults. They compared motivation with diet, exercise, and weight management strategies. 

Based on the reports, older volunteers managed to maintain their weight management for an extended period of time. Data suggests that the impact of health concerns as motivators for losing weight inspired them to maintain their healthy weight

Simply put, younger adults are more concerned with their appearance. Social factors and influence drive them. While older people care more about their physical health. When you use potential medical problems as motivation to stay healthy, you can have bigger odds of maintaining that ideal weight. 

But, whatever food or exercise plan you want to use, it is best to consult with a doctor first. Some workout training can be difficult for patients-especially those struggling with heart problems. So, talk to your doctor and let them devise a tactic that is best suited to your needs. 

Select the Proper Foods 

For an average American, over 50% of their diet is packed with processed foods. These meals have a lot of fat, sugar, and calories that can affect heart rate, cause heart disease and obesity. 

Scientists studied over 105,000 adults for the course of 5 years. They found that for each 10% increase in the quantity of processed foods volunteers ate, their risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart events was 12% higher.

Another study showed similar results. People who consumed over 4 servings of ultra-processed meals a day had a 62% bigger risk of dying from heart problems compared to those who consumed only 2 servings a day. 

Choosing the proper foods helps you shed excess weight and maintain optimal health. If you are eating plenty of processed meals low in fiber and protein but high in sugar and fat, then opt for fresh produce instead. 

The goal should be to decrease the overall calorie intake until it gets under the calorie expenditure. There is no need to count the calories either. Only make sure to include plenty of dietary fiber and lean protein in your meals. 

Lean protein and dietary fiber are essential for controlling your appetite. They keep you satiated for a long time and allow you to prevent overeating. Based on 2018 research, adults who improved their fiber and protein intake managed to lose body fat without incorporating serious calorie restrictions. 

According to a fitness expert, you should get a minimum of 35g of fiber from veggies, whole grains, and fruits, and 8g of protein per kilo of your body weight a day. This protein should come from beans, eggs, fish, lean meat, and tofu.  

Also, don’t forget to limit the intake of sugary drinks, fried meals, white pasta, white bread, etc. That’s how you avoid the unhealthy indulgences that contribute to excess weight. 

Shed the Excess Pounds 

Your fitness goal, no matter the age, should focus on shedding the extra weight. Being obese in middle age can make you susceptible to neurodegeneration, with a bigger risk of atrophy, published in the journal of Neurobiology of Aging. To turn the tide, you would need to lose the extra fat. 

Skip the Sedentary Lifestyle

Shaping the body after 50 requires an exercise routine. Basically, any physical activity can prove useful. When the body is active, doing the daily tasks becomes easier, and you have a lot more energy to focus on a more rigorous fitness routine. That’s how you build lean muscle. 

Not only is such an activity essential for physical health, but it’s also critical for your emotional well-being, cognitive function and decreasing the risk of chronic illnesses. According to a recent clinical analysis, individuals who often exercise are more inclined to make healthier dietary patterns. This allows them to control and manage the food they take. 

Recover Muscle Mass

Muscle loss is a normal component of the aging process. The muscle tissue changes with age. This is what experts call an involuntary loss of muscle strength, function, and mass. Once an adult reaches the age of 30, they lose from 3% to 8% muscle mass in a decade. This rate steadily increases after 60. 

Lean muscle mass loss is the primary factor of disability in older patients. Their bones become vulnerable to injury and disability. 

Focusing on your muscle can help control the weight. This mass is metabolically active. What that means is the system must burn the calorie intake to supply the body with energy and create and maintain normal muscle tone. 

According to experts, muscle accounts for 20% of a person’s total energy expenditure a day. Therefore, generating better lean muscle mass can particularly aid the age-related slow metabolism. Ideally, you should train the main muscle groups two times a week. 

You can achieve that by doing at-home or gym body-weight exercises, like weightlifting. Having a minimum of one exercise for the arms, chest, thighs, calves, back, shoulders, and abdomen can come in handy. Lifts and reps can exhaust each muscle and force it to build its intensity slowly. This is what you want to achieve for a stronger muscle. Working with each muscle group can provide the desired effect. 

If you want to speed up the process, you can do a HIIT workout. HIIT generates the same benefits as any other exercise, but much faster. That includes a stable heart rate and reduced body fat. But, it can also prove useful for gaining mass in the leg and trunk muscles. 

Stretch

Stretching is the key to ameliorating your body’s range of motion, relieving stress, and boosting flexibility. Study shows that lower body stretching improves balance and reduces the risk of falls. When paired with moderate exercise, it can have a profound impact on weight control

The problem with middle age is that the muscles get tighter, and the skeletal structure is slowly beginning to throw people off balance. Stretches open up the muscles, enhance blood flow, allowing the joints to work properly. 

Before you can do any weight training or resistance exercise, it is critical that you prepare the body for that exercise. Stretching heats the joints and serves as a natural warm-up. Even when you go to the gym or do at-home training, you still need to stretch. You can use yoga or regular stretches. 

Choose to Exercise With a Partner

Not everyone has the will to exercise on their own. That’s where having a fitness partner makes for an ideal choice. According to the CDC, when you exercise with someone else, you boost your motivation, consistency, and adventurous spirit. 

Having someone by your side is a great encouragement strategy. It makes for a positive competition. Not only that, but you are more likely to experiment with your exercise routine. You may like to try a different aerobic activity or a completely unique exercise program than what you are used to. 

Plus, the more workout you do with someone, the more consistent you are, which ends up creating a favorable training routine. If you can’t find anyone to join your efforts, a personal trainer can help.

Draft Up a Schedule

A fitness schedule could be a deciding factor when trying to shape your body. To get the desired results, you would need to rely on efficiency, frequency, dedication, and consistency. A schedule gives you that control. 

When you schedule a workout or strength training at the gym, you keep the mind busy. Instead of letting other obligations get in the way of your fitness goal, you set a realistic schedule that will help you commit to shedding the excess pounds

With a plan, you avoid burnout and still enjoy amazing results. To do that, plan a minimum of 150 min of moderate cardio exercise a week. Divide that exercise evenly through 3 days for at least 10 min at a time. 

Then, plan a minimum of two times a day for back, hips, legs, arms, abs, shoulders, and chest exercise. Aerobic exercise and resistance training is a great way to start. You can start with 10 min and increase the training to 20 min. 

Be careful when using hand weights or a resistance band. Make sure not to overexert the system with heavy upper body training. Start slow to avoid possible dizziness. Use a dumbbell when working with weight lifting. Once the body gets used to it, you can use other weights. 

Set Targets

When it comes to setting targets, that’s where people make one of their biggest mistakes. They think they can do everything at once. According to specialists, hitting the gym every day for a couple of hours will do more harm than good. 

Remember, over 50; it is much easier to hurt your body. So, instead of trying to tackle every single exercise goal you have, you should set targets. This boosts your odds for success. First, you need to focus on a single goal. 

For example, do a yoga stretch before the regular exercise. Set a specific time and track the progress after the yoga stretch. This makes it easier to measure your efforts and see if you can achieve that goal in a timely manner. 

Be flexible and start small. Set realistic targets without expecting instant gratification. Remember, every healthy lifestyle change doesn’t provide you with a quick fix. You would need to adhere to your targets to enjoy the outcome. But, don’t get discouraged after the first try. 

Instead of looking at the weight management process as a whole, analyze each of your targets. See how well they’ve helped you achieve those results every couple of days. No matter how small it may be. This is how you build confidence and strive for long-term results. 

Things to Consider

Now that you know how to get that ideal body weight, here are a couple of things you should consider that will help you stay on the right path. 

  • Boost the high-quality protein intake. Meals packed with protein can help with the resting metabolic rate and build more strength. 

  • Doing squats may not be a good idea. A squat can add pressure to the knees in adults after 50. If you do want to try it, you need to make sure to avoid hurting the knees. 

  • Opt for home-cooked meals. The more you cook at home, the easier it is to control what goes in and out of your system. 

  • Skip the candy and convenience meals. When you supply the system with empty calories, you hinder your chances of maintaining a healthy weight. 

  • Consult with a dietitian. If you want to add more supplements to your diet, especially products that help with bone density, talk to an expert first. 

Conclusion 

Losing the excess fat after 50 is almost the same process as any age. The only difference is that you have to take extra precautions. Your body, bones, and muscles are going through a series of changes. You may not have the energy and vigor as you did in your 30s. But, you can still put in the effort to get what you need. 

Remember to take it slow and focus on gradual improvement. Incorporating nutritious meals, moderate exercises, and stretches can help you go the extra mile. If you are feeling confident, or your trainer thinks you can handle a lot more, you can boost the intensity and focus on getting even stronger. Just don’t forget to savor every minor achievement. The more you praise yourself about what you’ve achieved, the easier it is to take a look at the bigger picture and enjoy your success. In the end, every minute spent will be worth

Sources

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