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Top Tips on How to Get Fit After 50

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

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  • Walking is perhaps one of the easiest forms of exercise there is, and it’s plenty effective despite its simplicity. Health benefits include improved blood flow and fat burning, improved heart health and increased longevity
  • Poor flexibility and mobility can greatly impair the quality of your movement and raise your risk of injury, so stretching is an important fitness component. Stretching can also go a long way toward preventing and treating pain stemming from poor posture, overweight or excessive sitting
  • Strength training only becomes more important with age, not less. Working your muscles will help you shed excess fat, maintain healthy bone mass, prevent age-related muscle loss, improve perimenopausal symptoms in women, and counteract postural deficits that occur with age
  • Slowing your breathing through meditation and/or using breathing exercises increases your partial pressure of carbon dioxide, which has enormous psychological benefits and tones your parasympathetic nervous system, thereby inducing relaxation and calm
  • Yoga works your connective tissue and increases your flexibility in functional movement patterns, while simultaneously acting as a form of moving meditation; Tai Chi, which may be particularly beneficial for the elderly, stimulates your central nervous system, lowers blood pressure, relieves stress and tones muscles while being very low impact

The video above features John Carter, who at 90 years of age still hikes, bikes, swims and plays sports. Doing a swan dive from the 10-foot dive board, he comments that no other 90-year-olds are well enough to join him. Indeed, it’s rare sight to see a 90-year-old doing any kind of physical activity these days.

That doesn’t mean you have to grow decrepit with age, however. You too can enjoy physical activity well into your senior years. The key, of course, is to stay active. The good news is, it’s never too late to start. My mother started a strength training program at the age of 74 after recuperating from a nasty fall, and was able to make significant gains within a couple of years.

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