Why Exercise at 50 Years Old?

Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

Why exercise at 50 Years Old?

Later on this year I will be turning 50. It’s hard to imagine a turning 50 oh, but that date is fast approaching. One thing I have noticed going through my forties is that I feel worn out and tired. This tends to happen during your forties as our bodies begin to age. When you first turn 40, you won’t notice this at all. By the time you are 45 or older, I can guarantee you you’re going to start feeling it. Almost everyone I know that it’s in their forties has various aches and pains. What’s that most people feel these aches and pains because they don’t exercise. Of course, some people have medical issues, but this is a separate thing.

I am guilty of this, too, because in my forties, I rarely exercised at all. On occasion, I would go for walks with my wife, use the treadmill in our spare bedroom, or even pick up weights from time to time. The problem is that I am never consistent with this. I can’t make any progress if I’m not exercising on a regular basis. I am consistent with drinking beer, eating pizza, and doing other things I really shouldn’t be doing when I’m close to 50 years of age. It’s much easier at this stage to gain weight and harder to keep it off. I simply can’t live like I did when I was in my early twenties. My body will not let me do this.

As we begin to age, we go through a process called sarcopenia. It actually occurs a lot earlier in our life but we don’t notice it because it is not that pronounced. When we get older it starts to increase. We have a loss of muscle mass as well as strength. This can impact your ability to do day-to-day tasks.. it simply becomes a lot harder to be an active individual when you were losing muscle mass.

This is why you see a lot of older people in such dire straights with pain. Our muscles, ligaments, and joints are starting to waste away. This condition will continue as you get older because there is nothing that you can do to stop the process. What you can do, however, is to slow it down by adding more muscle mass to your body. You can do this through a regular exercise like weight training or even just moving more often.

Several factors that impact Sarcopenia. The most common is aging, but there are other ones as well.

If you are not moving your body, this condition is going to accelerate. You will have faster muscle loss, more weakness, and you’re going to be prone to injury. You should try and gain more muscle mass to slow the process down. If you don’t move, things break down. I should know. My knees are telling me this!

If you’re not getting enough protein in your diet or insufficient calories, then you could have diminished muscle mass. It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet to ensure that you get the nutrition your body needs to repair muscle tissues. Try to get more protein in your diet which will help repair muscle tissues and fight this condition. Get more vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, creatine, and protein to help fight muscle wasting. Inflammation can also contribute to sarcopenia so be sure to get a health checkup.

“Physically inactive people can lose as much as 3% to 5% of their muscle mass each decade after age 30.” WebMD

I knew a couple of years ago that I had to make a change. I would look down and see this, and it’s starting to become difficult to see other areas of my body when I look down. How exactly did I get this way? I’m not a person who is a glutton, I tend to finish off my plate and not eat anything else. It doesn’t really matter when you’re in your 40s if you eat normally because you can still gain weight. You were losing muscle mass and it’s harder for you to burn calories at an efficient rate.

Your body is telling you that you have to look after it. As the years go by, the weight starts to creep on. You’re probably comfortable in your life and doing fun things with your friends. You’re going out to dinner more often, having important gatherings, and there’s probably plenty of treats and other things at work. You don’t realize that the weight is creeping up on your body. before you know it, you’ve gained 20–50 pounds or more.

“It is never too late to start taking care of the body you have.”

― Tobe Hanson

My wife decided a couple of years ago that it would be a good idea to walk around our local Lake. It is a really nice walking trail but it is 14 kilometers. I told her that we should go on a shorter walk, but she insisted on the 14 km walk. Needless to say, we both almost died on this walk. It was because our bodies were not used to it. When you get older you have to start moving, but you can’t do it in a stupid way. I’ve never seen blisters that big! By going to the gym, we will have the energy we need to go on those long walks. It would be nice not to have lower back pain, knee pain, and sore feet. My wife’s feet are so sore when she comes home from work; she often has to have a foot bath just to feel better. A lot of this is the result of excess weight.

I think a lot of us, even when we are older think of exercise for all the wrong reasons. We loup in a mirror in and want a chiseled chest, perfect abs, shaped butt, and so on. While these things are possible when you exercise, you should be focussing on the health aspects exercise and not just the physical appearance. I think we spent way more time obsessing about the physical appearance and not the health aspects of exercise. I’d be happy if I could touch my toes again and walk up four flights of stairs without needing an ambulance.

We join the gym because we both want to have more energy. I would like to be able to do more active things. I want to go on those long walks. I would like to be able to go shopping at a larger shopping center without being gassed after 15 minutes and having to sit down all the time. It’s also something that both of us can do together, and we can give each other motivation. I know the first few weeks are going to be like hell, but I know we both can do it.

“Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise, and the weather should be little regarded.”

― Thomas Jefferson

Another motivation that we have is that we have both paid for a membership. We have a yearly membership, so why not just use it? The gym we are going to is open late at night so we can go when it’s not as crowded so it’s not as intimidating. I’m not expecting any magical results. We’re both going to exercise so that we can feel better about ourselves. I want life in our fifties to be the best decade ever. Once I reach my 60s, I want to be able to have the energy to do things in my sixties and beyond. This life comes at you fast, so why not enjoy it to the fullest.

We can both continue to make excuses. We can keep eating the way we are, gaining weight, and feeling like crap. It’s up to us what we decide to do with our lives. If we don’t move now, we can suffer the consequences later on in life. This isn’t to say we might not have health problems as we probably will. By taking better care of ourselves and exercising, we’re going to reduce those chances by a great deal. I plan to enjoy life in my 50s and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my life has in store for me.

Sources:

International Osteoarthritis Foundation

https://www.iofbonehealth.org/what-sarcopenia

Healthline

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sarcopenia#section2

Brian is an online writer and blogger. In his spare time, he plays guitar and goes camping. Visit him at : https://www.lamacraftwritingservices.com/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store