FEELING FIT AND FABULOUS AT 50 AND BEYOND*

Tuesday, 1 September 2015, By Meg Viney

If you think turning 50 means that you're over the hill and it's only all downhill from there, then think again! Our life expectancy has never been greater, with 25% of people now living well into their 80's. That's at least another 30 years away! Just by incorporating a simple, healthy eating plan and daily physical activity, it's never too late to turn back the clock and add life to your years as well as years to your life.

Many aspects of our bodies change with age, not just physically but mentally and emotionally. We experience changes in our hormones, nervous system, digestive and immune systems as well as bone structure and organ function. Muscle mass, strength and physical endurance are reduced as is co-ordination, balance, flexibility and mobility. As our metabolism decreases our body fat levels tend to increase and so can our blood pressure, while mood disorders like anxiety and depression can also be on the rise.

A combination of all of these things can make it extremely demotivating and difficult to find a reason to get up in the mornings and as a result we run the risk of losing our purpose and life and the ability to continue to set and achieve our goals which help us to move forward and embrace living our best life. There is good news however, all of these things can be substantially improved and most reversed by following some simple steps.

Visit your Doctor

It's important to have your overall health assessed before you start any exercise program so make an appointment with your doctor to get the green light to proceed.

Strength Training

Resistance or weight training promotes bone strength and muscle mass which deteriorate significantly as we get older due to the decline of the production of muscle tissue, also known as atrophy. A simple compound weights program performed 2-3 times per week will give you a full body workout and can dramatically improve these areas in a comparatively short space of time.

Cardio Endurance Exercise

Activities that increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time will help improve your endurance. These include walking, jogging, swimming and bike riding helping your heart, lungs and circulatory system to stay healthy and give you more energy. If you are new to exercise start with 10 minutes every day and build weekly until you reach a minimum of 30 minutes low to moderate cardio exercise per day. As your fitness improves you can incorporate a hard cardio day of 30 minutes where you can't hold a conversation during that activity.

Balance & Stretching Exercises

Improving your balance helps to prevent falls that can result in bone injuries while stretching regularly will help maintain and improve flexibility, giving you more freedom of movement allowing you to be more active as you get older. Yoga, Pilates or any Body Balance class are all great activities that promote your balance and flexibility.

Eating a Healthy Diet

Simply eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day that contain a balance of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats will help fire our metabolism and provide the necessary energy levels required to maintain a regular exercise program, and carry out normal every day activities with more ease.

These simple steps, if carried out consistently, will soon ingrain good habits and become and a way of life. Once you start reaping the rewards and noticing the positive changes to the way you feel, you will find it easier to stay motivated and inspire others at the same time. So, what are you waiting for? It's never too late to start living your best life.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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