Too Old to Exercise?!

As a medical student, and hopefully future healthcare worker, I think it's really important to do the best of your ability to stay healthy. The medical role relies on people wanting to be fit and strong and wanting to get better. A big part of being able to achieve that is down to exercise and eating habits. With that come so many benefits at all ages but especially at older ages, where people suffer with more problems, those who lead a more active life, not only have much better recovery times but also suffer less in return.

My guest poster has a clear view on the subject and here she writes from the heart on a topic she is currently experiencing. Mary has always had an interest in holistic health through fitness, nutrition, and wellness. She first started her blog, Fit Over 50, to let others know that being in the middle­ age of life does not mean the end of an active one.
Do you ever get the feeling that we have been forgotten about as far as fitness, nutritional health, staying in shape, exercise, and actually working out. I am talking to all of you; all of you over the 50+ age group. Me and you.

Well, I would like to “politely” remind the world, especially the youth of today that "Hey guys, we are still here and pretty much not going anywhere!"

O.K. I am willing to admit and (no, you don’t have to drag it out of me) that maybe I am finding myself these day with less energy, waking up in the mornings with muscles aching from who know what region of my body or what about I could have swore the print on that page was bigger yesterday. 

To be totally honest even though we might hate to admit it “even to ourselves” we are not getting any younger (ouch!).  It is a fact of life that we can’t escape that as we get older, taking better care of ourselves should become a pretty high priority. I know to keep breathing should be at #1 but still…. 

To be 100% honest, health and  fitness should be a concern for everyone regardless of age, and not a 'let’s not leave it until we get older' type of thing.  But most of us just don't know what to do about it. Any suggestions?  

Why is there suddenly silence in the room… 

It’s not “rocket science”. It’s called quit having a love ­affair with your couch, remote, and bag of chips, get your body up and moving! It is called exercising and nutrition and those two words go hand­-in-hand. 

EXERCISE: Get together with your girl or guy friends and join programs that are offered in your local community. Where I live they send me magazines and program guides every season with things to do specifically for the 50+ older crowd that offers recreation, exercises and enrichment classes. 

Hire a personal trainer for some one on one time if you are not into crowds.  Buy exercise videos and dance around the privacy of your living room (my favorite).  Go for walks at least 3 times a week in a near­by park (another one of my favorites).  If you want to be even more adventurous take rollerblade classes and don't’ laugh until you’ve tried it (this one is on my to­-do list). 

NUTRITION: If you are serious about this one, and we all should be, you should be food conscience in terms of being aware of what you are putting in your mouth, and when putting together a meal.  If blood pressure is a concern, always be on the lookout for no or low sodium items for every meal. 

If you don’t have a clue on where or how to start, look up dietitians or nutritionists on the internet or get a referral from your primary care physician to help you plan your meals.  Also (in my own opinion) you don’t need meat for every meal.  Instead, try fish and salads which are always good substitutes. 

What I am trying to get at is staying healthy takes work all the time.  Each and everyday you have to ask yourself if what’s going into your mouth is going to help or hurt you, and what have you done to move your body today? 

Newsflash! If you are not in the 50+ crowd, just wait, time has a way of creeping up on a person. Blink and a year has gone by, just asked anyone over 50. Ultimately, it comes down to everyone has to be responsible for his or her own health. We only get one shot at life, let’s make it as long and healthy as possible. 

Mary clearly has a real passion on the subject and I hope she doesn't mind when I tell you that she really spoke from the heart. As with how many of my blog posts being written, she just started thinking about how the topic related to herself and the words just came flying out. She couldn't write them down fast enough!

I would just like to point out that we are not experts. We will try to answer and help in the comments but if you are worried about anything in this post, please seek medical advice. In terms of low sodium foods especially, please note that often, substituted ingredients can be damaging too so do research before drastically changing anything.

To learn more about this topic please go ahead and check out her blog here. She also provides recipes, nutritional advice, fitness tips, and motivational articles for those who are over the age of 50 who want to stay active.