Fitness for over 50s
People in their 50s form a very heterogeneous group. Everyone is different and this is why some form of assessment is important.
I learnt a long time ago that chronological age does not equal functional or physiological age and I have worked with people in their 50s who are functionally fitter than people in their 30s and 40s.
Yes, general declines in various fitness components can be predicted for people in their 50s, but there is huge variability within this age range. People in their 50s form a very heterogeneous group!
Everyone is different and this is why some form of assessment is important. Yes, you may initially be limited in what exercises you can do due to a number of reasons including health, an old injury, tight muscles or issues around what you believe you can achieve. However your chronological age, alone, doesn’t limit the type of exercises you can do.
I have worked with 50 year olds whose primary goal was to lose body fat and to tone their muscles; I have also worked with 50 year olds who wanted to simply move better and reduce their back pain. With both groups I apply the same principles of Functional Exercise and get good results.
Interestingly, I have worked with a large number of people in their 50s, both men and women, who have excellent aerobic (cardio-vascular) fitness and are strong in particular movements. But, they struggle with many of the other fitness components that can begin to deteriorate post 50.
Their co-ordination may be poor through different planes of movement, their muscles are often tight, restricting their freedom of movement, and their pillar strength is often compromised. These kinds of issues can impact on day to day functional movements and predispose people to future injuries.
We are designed to move! If you are one of the people who sit for hours on end at a desk or in front of the television, you may be negatively impacting your health. Current research suggests that people who include some kind of movement throughout the day can positively impact their blood health profiles.