"Quality of life" is a term we start to hear quite a lot when we approach middle age. In fact, we hear it so much, it just becomes another catchphrase. And it’s true, the quality of life thing becomes even more pertinent as we pass the "half-century” mark and move towards our 60’s and 70’s. We're all getting a lot more interested in how much quality our life will offer us in our older years. Now that we're getting older, we have more time to do the things we want to do, but at the same time we're getting a little less agile. We're worried about how comfortable we're going to be and how much enjoyment we're going to have. It's so true, isn’t it? And for all intents and purposes, this is a very valid focus for our thoughts.
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Fitness After 50
If you've been worried about your quality of life, you're not alone in your thinking. We ourselves worried that as empty nesters, our lives would become a blur of one night phasing into the next, eating convenience meals and binging on Netflix. We feared that our only hope of fitness activities was to wait to reach 60 so we could join the senior bowling league. (no offence if you’re a bowler) it just didn’t happen to be on our bucket list. Luckily, we rekindled our love of running and hiking, and never fell victim to the "you're getting old, just accept it" mindset. We welcome you to do the same, because exercise and training stand to improve your quality of life greatly.
We probably don't need to refer to a study to provide evidence of this one either. It goes without saying that exercise will promote better heart health, improve your natural energy levels, increase your flexibility, and make you stronger. Bending and crouching will be a breeze, making it easy for you to pick up items like boxes or furniture that weigh more than five pounds. Plus you'll have no trouble keeping up with your energetic grandkids both mentally and physically. Doesn't that sound like the quality of life you're after? Then to add to it, the cherry on the top, so to speak, you'll be digesting your food better, sleeping better, and looking physically better too. This is true quality of life in every sense of the phrase!
Tracking progress in your fitness journey is like having a personal cheerleader and a roadmap rolled into one. It not only celebrates your victories, whether big or small, but also serves as a tangible record of your hard work. This positive reinforcement is a powerful motivator, fueling your momentum and boosting your confidence. Tracking allows you to identify patterns and set realistic goals, transforming fitness into a personalized and sustainable adventure. It's not just about reaching the destination; it's about relishing every step forward and acknowledging the strength within you.
Track Your Progress
You may have found yourself approaching the idea of getting fit many times but soon revert to old habits. (here’s a link to a popular article we wrote on healthy habits). As the famous quote says "old habits tend to die hard" and that's true when it comes to getting back into fitness. Having a powerful set of whys is the most essential step in changing. We've included a few of our WHY’S to help inspire you to make your own list.
• To become stronger to avoid injuries
• To keep up with the energetic grandkids
• To look and feel better (confidence and self-esteem)
• To slow down the effects of aging
• To get the most out of this next phase of life
• To keep illnesses at bay
Staying Motivated & Accountable
A high-school football team has a cheerleading squad keeping them on the right path, but unfortunately, we don’t. That’s where tracking your fitness becomes the next best thing to a cheerleader. It's your motivational boost and accountability buddy rolled into one. When you jot down your achievements, whether it's running an extra lap or doing an extra set of squats, it's like giving yourself a high-five. Seeing your progress laid out in front of you is a visual pat on the back, a reminder of the hard work paying off. So, think of tracking as your fitness GPS, guiding you with motivation and making sure you stay on the right route to success.
The Right Metrics
You choosing the right metrics for tracking needs to work for you. Each person's fitness journey is unique, with distinct goals and health considerations. Selecting metrics that align with these factors is key for an effective tracking experience. If someone is aiming for weight loss, for example, metrics like body fat percentage or inches lost may be more relevant than simply looking at the number on the bathroom scale. Someone who’s focused on strength building might look at metrics related to muscle mass. This can apply to an array of factors, such as heart rate, flexibility, or joint health. Personal goals need to align with each and every individual, because this alignment is the compass that guides a person's fitness journey. You create your own roadmap, enhancing your own ability to track your progress, stay motivated, and make informed adjustments to your fitness routines.
Technology and Wearables
Want a personal coach strapped to your wrist? Then why not embrace the era of technology as it relates to wearables. Fitness trackers and smartwatches have revolutionized the way we monitor daily activity, providing real-time insights into our health. These wearable wonders act as diligent companions, meticulously recording steps taken, calories burned, and even monitoring heart rate throughout the day. The beauty lies not just in the data they collect, but in how they transform it into actionable information. Users can set goals, receive timely reminders to move, and track their progress over time, turning fitness into a gamified adventure. Smartwatches can offer specialized workout modes, guiding users through various exercises and ensuring they maintain the right intensity. Sleep tracking features help in optimizing recovery, while built-in GPS provides accurate distance measurements for runners and cyclists.
The real magic happens when technology bridges the gap between awareness and action. Fitness enthusiasts can receive notifications for achievements, encouraging them to celebrate milestones and stay motivated. The marriage of technology and wearables not only monitors daily activity but empowers individuals to lead healthier and more active lives.
Adjusting Your Workouts. As we get older, our bodies change, and our workouts should change too. Your exercise routine is like your wardrobe, it needs to grow with you, and change is sometimes necessary. For example, there comes a time when those pair of shoes aren’t doing it for you anymore, and you need to change them for something that works better for your feet. It's not about slowing down; it's about being smart and kind to yourself. Adapting your routine means finding exercises that feel good for your body now. This way, you stay strong, flexible, and keep doing what you love without unnecessary strain. It's not about getting older; it's about getting wiser with your workouts!
Importance Of Tracking
By monitoring progress, individuals can stay motivated and accountable, transforming fitness from a vague intention into a measurable journey. This tracking process becomes a source of motivation, a reminder of dedication and resilience, and a tool for making informed adjustments to one's fitness routine. It's an empowering practice that aligns personal goals with health considerations. Ultimately, tracking progress isn't just about reaching a destination; it's about relishing every step forward and embracing the strength within.
Gadgets as Sidekicks. Fitness trackers and smartwatches are like little buddies that give real-time feedback on your activity.
Data Turned Action. These devices don't just collect data; they turn it into useful info, helping you set goals, reminding you to move, and making your fitness journey feel like a game.
Dance with Age. Adapting workouts as you age is like changing your dance moves to match the music. It's not about slowing down; it's about picking moves that feel good.
Low-Impact Love. Choosing low-impact exercises is like taking the scenic route, gentler on the joints but still gets you to your fitness destination.
Listen and Modify. Your body talks, and you should listen. If an exercise feels off, modify it. It's like customizing your workout playlist to match your mood.
Embracing the journey means acknowledging that every step forward, no matter how small, is a win. It's not just about reaching your objectives, it's about relishing each chapter, especially the small victories that pepper the pages. Celebrate the morning you chose a brisk walk over hitting the snooze button, or the day you added an extra vegetable to your plate. These are the victories that weave the narrative of your progress. Take a moment to revel in the fact that you did one more push-up or held that plank for a bit longer. These are the building blocks of success.
There’s a simplicity of acknowledging and celebrating small wins. It's not just about the destination; it's about the joy of the ride. Cultivate a positive mindset to fuel the motivation to keep turning the pages of your unique and evolving fitness tale.
Life can be amazing after 50, especially when you're physically able to enjoy it. Make this the healthiest time of your life! There's no reason you should spend it in pain, discomfort, and declining health.