Baby Boomers are clearly not ready for retirement, and the proof is in the 343% increase in membership gym sales for the age group 50+ since 1990. They are determined not to grow old as fast and choose instead to be young and fit throughout their late years. Here are some reasons why staying active into your “Golden Years” is important.
- Bone density: Although the decline of bone density accelerates dramatically around the age of 50, weight training in particular, coupled with proper nutrition, significantly reduces the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. A research study by Ontario’s McMaster University found that a year-long strength training program increased the spinal bone mass of postmenopausal women by 9 percent. Furthermore, women who do not participate in strength training actually experience a decrease in bone density.
- Muscle loss: When over the age of 50, there is a drastic loss in muscle mass – approximately 3-4 kg per decade. In order to prevent this, it is crucial to work out and eat lean, quality protein and complex carbohydrates. Since 75% of a muscle is water, continue to stay fully hydrated.
- Heart disease: The heart is a muscle. With this being said, cardiovascular training, strength training, a healthy diet with low saturated fat and low sodium, is the key to staying heart healthy. During a 10-year study at Harvard Medical School, the results showed that moderate exercise reduces the risk of heart disease by 27 percent to 41 percent.
- Joints: Joints, especially after the age of 50, require regular movement, aerobic and weight training exercises. These are extremely beneficial to maintaining healthy joints and mobility. Since your body releases acid and toxins during a workout, it is beneficial to drink plenty of water to flush these out. After a workout, it is important to stretch and stay flexible, which is a key component of mobility.
- Body fat levels: Past middle age, we notice a significant metabolism decrease that can be considerably curbed with active lifestyle and a healthy diet. It is never too late to start working out and the body will always respond well to exercise and healthy nutrition – so you can be 50, healthy, fit and lean!
- Many other benefits: Fewer back problems, decreased depression, increase in confidence, better self-esteem, more energy, decrease in cancer risk, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol – these are only some of the many benefits that this generation of baby boomers can experience with physical fitness, proper nutrition and mental balance.
One of the main reasons Health Fitness Revolution supports fitness after 50 is because it is motivational and inspirational for all of us, regardless of age (Madonna, at age 57, is in the best shape of her life). We can think of my own parents remaining healthy and fit, so that our children can enjoy their grandparents for a long time. Sooner or later, we will all be over 50, and when that time comes, we want to be 50, young and fit! How about you?
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