Fitness Over 50

This youngster gets it, and I admire his commitment to focusing his training practice on people for whom fitness really matters.

I’ve talked about this before, and the more I think about it, the more I believe that my own focus needs to change. I’m passionate about cycling, but when it really gets down to it, that’s just another aspect of what Mike Vacanti is talking about here – being fit enough to keep living your life the way you want to.

He’s right about why fitness matters so much more to those of us who are at or near the mid-century mark. Having cut abs when you’re 25 is nice for those times when you’re going to be shirtless at the beach, but being able to get up off the toilet without help, or bathe yourself, or simply move around unassisted when you’re in your 70s and 80s is really, really serious.

I’m 49 and I already live with chronic pain due to injuries that happened when I was a teenager. A huge part of my motivation for keeping control of my weight and maintaining my fitness is already about minimizing that pain. I cannot imagine what I might be dealing with in terms of pain management now, or at 60 or 70 if I hadn’t started to take this stuff seriously when I did 10 years ago.

This is serious stuff for us aging folks. We need to take it seriously.

If you are making an effort to save for your retirement but you aren’t putting at least as much effort in investing in your health then you’re likely going to be spending a good chunk of that retirement savings, if not all of it, on medical care.

Fitness over 50 takes more work, more focus and more heart than fitness in your 20s or 30s does, plain and simple.

And the analogy with retirement savings isn’t a one I make flippantly. Lots of use mid-lifers started saving for our retirement much later than we should have. That 401k seemed vaguely weird in our 20s and still pretty distant in our 30s. Most of us, at best, dabbled with it, just like we did with exercise and health focus. Past 40 though if you hadn’t taken it seriously you have to focus. Same for fitness.

Losing weight and getting strong is relatively easy for a young person. Youth is about growth, so a young person’s body adapts quickly to pretty much any exercise and you see positive results even if you’re doing it wrong. The same process is much harder for someone pursuing fitness over 50.

The difference is that when it actually matters, when the WHY is bigger, it’s easier to stay committed.

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