I'm almost two years into my "fit after 50" routine, so I can say from experience that you don't have to give up your health, vitality or youthful appearance just because you've been around for 5 decades.
In fact, as I write this blog post on the eve of my 52nd birthday, I can share that I've never felt happier, more at peace or more grateful for the health I have right now.
With that, today I'm sharing everything I'm doing right now to maintain myself, body, mind and brain. I hope you find it useful!
My Fitness Routine after 50
Since turning 50, my mindset around fitness has changed. Last year, I learned that I have ADHD. Along with hormonal changes, this has really had a big impact on my brain function (more on that in a minute). In retrospect, I realized that my fitness routine over the last 25 years has really saved me, mentally and physically.
That said, I've become much more cautious with my workouts because I know how important it is that I am able to workout for the rest of my life. Any injuries that prevent me from moving my body will have a downstream impact on my mental health and I don't want that to happen.
So I've adjusted my routine to ensure I'm building muscle strength, bone density and flexibility, while keeping my cardiovascular fitness high without a ton of high impact moves. My joints are in really good shape and I'd love to keep them that way.
Gosh, just talking about bone density and joints makes me sound so old! But to be honest, I feel like I did in my 30's. When I talk about sparing my body unnecessary wear and tear, I'm thinking about future me... who's 86 and still rocking a crow pose in yoga class.
So what does my Fit over 50 Fitness Routine Look Like Every Week?
Below is a typical schedule for me. The days may change based on how I'm feeling, the weather or when I need to wash my hair (don't judge), but it's generally the same things week to week. I also aim to get at least 10K steps every day from walking, cleaning
- Monday - Walk my hilly neighborhood for an hour
- Tuesday - 40 minute, full-body advanced barre class (I like Adrinne and Emily's classes on Alo Moves)
- Wednesday - Run on the treadmill for 30 mins + Yoga
- Thursday - A Barre Blend workout (from week 6, 7, or 8)
- Friday - Hilly walk in the neighborhood
- Saturday - 40 minute Barre class (Barre Blend or Alo Moves) + work in the garden
- Sunday - Yoga + outdoor walk or run on treadmill
Fit over 50 Includes the Skin Your In
This is the one area where I wish I had been smarter over the years. I used to burn my skin intentionally so that I would peel and then tan 😬. I wish I could pull my naïve 21 year-old self out of the sun and slather her up with 50 sunblock, but alas, I can only do what I can now to make up for lost time.
BTW I encourage you to cop this same attitude when it comes to fitness if you're arriving late to the game. It's NEVER too late to improve and if you start now, your future self will LOVE you for it.
My current "Fit Skin After 50" Routine
In full transparency, I have NEVER been consistent with my skincare routine until this year. Now I'm incredibly diligent about it. To avoid skipping my night routine, I do it right after dinner so I'm not too tired before bed.
- Hyaluronic Acid Serum
- Vitman C Serum
- Sunscreen (Using Eucerin Age Defense right now and loving it)
- Sunless tanning cream
- then makeup
Evening Routine (after I wash my face with a face cleansing balm)
- Avene RetinAL (<-loving this) alternating nights with my prescription retinol.
- Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Night Cream
Now, I'm by no means a skincare expert, but I follow a few 50+ beauty vloggers who recommended these products, and so far, I like how they feel and I LOVE that they're not over-the-top expensive.
My Fit Over 50 Mind/Brain Health
As I mentioned, I was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. This has had a PROFOUND effect on me as I look back at my life experiences through this new lens. So many women are getting diagnosed late in life now, so if you suspect you might have ADHD, I encourage you to seek a diagnosis from a psychiatrist or neuropsychologist. Chances are, your regular Dr. won't have the education or training to accurately diagnose you.
How I'm staying Brain Healthy After 50
I started trying different ADHD meds shortly after my diagnosis. I am not sure if I've landed on the right one yet, but in the meantime, I'm also dealing with a TON of menopause symptoms!
Brain fog, disrupted sleep, moodiness, and memory decline have been the worst of it, along with hot flashes (<-these are unbearable). My friend recommended Estroven, a natural supplement for menopause symptoms and within a month, my hot flashes had reduced dramatically.
I decided to give hormone therapy a try, because I had learned that a reduction in estrogen can exasperate ADHD symptoms. I've been on a low-dose treatment for about 3 weeks now, and while I'm not sure it's helping my ADHD, it is helping my moodiness and hot flashes, and I'm also sleeping like a champ again, so that definitely helps me function better.
Emotional Fitness After 50
Why aren't more people talking about the emotional changes we experience in our 50s? For me, it has been quite pronounced, both good and bad. As I mentioned, my hormonal changes have lead to moodiness, higher than normal anxiety levels and just generally not feeling myself. Since starting hormone replacement therapy, this has improved dramatically (thank goodness!).
However, I've also found that since turning 50, I've been spending a lot of time reconciling the past. I've invested in both therapy and personal coaching and both have been immensely worth the cost. As a result, I'm much more focused on what matters most to me. I've let go of outdated dreams, limiting beliefs, clutter and habits and I feel so much lighter and clearer about what I want for my future.
The REAL Beauty in Being Fit After 50
I'd be lying if I said that looking my best at every age wasn't important to me. It absolutely is because I believe that how I look on the outside is a reflection of how I'm feeling on the inside.
With that said, it's not my top priority. My inner fitness and wellbeing is. I believe with all my heart that focusing on the things that light me up (like writing this blog for over 10 years!) brings me so much joy. Even though getting older has its challenges, it also comes with so much wisdom and perspective that makes the hard parts somehow easier to deal with.
I'll never be ashamed of my age or feel as though it's "too late" to live a great life. Neither of my parents had the privilege to grow old, so I consider it a gift that I'm 52 and feeling amazing.
I hope I've given you a new perspective on aging, fitness and living well! Life is far too short and precious not to embrace every moment of it.
Caren is a certified yoga teacher, fitness instructor and ADHD Coach. As the founder of The Fit Habit, she shares ADHD-friendly self-care, food & fitness inspiration, along with practical ways to foster mind + body wellness.