What does my daily routine look like to maintain my fitness over 50? That’s what I’m covering into today’s blog post. I am sharing my routines, habits and healthy choices that have kept me lean, strong and energetic at 52-years young :).
In my opinion, finding the perfect balance between staying healthy and fit as well as looking your best, is going to be different for everyone, but perhaps this post will give you a good starting point.
Nope, I Wasn't Always Fit!
Before we get into this, I want to dispel any myths that I'm just a naturally lean person. I assure you, I am not. When I was younger, I was well over 200lbs and very unhealthy. You can read more about my transformation story here.
Getting Fit vs Staying Fit over 50
I think it’s worth starting out with an acknowledgment that where I am in my fitness and healthy living journey might be very different then where you are. You might be much further along, or just getting started.
The key here is to takeaway what resonates with you and leave the rest. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting in your best shape, and if you don’t think that’s a possibility, then I’d love to change your mind about that!
Fitness over 50 (or Any Age) Starts in the Kitchen
Yep, I hate to break it to you, but you can't sweat your way out of a bad diet. No amount of lifting weights or Zumba is going to make you lean if you're eating a poor diet.
Now, I'm not saying that you can't live a little and enjoy treats. Personally, I indulge in wine and Mexican food whenever the urge strikes, but even then, I find the best quality choices, try to keep it as clean as possible.
As an example, here's some of my favorite healthy Mexican dishes:
The “Why” Behind my Dedication to Fitness at 52
My golden rule is that I only workout on the days where I need my brain to function. As you can probably imagine, that means I’m moving my body everyday, unless I’m physically unable to.
The research on the benefits of brain health, not to mention physical health, is astounding. By getting your heart rate up for just 30 minutes, you can reduce risk of Alzheimers, heart disease and cancer, not to mention the benefits for managing ADHD-related symptoms.
As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD just last year, I can tell you that my commitment to fitness over the course of the last 25 years is the number one reason I’ve been able to cope with the struggles associated with ADHD, and live a normal life.
My Weekly Fitness Routine
My routine varies based on how I’m feeling, what I have time for, and to be honest, how close I am to washing my hair. I try not to do too much cardio on days where I don’t plan to wash my hair as my head gets super sweaty.
With that said, a typical week looks like this..
- Monday - walk 10K steps + 30 mins of Core power yoga
- Tuesday - walk 10K steps + 40 mins of barre
- Wednesday - Walk 10k+ steps
- Thursday - Walk 10K steps + 40 mins of barre
- Friday - Run for 45 mins on the treadmill
- Saturday - Hike for 2 hours
- Sunday - Walk 10K steps and yoga
So as you can see, I have a daily commitment of walking 10K steps. This is typically a 40 min walk in my neighborhood trails in the morning, followed by a few dog walks and just tidying the house or working in the garden.
My strength workouts (barre or yoga) are typically done in the afternoon, around 2pm. This is when I’m in need of a little boost of blood flow to the brain to keep my focus in check.
Overall, I try not to sit too much and just get as much NEAT movement as I possibly can. It’s amazing how much activity you can generate from vacuuming, making the bed or shoveling dirt in the garden. I love being active, and I never want this part of my life to slow down.
How my fitness routine has changed since turning 52?
I would say that my fitness routine has shifted to more low impact workouts with more strength and mobility work. It’s important for me to point out that it’s not that I “can’t” do the high intensity work anymore, because I can. But I don’t really see the need.
I’m the first to admit that for a good part of my adult life, my main motivation for fitness was to look my best. That was, and still is very important to me.
However, when I was in my thirties and 40’s I wasn’t thinking about the longevity of my body parts. As long as they looked good and functioned properly, all was well.
So the biggest change in my fitness as I’ve entered my 50’s is my mindset around why I workout. I feel as though my workouts keep me happy and healthy. When I move my body, even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, it does amazing things for my mood and outlook on life. That’s something that I never want to lose access to for as long as I live.
I want to move freely so I can live happy, so my investment in mobility, flexility, and low impact workouts is the best way I know how to keep this body moving the way I need it to.
Fortunately, while my motivations have changed for the better, it hasn’t impacted my performance or results. I still feel and look as strong and lean as I was 20 years ago, I feel like I’m 25, I’m probably more flexible now than I’ve ever been, and I still feel good in a bikini.
So that’s my routine these days. What about you? Has your attitude and approach to fitness changed over the years?
I am beyond grateful to be one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program. This is an experimental feature that allows you, my awesome community, to directly show your appreciation for the content on my website, by purchasing a virtual sticker. As a loyal supporter, you have the ability to express yourself and share when you feel inspired to do so.
There are a variety of stickers to select from and every time you send a paid sticker, you can add a personal message about why you’re supporting a particular piece of content. For me, these virtual stickers translate into direct revenue to support the work that goes into the content that you are enjoying on my blog.
You can find the Thank with Google feature in multiple places on my site. I’d also love to hear what you think about this concept as it seems to be a trend that many platforms are starting to embrace.
Does the idea of directly supporting creators appeal to you? Either way, I appreciate that you’re here, and thanks as always for your support and for being a part of this community.
To your health,
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.