Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Credit: CC0 Public Domain
Keep moving. Do you want to stay healthier even after you are over 50? Want to prevent arthritis and other age-related symptoms? Then get up and get active.
This is something that Dr. Nicholas van der Ahe, a primary care physician at Atrium Health Floyd, said would be of great benefit to people over 50.
“Try to get at least two and a half hours of exercise a week,” he said. “This equates to about 150 minutes of exercise over the course of a week. It has been shown to have significant benefits for people over 50.”
This includes a balance of cardio and weightlifting.
“Keep moving,” he said. “When you slow down, your body does the same. Want to prevent diseases like arthritis? Stay active. Do as much as you can within your means. You have to run a marathon. I’m not saying, but go swim in the pool, ride your bike or elliptical, or do yoga.”
Tammy Sprayberry recently turned 51 and said she’s been making a serious effort to eat healthier. However, it wasn’t until about 5-6 years ago that she started exercising her regularly. She hired a personal trainer.
“This is the best thing I’ve ever done,” she said. “If you’re just starting your fitness journey and have the funds, I recommend hiring a personal trainer. People often end up overdoing it or getting frustrated when trying to join a gym. But… If this is you, I recommend hiring a personal trainer. Finding someone who understands your fitness status can make a huge difference.
Sprayberry started with 5-pound arm weights. Now she weighs up to 30 pounds.
She wants to assure those over 50 that it’s never too late to start living a healthier, more active lifestyle. Even if you can’t hire a personal trainer, she says you can do some small exercises and build up from there.
“Start where you can,” she said. “When I started jogging, I would go to my driveway, jog to the mailbox, and walk back. That was all I could do. Gradually, I would increase the distance a little bit at a time. I would start as slow as I needed to. Don’t be afraid to gradually increase the distance.” But start. ”
Mr. Sprayberry created a small chart to track his exercise. And she continued to chart her own progress, which was gradual at first. But I couldn’t stay like this.
Most recently, she completed the Savage Race. Savage Race is an obstacle race in which participants must overcome a number of unusual obstacles before reaching the finish line.
In 2019, Sprayberry completed a triathlon.
“Even though the sprint distance was shorter, it was still a triathlon,” she said. “My friend suggested I try it, and I said I couldn’t do a triathlon. I don’t know how to swim. My friend said, ‘Try taking swimming lessons,’ so I did. I think I got the next highest grade.” I’ve done it several times since then.
Since starting her fitness journey, Tammy has lost over 100 pounds.
“I still eat unhealthy food and drink beer on Friday nights,” she said. “But I also do CrossFit. The gym I go to is very encouraging. Every win for me is a win for them. I go there in the morning and I’m the oldest person there. But it doesn’t matter.”
Matt Christiansen, 52, said he was of “low, strong Irish descent.” From an early age, he didn’t like the way he looked, overexercised and didn’t eat right.
She started doing yoga at the age of 48 and says it has completely transformed her body.
“It’s one of those things that doesn’t seem difficult, but it’s incredibly difficult,” he said. “It’s hard, but it had so many benefits for me. It completely changed my body. I’ve been working out (at the gym) for years, but when I started doing yoga, I never felt as fit. I haven’t had a big impact on my trunk and stability, and I’ve become more aware of how I’m standing and sitting.”
And it’s accessible, he said. Almost anyone can do it. You can attend a class, hire an instructor, or even do it at home.
“Going to yoga is probably the most rewarding thing to do, not just for the visible results, but mentally,” Matt said. “I practice hard at first, but by the end I feel very zen. Every day I try to do something new, whether it’s a new pose, a slight modification to my form, or using the tips my instructor gives me. You can learn things.”
Van der Ahe also said that as we get older, diet becomes more important to our health.
“Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains,” he said. “If I had to choose one diet that I would really recommend for people over 50, it would be the Mediterranean diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and things like avocado and olive oil. Contains healthy fats: saturated fats.
“And don’t forget to stay active,” he added. “That’s the key.”
2023 Atlanta Journal Constitution. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.