18 Ways Anyone Over 50 Can Become More Active

By , Betsy Ogden, Founder of The Art of Going Gray
As time marches on, joints that didn't use to ache suddenly ache, and things you used to do with ease are slightly more challenging. There's no denying that getting older can be a pain. But because you're a baby boomer, you're determined to make your "third act" purposeful and active. This is a generation of 'do-ers' and that doesn't stop as you age.
Whether working, traveling or learning a new skill, the challenge we face in our 50s, 60s and beyond is to stay healthy and fit so we can enjoy our lives and continue contributing to the world. But how? We see our bodies change right before our eyes, as our middles get thicker and our muscles get smaller. Joints creak, aches and pains are a near-daily occurrence, and injuries seem to pop up more often. We have bones to keep healthy and injuries and illnesses to handle.
What's a person to do? Instead of getting overwhelmed and calling it quits or overdoing it by hitting the gym for hours at a time, create what I call a "Moving Life" instead. In your Moving Life, activity is built in as a natural part of your day. If you're sedentary for most of the week or you've been a weekend warrior up to this point, incorporating some or all of these ideas for adding movement to your day could lead to improvements in your overall wellness.
When you create a Moving Life, you'll improve your health and keep your spirit growing. You'll become flexible to life's changes, realistic about what's possible and learn to treat yourself with grace and kindness.

Here's to Your Moving Life

  1. Walk and walk often. Walking helps control the stress hormone cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain.
  2. Lift heavy things. Weight training helps build muscle and burn calories, but you don't have to go to the gym—bodyweight strength training exercises can be done at home.
  3. Consider jumping on the high-intensity interval training bandwagon to improve your cardiovascular health. The popular workout also helps you burn fat and maintain muscle, plus has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity.
  4. Take five deep breaths every time you stop at a traffic light. You'll be taking a mindfulness break that can help control the stress hormone cortisol.
  5. Park farther away from your office, the grocery, mall or friend's house. Start thinking of the "primo" spots as the ones that give you a chance to take a walk.
  6. Get a puppy. The boundless energy of a puppy will get you out and moving every day.
  7. Work in the garden. There's nothing like digging in the dirt to soothe your soul and strengthen your body.
  8. Take the stairs. Avoid the elevator or escalator and hoof it for improved strength and endurance.
  9. Put on some music and dance! It's not only good for balance, mobility and endurance, but your mood will lift with the music.
  10. Reach up to the top shelf on your tippy toes. What's up there anyway? When was the last time you looked? Squat down to see what's hiding on the lowest shelf, too. Challenge yourself to "go low" and work up to doing it without using your hands for support.
  11. Don't stop moving when you're recovering from injury or illness. Knee problem? Exercise your core and upper body. Shoulder problem? Do some leg exercises or walking. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist to develop a program that will allow you to move without aggravating your injury.
  12. Stimulate your brain and body. Try new activities that appeal to your sense of fun like hiking, photography or belly dancing. Get out of your comfort zone and find something that makes you smile.
  13. Find an accountability buddy. Having someone to meet for a walk can help you be consistent. The time will fly by during your workout and you'll have more fun.
  14. Challenge your balance. Can you pick up a package from the floor while balancing on one foot? Use it or lose it is the mantra for balance, so work on your functional fitness a few times a week.
  15. Get down to the floor and back up again, no hands! You need strength, balance and flexibility for this and it's a skill that might come in handy someday.
  16. Play with your grandkids. Sit on the floor, push the swings, kick the soccer ball around—not only will you enjoy quality time with your cutest loved ones, but you get the added benefit of lots of laughter, too.
  17. Plan an active vacation. Sitting on the beach in the sun is great, but plan an adventure that gets you moving. Look into areas that offer kayaking, hiking or other outdoor adventures so you can see the sights while challenging your body.
  18. Don't look at your body as the enemy. Aging is an accomplishment so offer yourself some grace and kindness.

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TOUDLES 6/28/2021
I am 67 and have done at least 10 of these today ( it was a more active than normal day), I got a new puppy months ago, beside keeping me walking, I think I have laughed more at him and his antics which is also very good for me. Yeah he's my current profile pic.
BONNIE1552 6/19/2021
Good ideas. Report
Good advice. I am old enough to need it
CECELW 4/22/2021
Some days I feel like I have more energy at 61 than I did in my 30's Report
LBST201 3/3/2021
50 is mid Gen X now. Report
I wish I would of read this article at 50 instead of at 70. Report
Fantastic ideas! Report
1CRAZYDOG 1/10/2021
Awesome! I love these suggestions. Report
EVIE4NOW 12/5/2020
wonderful ideas.. thanks Report
CECELW 11/1/2020
some great ideas Report
GRAMDEB16 9/3/2020
Thanks, my mom passed away because her balance was not good. She fell and never recovered. So I am determined to keep my balance! Report
LIS193 9/3/2020
Thanks Report
I may be 50+ now, but I've really enjoyed taking active vacations. When I went to Paris last year, I took two bike tours that were great fun. Report
Sometimes hard to admit the limitations of being 55....enjoyed the article Report
I've already been doing most of these suggestions, but haven't thought of the "take 5 deep breaths at every traffic light". Good one!! thank you! And I'm not a baby boomer, Generation X's are already in their 50s now too... ;) Report
good ideas Report
thanks Report
😁 Report
Looking forward to it Report
Very practical, thanks! Report
Never too old. Report
So many of these articles refer to doing things w/ grandkids. Some of us chose to not have children & therefore aren't controlled by rug rats or wasting time w_ them. Report
Thank You for a great article...………. Report
Great info. Thanks for sharing! Report
What a great advice! Report
Great Report
Keep moving forward Report
Sparks People always assumes people "over 50" are inactive. Most of us are not. We exercise all the time Report
You can always move SOMETHING. Report
Great reading and info, thank you! Report
Great article. Good info Report
Some of these are great ideas
Very good ideas in this article to add into our daily live. Thanks! Report
Some really great ideas Report
Super thanks! Report
perfect Report
I plan to incorporate some of these ideas. Report
I'm over 50+ and walk everywhere. I tell people, walking is not only great cardiovascular exercise, it's a great way to reduce stress too.

Also, people over 50 should not assume they are too old to try something new. I was in my late 40s when I climbed my first indoor rock wall. I take boxing and martial arts classes. I modify exercises when I need too.

It's never too late to make a healthy change ! Report
LOVE this blog - great ideas and great motivation. Grateful for the nudge to resist the 'age mentality' - thanks. Report
Great ideas Report
A great list! Report
I love to walk! Report
I wasn't quite ready for the $495 charge for the full 6-week challenge. I'll start with the free 6 day one. Report
I visited your page, and I've joined your challenge. I wish that you had a SparkTeam! Report
#1 is walking. Yes, it is! Report
No excuses! Love it. Report