…and/or running, hiking, biking, walking, skiing, strength training, paddle boarding. Pickle-balling? If you want to be healthy, functional and fit in your 50’s and beyond, just keep doing whatever activity you enjoy, whatever form of movement puts a smile on your face and connects you to your community.
This is such simple advice. Simple, but difficult, and often impossible advice to follow if you are not among the minority of people who are wired to really enjoy (need?) the sweat of hard physical effort. If you are past the half-century mark and reading this short post, you already know there are no secrets or shortcuts to being a 50+ athlete. The non-secret is consistency. How to stay consistent is equally simple…and difficult.
I started this website to learn from other 50+ folks who are reframing expectations of what can be achieved with a no longer youthful body. Among the many lessons learned so far, I keep running into two constants: joy of movement, and community. If you pick an activity you do not enjoy – you will most likely find an unending supply of excuses not to get up and get out. If you do not surround yourself with a likeminded community, then you are less likely to hold yourself accountable to consistently staying active.
I recently added three new snapshots to my site. Read them. Read why they do what they do, read what they are still able to do, read what they plan to be keep doing as they age. It is worth repeating that our generation is the first to really want more out of life’s second half than to grow old gracefully. As Phil Cavell wrote, “we are a generation of crash test dummies”, testing the boundaries of health, fitness and performance into our final sunsets.
Yes, you can become fit after 50, but it is so much easier to achieve fitness while young, and maintain it. Most people reading this blog exist somewhere on the spectrum of recreational athlete, to “dear god, how are they still able to perform at that level at that age”. No matter where you fit on that scale, I hope you will find a community who inspires you and an activity that gets you outside through every season. You are already an example and leader to younger generations – I hope the example you provide is the joy of movement, daily demonstrating that Age Is No Barrier.