Everytime I am at a dinner party or I am at a social event and I am introduced as a fitness expert people immediately start asking me questions about fitness and how to lose weight?
More often than not without prompting from me they begin to tell me about all the exercise regimes and diet plans they are using, or have used but complain to me that they do not work and they are not seeing any results and they want to know why?
Well today I am going to tell you why, right here in this article.
Here are The 7 Biggest Mistakes People In Their 50s Make When Working Out
1. Not Having Clear Goals Of What You Want To Achieve
The number one mistake people in their fifties make when working out is not having a clear goal of what you want to achieve.
Without the why, what’s the point?
What is going to make you get up and workout, when you don’t feel like doing it?
Every evening at 6pm I don’t feel like working out. I have just finished my days work and planning tomorrow’s day, my gym is in the garage, it’s winter it’s dark and cold outside, actually because I live in the Highlands of Scotland it’s not cold it’s freezing.
But I have a clear vision and goal of where I want to be and what shape I want my body to be by a specific date.
And nothing is going to stand in the way of achieving my goals.
My goal is to get my body back looking in the same shape as it was when I was 24 and at my peak, by April 5th 2019, which is my Birthday and I will be 54.
My workout is part of my daily schedule to do the things I need to do on a daily basis to achieve my goals.
My workout is in my calendar and when the 10 min notification goes off I think oh no and for the next 10 minutes my mind tells me all the different reasons and excuses it can find of why I don’t want or it even tries to tell me that I don’t need to workout.
Does that sound familiar to you?
Believe me no one feels like working out everyday
But you have to do the things you have to do on a daily basis to be successful and discipline is doing the things you don’t want to do because you know they have got be done.
Muhammad Ali famously said,
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”
This is what you need to do in your own life and your own training.
You have to set your own goals and focus on them every day, and don’t let yourself be distracted by things that take you away from your goals.
What is your goal, what is your Vision?
To lose weight is not enough it needs to be a specific goal with a set date and a reward for achieving it.
I want to lose 7 lbs by February 14th so I can wear my new size 10 dress to dinner at Roka that night.
2. Not Scheduling And Planning Your Workouts Properly.
The second common mistake people make is not scheduling and planning their workouts properly.
Because I had a hip replacement operation in August, I need to do yoga to warm up my body to do my hip replacement rehabilitation exercises everyday to be able to walkfreely without pain.
I start my working day at 5am and spend two hours writing or working on my most important business task of the day and then have some cereal for breakfast.
At 7:45 my alarm goes off to do yoga and onto my mat I get and begin my daily yoga practice and hip replacement rehabilitation exercises that my physiotherapist has given me.
They are boring and painful, but I know I have to do them everyday to be able to walk properly and to get my full strength and mobility back around my hip joint and muscles.
I finish the last 15 minutes of my morning session with a round of body weight exercises, some stretches and the closing sequence of the Ashtanga yoga system including savasana – the corpse of sleeping pose.
When I finish at 9am my daily reward is to take my dogs for a walk on the beach pain free, which I absolutely love doing and is one of my favourite things in life to do.
Whilst walking the dogs I will make my first business calls of the day.
Then when I finish my working day as mentioned earlier I will do my weights workout
I do a different body part each day…
- Monday – Chest
- Tuesday – Back
- Wednesday – Legs
- Thursday – Shoulders
- Friday – Arms
On Saturday mornings I do my yoga, rehabilitation and body weight exercises, walkthe dogs and stretch in front of the tv, but do no weights.
On Sundays I do no exercise at all except walk the dogs and stretch whilst watching the TV.
My daily and weekly exercise schedule is planned and very structured. I know exactly what I am doing at exactly what time each day and it is placed in my diary as an appointment with myself, exactly the same way as I would book an appointment or meeting with anybody else for business.
This is what you need to do for yourself, plan the best time to do your workout in your daily schedule and working day calendar.
Once it’s planned and in your diary, you have to do it, it is non negotiable.
Discipline creates freedom and routine sets you free
3. Training For Too Long
Another common mistake people make is to work out for too long.
You are busy, you don’t have enough time as it is, to get everything done, with work and spend time with your family let alone your friends and doing the things you love doing, so why would you waste your valuable time spending hours doing boring cardio exercises.
Finding the time to do a workout for an hour or more on a regular basis is not realistic or sustainable for any length of time.
The key to success in your health and fitness goals is to train consistently on a regular basis.
My workouts whether they are my body weight sessions or lifting weights are for 15 minutes, yes you heard right my workouts are only 15 minutes long.
They are short, sharp and high intensity designed to get maximum results from the minimum amount of time.
4. Doing The Wrong Type Of Exercise
Too many people waste hours of time and energy doing boring cardio sessions or long weight training sessions with long periods of rest in between each exercise or set.
Aside from walking my dogs and riding my bike, I do not waste my time doing endless cardio.
Most people when they get past 40 are going to have to take better care of the joints, just like a car and it’s parts your body only has a certain amount of miles in it, before its parts or in your body’s case your joints, particularly hips and knees begin to wear out.
I was a professional dancer and like many of my friends that were professional dancers I have had to have a hip replacement at 53, I was lucky my other dancer friends have had double hip replacements by the age of 50.
It’s the same for professional footballers with the majority of them having osteoarthritis in the hips and knees by the age of 40.
We see similar results with marathon runners.
Having osteoarthritis in your hip is like having toothache in your hip constantly 24 hours a day and is particularly painful at night, making sleep nigh on impossible. The pain becomes unbearable and I was unable to walk without a walking stick for 18 months. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
So please be careful of your precious body and joints and stop pounding your body for hours on end.
Train faster and smarter, with low impact body weight exercises, controlled short weight sessions, cycling, rowing or swimming.
5. Not Eating The Right Food
For years and years I have heard so many people complaining about the amount of exercise they are doing without getting any results or losing any weight.
In nearly every case, when asking them a few questions I find out it is because they are not eating the right food and drinking the wrong type of drinks.
Getting results and losing weight is 80% what you eat and only 20% working out. So you need to concentrate as much and probably even more on what you eat and drink once you have begun working out properly.
Eat clean, natural unprocessed foods, with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, proteins, mineral vitamins and healthy fats, with plenty of vegetables, drink 1.5 litres of water everyday, no fizzy, sugary drinks and only a moderate amount of alcohol.
This will maximise your workout results, aid your recovery and help you achieve your goals quicker.
6. Not Stretching Enough
Another common mistake people in their 50s make when working out is not stretching enough both before and after exercising.
This is so important for mobilising and warning the body up before exercise to prepare your body efficiently to maximise your performance in your workouts and prevent injury.
As you grow older you begin to lose mobility in your joints and flexibility in your muscles, so it’s very important to spend longer stretching particularly after your workout to fight the ageing process and make performing everyday tasks easier and recover from your workouts more effectively.
7. Not Getting Enough Sleep And Allowing Time For Recovery
Getting enough sleep is probably the thing that people who are working out ignore the most, which is a huge mistake, especially when you reach the age of 50 and sleep becomes even more important.
Like breathing, sleep is a fundamental human requirement. It has even been said that one could survive for three times as long without food as one could without sleep.
The longest recorded time a human has been known to go without sleep is 11 days.
Most healthy adults need between seven and half to nine hours a sleep a night to function best.
How much sleep do you get?
Six or seven hours of sleep may sound pretty good, but really that’s a recipe for chronic sleep deprivation.
In terms of working out and your health and fitness, chronic sleep deprivation leads
- Fatigue, lethargy, and lack of motivation
- Prevention of muscle growth and repair, which Increases the chances of injury
- Reduced immunity, frequent colds and infections
- Weight gain and muscle loss
- Increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems
Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by going to bed at the same time everyday and waking up at the same time to consistently get 8 hours sleep a night.
So there we have… The 7 Biggest Mistakes People in Their 50s Make When Working Out
Don’t be one of those people, who will read this and do nothing.
Make sure you train faster and smarter
1. Set a specific fitness goal to be achieved within a specific deadline
2. Plan and schedule your workouts on a daily and weekly basis
3. Don’t over train or train for too long
4. Do short, sharp workouts of joint friendly exercises
5. Eat a healthy balanced diet of natural unprocessed food and drink plenty of water
6. Stretch before and after your workouts
7. Sleep for 8 hours a day
Courtesy of Steve Agyei – Get Fit at 50 Club