So, there’s an internet theme going around with posts saying here’s the exercises you should not be doing after age 50. When you click on it its normal stuff that everybody should be able to do like squats and pushups. Of course, this is just click bait for 50 somethings and I have participated by clicking and making my own indignant comments etc.
Although it is fake news, it does bring up an interesting conversation. What should you be doing or not be doing after age 50? Well everybody is different so “one size fits all” answers are not going to work. However, there are some things to think about so here is my take on the five things you should not be doing after age 50.
- Underestimating yourself: Once you hit 40, people like to remind you of your age, for every ache and pain your doctor says, “well you know you are forty, right?”. Your kids call you over the hill. People put yards signs in front of your house announcing your age. “It’s your age” seems to be the answer to more and more questions as we get older and it’s important to keep this all in perspective. Your best days may be ahead of you. Many people have achieved amazing things after age 50. Ray Kroc franchised McDonalds in his 50s, Ronald Reagan went in to politics in his 50s, Charles Darwin published Origin of Species in his 50s to name a few.
- Slowing down, taking it easy: As we get older, we tend to lose muscle mass – if we sit around. Fortunately, we can maintain or even build muscle by exercising regularly. People on their 50s lift weights, do CrossFit and compete in Ironman triathlons. There is literally no reason not to exercise and every incentive to do so. At 50, you have a lot of living left to do so spend a few hours each week exercising so you can enjoy life going forward.
- Not trying new things: You may be very comfortable in your groove and the kids are out of the house so you don’t have to coach any teams or go anywhere you don’t particularly want to go. However, now is the time when you are free to do new things. For many, not having the obligations of taking care of others, allows them to take that vacation they really wanted, try living on a boat, move to another town or anything else they really wanted to do.
- Not educating yourself: Like muscle, brains are subject to atrophy if not exercised regularly. At 50 you may feel like you have seen it all or that you already know what you need to know. But the truth is what you know is very little compared to everything there is to know. There is a lot to learn and new things you don’t even know you like yet. So, take a course, read some books, try some new things and stimulate the old grey matter.
- Listening to naysayers: “You’re too old for that”, “don’t break your hip”. Ha Ha very funny. Sometimes you just have to stop listening to others and do what makes you happy. You will never find your limitations unless you push the boundaries, they may not be what you think or what others expect. We should all aim to be like SNLs Sally O’Malley and be punching and kicking and stretching our way into our 60s and 70s and beyond.
Thank for reading. Let us know what you are doing in your 50s and beyond. If you have enjoyed this blog, you may also enjoy my new book: Five Ways to Wellness. If you are looking for ways to be more active and get more out of life, this book is for you. It’s packed full of advice and practical tips on how to manage aches and pains, and live your best life in your 40’s 50’s 60’s and beyond. This book is based on what I have learned in my 28 years as a Physical Therapist and has many of the time-tested techniques I have used to help thousands of people in my community. Five Ways to Wellness is available on Amazon or you can stop by one of my clinics and pick one up there.