As you ease into your “golden years,” there are only two things that you can do to keep your body as young and healthy as possible – eat right and exercise daily. As you put more miles on your body, similar to a car, you may have to pay more attention to your maintenance plan. The truth of the matter is that your workout routines should not be too much different than a 20-year-olds, but there are a few “tweaks” that you will need to make that will keep your workouts safe and effective for your age.

I have designed a basic cardio plan and listed resistance training routines that you should perform at least 2-3 times per week to maintain optimum health.

If you are unfamiliar with Exercise Menu, you will soon learn that I am a big believer in the more effective, short but intense workout routines based on the HIT theory. Make these basic workouts as routine as brushing your teeth, and you will keep your joints, muscles, cardiovascular and other body systems in optimal shape.

From ScienceDaily:

More and more, professional organizations are recommending interval training during rehabilitation from diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, peripheral artery disease and cardiovascular disease. Our research certainly provides evidence that this type of exercise training is as effective as traditional moderate intensity training

The Basic Cardio Workout a 50-Year-Old Should Do 2-3 Times Per Week

Your goal: You should be able to perform 10, 100 yard sprints at 90-100% of your maximum speed.

This goal is simple enough and proven to be an effective cardiovascular workout routine for 50-year-olds. Not only will this help you to maintain or lose weight, it is also a great means to keep your bones and muscles strong. Further, these intense bouts of cardiovascular exercise will help to strengthen your heart, lower your heart rate and keep your cholesterol and blood sugar in check.

I bet your initial reservation is that you can’t do sprints, either because you do not feel safe doing them or you have not sprinted in years. I am confident that if you ease into this workout properly, you can achieve this goal of 10, 100 yard sprints. Here’s how:

  1. Always perform a warm-up run for 3-5 minutes before you begin your sprint workout.
  2. Make sure you have the proper workout equipment, including running shoes and the proper workout clothes.
  3. Begin with just running one sprint. You should never start out running at 100% of your maximum effort. Instead, make this first sprint a comfortable jog just to get used to short-distance running again.
  4. Take as much rest as you need to comfortable catch your breath. Use this time to stretch if you like or meditate. When ready, jog faster back to your starting point.
  5. From here, decide how many 100 yard sprints you can physically perform during this workout. If it is only 2, that’s okay! Come back in 48 hours and try to gradually increase both your pace and/or the number of sprints you can perform. Personally, I usually increase my pace before I increase my total number of sprints. I use this method because research emphasizes that your pace is most important. However, I cannot cite any sources that compare the two.
  6. Over many weeks, you should be able to achieve your goal of running 10, 100 yards sprints with 100% of your maximum effort.

The key to achieving this goal is to take your time. If you rush into running too fast or perform too many sprints, you definitely increase your risk for injury. Remember, there is no rush and no shame! If you only perform one with the best effort you can, that is an excellent start, and you will naturally improve!

Throw the old ways of 30-45 minute jogs to the side and make sprinting your primary cardiovascular workout. You will be absolutely amazed at the benefits of this type of training.

The Basic Resistance Training Workout Routine a 50-Year-Old Should Do 2-3 Times Per Week

Similar to your cardiovascular workout routine, your resistance training, or weight lifting workout routine, should also be short, but intense. I also am a firm believer that your resistance training workout routines should be simple. With that being said, for these exercises you will only need a pair of dumbbells at the most.

For 50-year-olds, I highly recommend circuit training for three reasons:

  1. Circuit training is effective in working both your heart and your muscles.
  2. Circuit training if fun and will prevent boredom.
  3. You can finish a complete, total body workout in as little as 20-minutes.

Because I have already designed many circuit workout routines, I have included a list of the routines that are most appropriate for a 50-year-old:

 And of course, there are many more to choose from here: Exercise Menu Workout Routines.

Decide today to make these small committments and you will keep your mind clear, feel fresh and stay out of the hospital!

Good luck to ya! As always, be sure to check with your doctor before taking on a new workout program.