As you get older, there’s still plenty you can do to stay fit and active long into retirement. While it’s a good idea to hold back on the high-intensity workouts, there’s loads of exercises you can do to get your heartrate up.
To help you stay healthy, here’s our pick of the three best cardio workouts for over 50s. These are sure to get the blood pumping and help keep your cardiovascular system in great nick.
While walking isn’t exactly the most intensive form of exercise, it’s a great way for people of all ages to maintain their health. A regular walking habit can help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke according to the NHS, making it a great way to stay healthy for years to come.
Walking is a low-impact exercise that doesn’t put any strain on your joints, making it a fantastic way to keep fit. Get together with a walking partner or join a walking group and it’s also a great way to socialise.
If you want to reap even more benefits from your walking habit, then make it a bit more of a challenge with some light resistance — the ankle and wrist weights from Powerhouse Fitness are perfect for this. You should also ditch the concrete jungle in favour of the great outdoors. Getting out in the fresh air and taking a walk among nature can increase your energy levels, improve the quality of your sleep, and help to reduce stress according to Live Strong. Who knew taking a walk in nature could be so good for you?
Like walking, you might not consider gardening to be real exercise. However, think again: an afternoon spent pottering around the garden can actually burn more calories than a gym session, according to a study from the University of Scranton (reported in The Guardian). This is because the average gardening session lasts two or three times longer than the usual trip to the gym, meaning it can burn more calories overall while being a whole lot more enjoyable.
The benefits of regular gardening don’t stop there, either: a study that followed nearly 3,000 men and women for 16 years revealed that gardening reduced the chance of dementia in over 60s by 36%. All this points towards gardening being one of the most enjoyable ways to stay healthy well into old age.
If you’re looking for something a bit more active, look no further than swimming. It uses just about every muscle in your body, giving you a full body workout every time you dive into the pool. However, it doesn’t do any damage to your joints, making it the perfect way to raise your heart rate without putting your body in harm’s way.
Swimming is also head and shoulders above other forms of cardio when it comes to burning calories. Use swimming.org’s calorie cruncher to find out exactly how many calories you can expect to burn in the pool, with just half an hour of breast stroke coming in at a massive 367 kcals.
These three forms of cardio are sure to keep you fit as a fiddle in your 50s and beyond. Try to spend a bit of time doing at least one of these exercises every day to stay maintain your health and wellbeing.