Why should you exercise?
If you think it’s too late or you’re too old, well, you couldn’t be more wrong.
But if you want to enjoy life as much as possible after 50, then you have more reasons than ever to get and stay fit. And your reasons now are better than they might’ve been decades ago.
Being in good physical shape – with strength, endurance and flexibility – helps us remain independent and enjoying life as we please. And in the shadow of a global pandemic, it helps fortify us against the illness.
We have found seven powerful reasons that are super-motivating at this point in life. What are they?
The Magnificent Seven
1. Travel. Fitness is key to traveling well, whether you’re driving a few hours to play with the grandkids, skiing in Switzerland, or finally trekking through the Louvre Museum in Paris. (And travel restrictions have been loosening lately.)
2. Sports. Playing sports is a lifetime love for countless people. And if you're a maturing athlete, you don’t have to give up your favorite games. In fact, regular exercise at the gym or studio can keep you strong, fit and agile for just about anything.
3. Grandkids. We’re living longer than previous generations, taking better care of ourselves, and playing active roles in grandkids’ lives. Surveys show today’s grandparents want to have experiences with the kids, rather than just buying them things; and that grandparenting is one of the most positive stages of life.
4. Feel, Look, Move Better. Mobility issues are common at this point in life, but we don’t have to let them keep us down. Exercise helps our joints, blood flow, heart – even our skin – so we really are better on the outside and inside. Choose the limits you want in comfort, appearance, and movement.
5. Hobbies. Gardening, hiking, ballroom dancing ... these are just some of the physically demanding hobbies that people want to enjoy, regardless of age. Working out can help you continue their hobbies with gusto and security. Yes, that’s right – working out will help you enjoy gardening more!
6. Mental Health. Exercise is great for our minds, as well as our bodies. It helps build memory and ward off dementia, scientific studies show. Just one exercise session can improve brain function and memory. The effects of regular exercise? Immeasurable.
7. Physical Health. “Of all the things we as physicians can recommend for health, few provide as much benefit as physical activity,” Dr. Aaron Carroll of the Indiana University School of Medicine wrote in the New York Times. Exercise extends fie, supports the heart, strengthens bones, improves balance, blood pressure, body weight, sleep, and tons more.
Try this fruit-and-nut-studded couscous salad alongside grilled salmon or chicken for supper or on its own for a fresh lunchbox treat.
Serves 4 Prep time 15 Minutes
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
1 cup chopped nectarine
1 cup mixed fresh berries, such as blueberries and raspberries
2 tablespoon toasted sliced almonds, (see Tip)
Whisk oil, orange juice, vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add cooked couscous, nectarines, berries and almonds; gently toss to combine.
Serving: Per serving
Dietary Fiber: 7g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Monounsaturated Fat: 6g
Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 2 fat
Carbohydrate Servings: 2