Fitness in your 50s on a budget: Get fit without breaking the bank!

By Lavanya

Jul 5, 20247 mins read

Fitness in your 50s on a budget: Get fit without breaking the bank!

Recently, there was a post on social media about the fitness influencers of today. How they all seem to be too young to benefit from the wealth of lived experiences of the majority of the population but are happily preaching to the older gen. 


The comments section was entertaining and illuminating.  But the oft-repeated sentiment, that gave us pause, was this: "Tell me how. to get fit when you are over 50 and broke". 


Now that seems like a problem we are eminently capable of addressing! So here it is - fitness in your 50s, without dipping into your emergency fund! 


What now? 


Fitness

Well, you have taken the first step - and the most important step - by acting on your interest. Instead of just being vague about it, you have deliberately chosen a credible source (us!) for knowledge tailored to your needs. This is often the biggest challenge - getting help from a good source. Rest assured, we got you! 


Working out in your 50s is vastly different from training in your 20s or 30s. The demands on your body are more and the intensity it can take is a lot less. You cannot bounce back as easily as you used to. Oftentimes, people are put off from pursuing any serious fitness routine for fear of injury. This is smart - the last thing you want to do is get hurt and spend valuable time (and money) on rehab work. 


Your goals are now different - you are aiming for better health, a healthy weight is the objective rather than body size, and The most important thing is good health to stave off joint pain and cardiovascular disease and slow down the aging process and cognitive decline. In the 50s, we'd rather pursue an exercise class for the health benefits AND the fun factor. 


If it can be done without a fancy gym membership, then all the better! This is especially important if you are on a tight budget. It is always prudent to keep an eye on what options that are easy on the wallet. 


1. The first thing to must do before starting a new exercise program is to consult your doctor. How good is your overall health? Think of the checkup as a MOT - get a peek into what's happening on the inside, so you don't end up harming yourself. This is doubly important if you have a chronic condition. You may need to tweak your new routines so you don't exacerbate the condition. After the 40s, it is good to keep an eye on health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc. Getting the green light from your healthcare professional ought to be the first step to take, before embarking on any massive lifestyle changes. 


Fitness

2. Go trialing! The first time you do it, you might feel a bit awkward, but there is no need to! Most fitness outfits (including The Quad!), offer trial periods for prospective new clients to familiarise themselves with the class/equipment/coaches etc. Sign up for these and make use of any services offered. If the signup bonus says "bring a friend and get half off!", convince your bestie to invest in her health with you and share your discount with her to sweeten the pot. Once you learn how to do a bunch of exercises using the correct form, you can do them at home every day. 


3. One great way to improve your current level of fitness is to incorporate movement into your everyday routine. Walk for 10 minutes inside your house after every meal. Not only does this aid in your digestion, but it also counts toward your daily step count. Park your vehicle farther away and walk those extra steps. Walk your dog an extra couple of times. More than anything, just get walking. It is free, it is a great stress buster and it helps you keep your joints juiced. Don't fall for the "the only exercise worth doing is resistance training" malarkey. We are strength training experts and we urge every client of ours to walk as much as possible. 


4. Look into what free activities are available in your neighbourhood. A popular yoga centre teaches free yoga classes every Sunday morning in my area. Go on social media to see if there are any walking groups / running chapters - these are usually volunteer-run, and free for people to join. This is an excellent way to gain yourself a community too! 


5. Experiment with different movement protocols. One worth looking into is tai chi, as it is easy on the joints, doesn't get your heart rate up too high, and is a simple way for older adults to get moving. Often, tai chi sessions are conducted in the great outdoors, which makes them an excellent reason to get out of the house. Which is invaluable for those of us trapped in a sedentary lifestyle. 


6. Check out online resources. If you live in an expensive area, chances are the facilities in your neighbourhood might not suit your budgetary needs. There are plenty of personal trainers and fitness coaches online, trained in various disciplines, offering a smorgasbord of choices for the fitness-minded. Choose an online course that catches your fancy and give it a whirl! And if you are worried about how expensive weights are, don't. Resistance training will work wonderfully with your own body weight.  A backpack filled with your to-be-read list will fill in for a handweight just as well. And when you want to increase intensity, just add more books! 


7. Start moderately. Remember, you are not competing against the college students out there. Don't get carried away and sign up for the half marathon or the next weight lifting tournament. You are in this for the long run. That means making small, physical changes that you can adhere to for the rest of your life; and adopting healthy habits that will help you lead a better life. That's the prize. And, if after a year or two of working on your fitness, you get a hankering to run the Boston Marathon, you will be better placed to deal with it.


8. Value consistency, above all else. Whatever your financial situation, being consistent with your efforts will bear fruit in the long run. Find your fitness community/workout buddy, prioritize your health, and stick to it. Every time you hit a high - PRs at the gym, breath control in yoga, or faster walk/run times - celebrate it! 


Financial freedom is a privilege not all of us can afford but our financial situation shouldn't impede our fitness journey! If you want to enjoy the benefits of exercise without breaking the bank, The Quad might have an idea or two for you. Why not get in touch with our team today?