How to Get in Shape Fast for Over 50

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A consistent exercise program reduces your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which generally rear their heads after age 50. If you already have such diseases, exercising most days of the week can help control your condition and get you in shape fast. Varying the types of exercises you do and the intensity at which you train most days of the week decreases your risk of injury, improves your health and increases your fitness capacity even if you are older than 50.

Complete a strength-training routine three days per week beginning with a chest and back workout Mondays. Include primarily dumbbell and barbell exercises like bench presses, dumbbell presses and dumbbell flies for your chest. Do dumbbell rows and cable rows for your back. Incorporate three sets of six to 15 reps of three exercises per muscle group, enhancing your muscular strength, muscular endurance and your ability to process the glucose in your blood.

Perform 45- to 60-minute aerobic workouts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays such as a group fitness class, a run-and-walk session on the treadmill or a combination of two to three cardio machines; it takes 20 to 30 minutes for your body to begin using primarily stored body fat to fuel your exercise, improving your aerobic capacity and burning stored fat.

Incorporate a biceps and triceps routine on Thursdays. Do dumbbell curls, cable curls and concentration curls for your biceps; work your triceps with dumbbell extensions, triceps rope press downs and triceps pushups. Complete three sets of six to 15 reps of three exercises per muscle group.

Complete one highly intense workout every week on Fridays. Sprint or run really fast for 30 to 60 seconds then walk for two minutes totaling 25 minutes; highly intense exercise enhances your anaerobic power and burns a tremendous amount of calories after you are done working out.

Finish your weekly exercise routine with a leg and shoulder routine on Saturday, culminating in six days of training for the week. Do squats, lunges, leg extensions and leg curls for your legs. Include dumbbell shoulder presses, dumbbell lateral raises and upright rows for your shoulders; carrying weights on your shoulders and lifting weights above your shoulder enhance the bone health of your hip joints and spine.

Stretch each muscle group at least two times per week to enhance your flexibility and your joint range of motion. Perform two to four repetitions per stretch, holding each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

Tips

Progressively increase the weights you are lifting to improve your muscular fitness and bone health as you age, reducing your risk of fractures. Stick with dumbbell, barbell and body weight exercises because such exercises strengthen your joint-stabilizing muscles better than machine weights do, reducing your risk of falls.

Warnings

Start the first week of your exercise program slowly with 15 minutes of cardio per cardio day and two sets of 10 reps per exercise for your weight training days; this will prevent extreme muscle soreness and reduce your risk of sprains and strains.

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