Fit(ish) in your 50s – Week 4

We’ve made it through the 20s, 30s and 40s and today, we discuss the obstacles that surface when trying to get Fit-ish in your 50s.

We collaborated with Brenda Braxton from KGW news to create the series Fit(ish) to provide tips that allow people to focus on their health, without getting too obsessed about it. It’s all about the balance between being fit while also enjoying life.

Here’s the Youtube clips from the full segments on KGW discussing the 20s through 50s. As a 51-year-old woman, Brenda asked me to guide her through the specific tips for exercising and staying fit through your 50s. 20s – Week 1, 30s – Week 2, 40s – Week 3, 50s – Week 4.

 As we enter our 50s, we start to experience the effects of aging at a greater rate. Women are experiencing more hormonal surges in their 50s and that affects fitness. It can be a learning curve figuring out why the way you used to exercise (in your 20s, 30s and 40s) doesn’t reap the same rewards now. In fact, “going hard” with intense exercise can raise cortisol levels making it more difficult to lose weight and higher levels of cortisol increase cravings for sugary, fatty foods and can cause the body to store energy (i.e. calories.) Interesting fact, when you’re under emotional or mental stress, your body can’t tell the difference, it all has a physical effect. So, some people in their 50s may need to actually back off a bit and not go hard all the time and instead incorporate more yoga, meditation, mindful movement and nature walking.


What is the best type of movement to incorporate in your 50s?

Be sure to add in Yoga and other types of “mindful movement” at least 1-2x per week.

Pick a series of poses that focus on lengthening while you strengthen and flow from one to the other while concentrating on slow, deep breathing

Mountain pose, Swan dive, Low Lunge with rotation, plank, Cobra, child pose, plank, pigeon

Incorporate Daily Meditation. Even just 30-60 seconds of deep breathing can evoke the relaxation response and bring forth wonderful health benefits and help reduce your stress levels.


As we get older, our warm up routine is more important than ever. We get injured more easily and it’s harder and longer to heal. What is the best way to warmup in your 50s?

Whatever your workout is going to be, do that at a lower intensity, low impact, low load.

Going for a run, start walking and ease into it

Going for a ride – start in a low gear and spin for 5-10 min

Strength training – go through the movements with no load

Use a massage gun before workouts as a warmup and after to help release tight areas


What’s the positive part of this decade as it relates to fitness?

In your 50s, fitness often becomes less about a 6-pack. You want to look good and feel great. In your 50s, you realize you’re in the prime of your life. You want to enjoy life to the fullest and strive for balance. An ‘everything in moderation’ approach becomes more appealing. Maybe you opt for a glass of wine or an indulgence or treat without any guilt.


Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 30 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and Salmon Creek, hosts races at WHY Racing Events, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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