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5 Major Red Flags You Need More Exercise After 50, Trainer Says

Staying fit will keep you healthy, so pay attention to these warning signs you need to get moving.

Once you hit age 50, it's important to make sure that you're doing everything you can to stay happy and healthy. Your body is about to go through normal changes due to aging that will affect your muscle mass, hormones, physical endurance, heart health, and everyday strength. But eating a healthy diet and fitting in regular sessions of strength training and aerobic exercise will help counteract these processes. This way, you'll age gracefully into your 50s and beyond.

If you're currently active, it's helpful to know that you can always do more to improve your health and body. But if you've been sedentary or haven't been as consistent with physical activity, there are a couple of warning signs that suggest you need more exercise.

Here are five red flags that you need more exercise in your routine if you're over the age of 50, so pay close attention. And next, don't miss these 4 Exercise Tricks That Fight Aging, According to Science.


You get winded walking up stairs

Man tired after excercise.

This is a big one. If you find that you're out of breath after walking up a flight or two of stairs, then chances are, you need to improve your cardio conditioning.

If this is you, begin adding more daily steps and stair climbing into your activity. You should be able to do a few flights with relative ease.

Related: This Workout Plan Will Keep You Lean Throughout the Holidays


You can't perform a pushup

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

The pushup is a basic upper body exercise that most people should be able to perform. This movement requires upper body muscle mass and strength, as well as core strength.

If you can't perform a single pushup, it's a sign that you need to incorporate strength training and bodyweight movements into your routine.

Begin with planks, incline pushups, and also dumbbell bench presses to build up your pushing muscles.

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You can't perform a squat

older woman doing squats
Shutterstock / Prostock-studio

Just like the pushup, the squat is a basic exercise and fundamental movement pattern that everyone should be able to perform. It basically teaches you how to sit and stand, so if you can't perform that motion without trouble, then it's a warning sign you need to move more.

If you cannot do a squat properly, start by bending down to sit on a high box or bench in order to build your coordination, and then work up to trying it without anything underneath you.

Related: This Workout Is Three Times Better for Your Health Than Walking, New Study Says


You're carrying too much body fat

Feet on scale

As studies show, we have a major obesity crisis here in the U.S. Many Americans are carrying too much excess weight, which can have a significant impact on their health and quality of life.

Men should have 15% body fat or less, and women, 24% or less. You can get your body fat percentage checked through a DEXA scan in order to see where you fall on that range. Getting to a healthy weight after age 50 is crucial for your health.

Related: Doing This One Thing While Strength Training Burns Twice as Many Calories, New Study Says


Your bloodwork isn't the best

doctors appointment

As you get older, getting regular blood work is important to see your health markers. If your labs come back and show that you have high cholesterol, triglyercides, blood sugar, and/or low testosterone, then you may likely have to exercise more.

If any of these five red flags apply to you, don't fret. Get started on a fitness routine and get regular exercise throughout the week, and you'll be well on your way to improving your health. Check out The Best Workout For You If You're Over 50.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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