Top 5 reasons for being out of shape after 50…

and 5 honest solutions

So who wants to keep looking good, feeling good, and kicking @$%&! after 50? I don’t mean just walks in the park, going fishing or a round of golf. That’s good too, but I’m talking about having a strong, lean, healthy physique with the energy and drive to live an exciting, active, spontaneous life. A lean, mean, 50’s machine! Want it? It’s yours for the taking. First thing to do is put on your thick skin, this could sting a little. 

Only about 22% of all Americans are getting the minimum amounts of exercise required to be fit, which according to the national guidelines, is about 3 hrs of moderate cardio and 2 strength training workouts per week. That leaves 78% that are shy of the mark, pretty sad. If that’s you stay with me, we’re going to fix it. Those who are in shape over 50, have either thought one of these, heard it from someone else, or both… give them a hand they’ve moved on.

As a personal trainer for over 20 years, I’ve heard every funny, sad, and ridiculous justification for not getting fit and they all have one thing in common, they all say “don’t” instead of “do”. The over 50 crowd is especially resigned to their complacency. Ironically, they need fitness the most! 

Here are a few you may recognize.

#1: “My life is too busy, I don’t have time to workout” 

#2: “I don’t know what to do, nothing works” 

#3: “I don’t like being sore”

#4: “I don’t have to, I’m happy the way I am” …Sure?

#5: “I don’t have a metabolism, it won’t help” 

If these apply, life is passing you by… 

Solution #1: According to a Nielsen report, US adults watch 4.5 hours of TV per day. You don’t have time.. Priorities folks. Ok, I admit there are plenty of other factors that make up a busy life but I’ve found that simply leaving your cell phone in another room can give you an uninterrupted, social media silent hour per day. Also, 26% of all Americans get up between 6:30-7:30 while only 8% get up at 5am. Get up earlier… the early bird gets the worm or in this case the body. Early morning is the absolute best meal prep and workout time because no one knows you’re awake! 

Solution #2: Could you build your own house, remodel your kitchen, install a pool, or make your own clothes without a few years of experience, the proper tools and time? Nope, couldn’t happen, so don’t expect to build your body without the same arsenal. It’s much more complex than any of these other tasks and it’s going to take longer. Bottom line, you haven’t tried everything, just the easiest thing. Get real help from a pro. Put in the effort and time, you love the result.  

Solution #3: Soreness is a pretty good sign that you’re alive so let’s show some appreciation for this one. It’s also most often associated with stretching and we need our flexibility more than ever after 50 to avoid injuries from unexpected movements. Truth is, you only get really sore when you skip workouts or try something totally new so it’s not all that often that we suffer for the benefit of being fit. Get used to it, living hurts sometimes. 

Solution #4: Yes, happiness is a state of mind, and if you’re truly happy, awesome! However, for those who might have settled for just acting happy, here are some tantalizing facts. Happy is dramatically affected by stress and we all experience that daily, making us unhappy quite a bit. The typical go-tos for relief are comfort food, television/YouTube, smoking cigarettes or mayjuanna, alcohol and drugs (prescription or non). None of these will fix the problem, they only act as a bandaid for the short term.  If you’re down, work it out! Exercise mimics the effects of antidepressants in the brain and actually makes you feel happy! When you reach the point of physical stress from exercise, your brain releases the protein BDNF, this reset switch eases your mind and clears your thinking. At the same time, endorphins provide a natural pain reliever that is sometimes associated with a feeling of euphoria. Physically fighting back also gives us a sense of accomplishment and elevates our self esteem. This not only makes us feel empowered, but as a result… happier. 

Solution #5: Men and women burn just 400 calories less after 50 than they did at 25. Well… that’s not it so what is it? Lifestyle change. We were always on the move at 25 and now… well now we’re not. One proper 45-50 minute cardio workout per day burns 425-500 calories… that’s one way to reclaim that 400 calories. Oh, one double cheeseburger from McDonald’s is 500 calories give or take. Cut it out, that’s fix #2. The fix list is long… call me for more 🙂 

Get it done, early morning or night you pick it

Stop making excuses, try working out instead. How about this for a change:

  • I do want to make time for workouts and I’ll start today.
  • I do want to learn about fitness and this article is the beginning of that journey.
  • I do want strength, agility, and flexibility so… bring on the soreness!
  • I do want to rev up my metabolism and get fit, its a priority for me now.
  • I do want to be the happiest me.

I can assure you that being lean, tough, and fit after 50 is a great feeling. I’d say it’s even better than when you were 25, because you finally appreciate it 🙂 Try it, let me know how it makes you feel to accomplish a physical goal in a set amount of time. Feel free to reach out with any questions, I’ll do my best to help. 

Life is good, don’t waste it… 

Coach ~ Bodytek PT


Lazovick, Meg “WAKE ME UP: What time do Americans start their day?” March 26, 2015 Web. Retrieved from:

Mcreynolds, Ginny “Making That New Year’s Resolution Stick: Getting In the Best Shape of Your Life After 50” January 3, 2020 Web. Retrieved from:

Chodosh, Sara “These charts reveal America’s complicated relationship with exercise” June 29, 2018 Web. Retrieved from:

Coleman, Erin, “Typical Calories Burned by a Sedentary Lifestyle” December 12, 2018 Web. Retrieved from:
Widrich, Leo, “What Happens To Our Brains When We Exercise And How It Makes Us Happier” February 2, 2014 Web. Retrieved from:

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