Great song or subtle call to action for the growing army of over 50s fitness enthusiasts? I’m one of this group and have long been frustrated by (my perceived) lack of acknowledgment that people over 50 are actively participating in pretty much every sport you can think of.

Many over 50s take health and keeping fit incredibly seriously. In one of my last blogs I talked a bit about prevention and how that could become a thing in future linked in particular to fitness tech. An ageing population is only going to see this trend increase and splinter into some other paths. I have resolved to join in this conversation and try to help nudge things along by highlighting and talking about this particular theme in relation to ageing. I’m going to share a series of blogs (and maybe a video or two) on this topic over the coming weeks & months.

Thought I’d start with a gentle warm up looking at the most basic side of things. What are some of the popular ways of achieving these goals – based on what I see there are a multitude of ways but highlighting a few that stand out to me:

Running & Walking

The fitness device boom and the cult of 10,000 steps has undoubtedly assisted here. For the most competitive groups the challenge of keeping up with and beating your friends prove pretty motivational as well as weight loss and the benefit of being out in the (hopefully) fresh air. 

At the other end and in the spirt of its never too late there is a combo of Nordic walking and competitive distance running – first marathon/beat your 10k PB or heading off on a great adventure. Or if you are me getting back on the track for sprint training and the booming Masters Athletics scene. Never understood why there hasn’t been an athletics sprint training-based fitness craze yet. Focus on warm up and short sharp bursts of activity? Must be a winner surely – HIIT training 2.0?

Yoga & Pilates

Flexibility and core strength drive these opportunities. Posture improvement feeling calmer and better body awareness? You are in the right place. In my unscientific poll of people, I know these areas continue to be huge. Not a lot to dislike and for the stronger willed you could do both in a hot room to amplify the experience Hot Yoga should be experienced by everyone at least once!

In some of my social media exchanges the number of over 50s (particularly women) actively participating was unsurprisingly huge. In one of my many rather unscientific studies I am no longer the only man in my Pilates class – hopefully a sign that more men are realising the benefits and starting to get involved.

Tennis

Often and wrongly seen as an elitist pastime there is a heap more to Tennis than meets the eye and a reason you will see so many courts filling up in the daytime in particular. You can make it as intense and or physical as you’d like and there is a very healthy social element to it – moving in all directions and the need to apply strategy mean this is good for the brain and the body. Cardio Tennis for some is the answer a workout wrapped around crunching forehands and backhands!

Swimming

Swimming ticks multiple boxes – cardiovascular workout and depending on the stroke you do working a variety of muscle groups. A relatively small amount of time regularly can make a huge difference. You could even go wild and get into water polo (not for the faint hearted) and or something like aqua aerobics or the ever more popular cold-water swimming.

Gym/Functional Fitness

A massive catch all and despite gym advertising this January having a distinctly youthful feel this is hugely popular amongst the over50s. The benefits of resistance training and lifting weights are well documented and hopefully as more people keep doing it from their younger years will be proven to be beneficial in helping these athletes to age well.

Link this to the military fitness cross fit/lets all meet in a park and train activities and you have quite a movement. These activities also strike me as having very strong inter-generational benefits and are more based around participation rather than being wildly competitive in the beginning at least.

Walking Football

New on the block and forgive an unwanted hint of male bias (shouldn’t be as this is open to all) Perfect for those who used to play and still want the camaraderie even if a 30-yard screamer feels like a distant memory. I think aimed more at those for who mobility is becoming an issue (might be wrong in fairness)

Everything Else (A lot) 

There is so much more in this space Golf/cycling/martial arts/ballet it could go on for ages. The breadth of activities is no surprise what is remarkably telling is how little advertising/communication/products are built and designed for this group. The amount spent on memberships/equipment is already huge and could be even more if only it were understood/encouraged!

And Finally…

If any of this has got you thinking please do get in touch – I’m really friendly and very keen to hear more at all ends of the spectrum be it the inspiring story of twitter legend IronGranny or starting something much lower key for the first time in later life.

If you happen to be a Whoop user over 50 I have set up a team (group) for those of us over 50 to share performance data – Experience Rocks once the numbers get a bit higher I will also activate a dedicated Facebook group. I can tell you that there are some people at all levels of over 50 doing some incredible things!

Hope you have enjoyed reading this blog if you have comments and sharing much appreciated – I’ll be doing more on this topic over the coming weeks the research has been a blast so really looking forward to sharing. 

I’m a Marketing consultant focused on all things over 50s helping businesses target and communicate with mature audiences. If you or someone you know would like to find out more, please get in touch Julian@Greyafro.com