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Glossary for Over-50 Fitness: 33 Concepts to Help You Get Even Healthier

Getting into shape over 50 is different than getting into shape in your twenties. In order to integrate healthier habits into your own lifestyle, you’ll need to know the meaning of some often-used fitness terms and concepts. This glossary of ideas, listed alphabetically, will help significantly:

50

The milestone age of 50 is recognized as pivotal for many people as it’s the age when one begins to notice that health and appearance can deteriorate quickly if lifestyle habits are subpar.

Aging

Aging is the process of getting older. It can be done successfully. Though aging might be unavoidable, accelerated aging is avoidable.

Ancestral

Human beings lived a particular way on the planet for over 160,000 years. Our brains and bodies adapted accordingly. It’s only recently – in the last 200 years – that our daily lives have changed most radically. These disruptions occurred so quickly that we haven’t physically evolved to match the changes. For this reason, it can sometimes be helpful to reference positive ancestral habits.

Andropause

Andropause is a collection of (sometimes reversible) symptoms and biological events that can occur in mature men.

Ankle Weights

Ankle weights are exercise accessories that provide an easier, less-expensive way to bolster equipment within a home gym area. Used properly, ankle weights can be highly effective.

Annual Check-Up

The practice of seeing your medical doctor for an annual check-up continues to be important – in part, because it establishes a baseline from which you can discern whether health is going up or down. Results from your blood lab work – fasting glucose, for example – provide valuable clues to what’s happening inside your body.

Antioxidant

Free radicals are “bad molecules” produced inside your body when you digest food or are exposed to certain environmental stressors. High levels of these compounds cause bodily harm and are linked to multiple illnesses – including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Antioxidants are helpful molecules that neutralize free radicals. Antioxidants are found in food, particularly vegetables and fruits.

glossary over 50 fitness

Autoimmune

Autoimmune is a negative health condition that humans are experiencing with greater frequency. It happens when the immune system fatigues – and therefore loses the nuance required to discern healthy cells from unhealthy cells. The solution to reversing autoimmune symptoms is to improve cellular health – and, so far, an anti-inflammatory diet appears to be among the more effective ways to achieve this.

Balance

Physical and psychological balance is an essential concept in self-improvement for those over the age of fifty. Balance can mean developing the physique symmetrically – with a posterior muscle chain that is as developed as the anterior muscle chain (the back and front of the body, respectively) – and a lower body that is as strong and flexible as the upper body (and vis versa). Balance also refers to the ratio of adventurous challenges one undertakes to make life interesting, juxtaposed with enough self-care and relaxation to soothe an anxious central nervous system. Balancing work and play is both an art and a science. While imbalance tends to create health challenges, balance tends to help health to thrive.

 
 

Before Bed / After Awakening

We tend to think of our lives as a reflection of key “Oscar moments.” However, our lives are ultimately built from small, daily habits. They are the activities we do most often – that, over time, impact the reality of who we become. Among the most impactful time periods are (what we do and think) before bed and (what we do and think) after awakening. A brilliant nightly ritual and a fantastic morning routine can change your whole life for the better.

Belly Bulge / Belly Fat

Losing belly fat after 50 is a bit trickier but totally possible. Consuming fewer calories than you expend through physical activity is still the most important weight-loss method. However, after 50, tracking inflammation becomes a factor, too. The modern diet is irritating to most bodies, and the human body responds protectively to relentless irritation by padding internal organs with fat. Hence, it can be helpful to understand the difference between visceral and subcutaneous fat.

Barefoot

Feet have muscles, too. In fact, feet contain 29 muscles that need to be strengthened. Because feet form the foundation of the human body, their health can impact everything else (directly or indirectly). For this reason, it can be helpful to spend some time barefoot. Not only does it ground the electrical current of your body, but it keeps the Achilles tendon from becoming too compressed.

If you’ve become accustomed to wearing shoes with a higher heel or thicker sole, then it’s best to start off gradually when exercising barefoot or with a low-rise shoe – this will give the muscles and tendons in your feet the chance to acclimate. Being barefoot also gives you an opportunity to practice centering your weight (most people tend to roll their body weight over to one side of their foot) and to practice moving without rotating your feet and thighs outward (a common problem, today).

Body Composition

The ratio of muscle to fat in your body is your body composition. It’s reflected as a percentage. For example, men who keep their body composition at 14%, and women who are at 21%, are generally considered to be in good shape. Scales are often not the best way to determine fat loss because they don’t distinguish water-weight, or gains and losses in muscle tone. Body composition tests are better. Using a tape measure is better. Even monitoring how your favorite jeans fit is a more accurate method of fat loss.

Cheat Meal

When switching to a lower-carbohydrate lifestyle diet, it can be helpful (in some circumstances) to periodically top-up glycogen levels by eating a meal with carbs.

Checklist

Many people find that it’s difficult to get more fit when disorganized. Getting organized helps you to use your energy more productively and spend time more wisely. Customized checklists can be enormously helpful when trying to adopt new, healthier habits.

Circuit Training

The most intelligent workout is no-good if, in the end, you’re not going to stick with it. The genius of circuit training is that it can be an enormous amount of fun – and therefore it’s more effective because the exercise style that you’ll actually do is usually the best method. A popular style of circuit training is three circuits each containing 5 exercises. You do all exercises in the first circuit consecutively, then take a 3-minute break, then do it all again. You do an entire circuit 3 times before moving on to an entirely new circuit.

Core

It turns out that a strong pelvic floor is more important than we ever thought. Most people need to more spend time regularly developing their lower abdominal and glute muscles. Doing so will help the pelvis place properly, thereby protecting the bladder and lower back. Besides, few things are more visually appealing than somebody walking around with a super well-conditioned core.

Cross-Training

Cross-training means switching to a different type of exercise right before your body would otherwise begin to plateau. The human body adapts to movement patterns quickly, so you can keep your body – and metabolism – responding by employing variation. For example, there is steady-state cardio, anaerobic sprinting cardio, strength training, mobility workouts (stretching, Pilates, swimming, yoga), and competitive sports (tennis, soccer, hockey, basketball, martial arts).

Digestion

It’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb. Excellent digestion makes a significant difference in how you look and feel because it allows your body to effectively assimilate the micronutrients from your diet. Additionally, gut microbiome plays an essential role in your overall health (you want more of the beneficial bacteria and less of the harmful bacteria).

Gratitude and Enthusiasm

What can you do to generate more feelings of appreciation each day? What would help you to feel excited about life again? Thought replacement is the act of objectively witnessing the thoughts that play inside your head and replacing the negative ones with those that are more helpful.

Green Smoothie

Vegetables are a true game-changer, and most people consume fewer vegetables than they realize. One of the easiest ways to increase your daily vegetable intake is with the blended green smoothie. But it has to be made correctly.

Home Gym Area

Working out at home requires less space and equipment than many people realize. If possible, it’s a good idea to have an area at home within which you can exercise – for those days when you’re too busy to plan a fitness excursion.

Lifespan VS Longevity

In theory, the longer you are here on the planet the more chances you’ll have to make a positive impact. Lifespan refers to the number of years you are alive. Longevity, more specifically, refers to that specific part of your lifespan within which you can experience joy and be healthy, relevant, and mobile.

Men’s Health and Women’s Health

Men’s health are those interventions that seek to provide solutions to the challenges men experience to their well-being, including nutrition, supplementation, hormonal changes, risk of accelerated aging, mental health, muscular development, and physical conditioning.

Similarly, women’s health represents those ideas that have been proven to most help women thrive.

Midlife and Post-Midlife

Midlife refers to that time period within your lifespan that, statistically, represents the typical “halfway mark.” Post-midlife refers to that the time period that likely represents the final third of your life.

While many people enter these phases of life on autopilot – trying not to think consciously about their own mortality – midlife and post-midlife are, in fact, ideal times to intentionally evaluate your priorities and to identify those activities (and people) that bring you the most opportunities to feel joy.

Perhaps most importantly, after age 50 is the best time to determine what role excellent health might play in actualizing your best life from this point forward.

Outdoor Activities

Most people spend way too much time indoors.

People in developed countries spend 87% of their total time indoors, and that doesn’t even include the time spent also enclosed within a vehicle – which is at least an additional 6%.

Indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air. Human beings have evolved to need fresh air and sunlight in order to thrive – we are not an indoor species. A once-a-month hike is better than nothing but still not enough. Get outdoors during your lunch hour if you can. If you’re unable to do an intense workout, then at least go for a long walk. Too warm? Wear sunscreen and a hat. Too cold? Pile on the coats, gloves, and scarves.

Pilates

The Pilates method of body conditioning prioritizes proper technique and is considered by many to be ideal for mature athletes – as the calishtenics empahisize core strength, joint mobility, muscular flexibility, balance, and spinal health.

There are many ways to do Pilates, from on your own mat at home, to a private trainer or classes that use a variety of equipment such as a reformer, trap table, tower, or chair.

glossary of fitness terms

Positive Psychology

No conversation about mental health and self-improvement is complete without including the topic of Axis II.

We are currently within an epidemic of poor mental health, including the rise of Cluster-B Axis II personality disorders – those are people challenged with self-absorption (narcissistic styles of behavior) or habitual anger (borderline styles of behavior).

People with Axis II are usually keeping a big secret about themselves from themselves. But what’s most concerning, is not people with Axis II, but the people who enable them. Identify any person with Axis II and you’ll often also see a group of people surrounding the person – a tribe that unconsciously enables and reinforces that person’s behavior and false self-image:

  • If you happen to be a person currently challenged with Custer-B Axis II, individual and group therapy can be helpful. Also (though making yourself the center of attention might dispel anxiety in the short-term), in the long-term you might better heal your psyche by practicing not being the center of attention – by listening more than talking, and by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • If you’re a person who is currently enabling a Cluster-B individual, you might ask yourself why and consider that you’re probably not doing the world any favors. Consider, instead, surrounding yourself with positive people that nourish you in healthier ways.

Glossary of Fitness Terms You’ll Need to Know (and the Context in which They’re Used)

This glossary is an alphabetical list of fitness-related terms or health concepts, with brief explanations.

The lifestyle habits that seem to make the most difference after 50 are anti-inflammatory nutrition, strength and conditioning (that also includes muscular flexibility and joint mobility), habitually positive thinking, and good sleep hygiene.

If you’re on an adventure to become healthier than you’ve ever been before, you’ll need the right knowledge and motivation.

You can integrate healthier habits into your own lifestyle after age 50! The above glossary of ideas, fitness terms, and concepts will help significantly.

fit senior exercising outdoors, healthier fitness glossary over 50

Additional Sources:

Antioxidants for Mature People – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5745491/

Benefits of Resveratrol – https://examine.com/supplements/resveratrol/

Time Spent Indoors VS Outdoors – https://snowbrains.com/brain-post-much-time-average-american-spend-outdoors/