With his chiseled body and youthful good looks, it’s hard to believe that Academy Award winner Denzel Washington is 64 years old. The star of movies such as Man on Fire and Fences attributes his impressive physique to a healthy diet plan and exercise routine that involves 10 demanding rounds of boxing as many as 5 days per week. While not everyone will be able to adhere to the same strict diet and training schedule as Washington, there are a number of ways that a guy can stay in tip-top shape well after the age of 50, even on a retirement budget.
Resistance training builds muscle
As we age, we lose muscle, making resistance training an integral part of any exercise regime for older men. Engaging in simple resistance exercises such as squats, leg presses, and bench presses 2 to 3 times a week can be of great benefit to an aging body. A basic gym membership is all you need to gain access to the necessary resistance training equipment, while a number of exercises can also be done at home with nothing but very basic gear (such as resistance bands) that are not expensive to invest in.
Cardio is king
Muscle mass is not the only thing that diminishes as we get older. The same fate often awaits our lung capacity and heart strength, making it essential to engage in exercise that will negate these and other signs of aging. Thankfully cardio exercise is the easiest to incorporate into your daily schedule, as it can consist of anything from walking and jogging to cycling and swimming, all which can be partaken in virtually free of charge. A brisk walk 3 to 4 times a week can benefit cardio and pulmonary performance significantly, while as few as two half-hour long swimming sessions, either at home or at an affordable public pool, will enable you to exercise your entire body extensively without putting any pressure on your joints.
Don’t forget about your core
Your core is responsible for supporting your spine while also keeping your body well-balanced and stable, allowing for easier, pain-free movement. Core exercises can be extremely beneficial to a man over the age of 50. Exercises such as crunches and planks go a long way in strengthening and tightening the stomach as well as lower back muscles. 3 sets of crunches 3 times a week, coupled with between 3 and 6 twenty-second planks will not only improve your posture, but reduce back pain and boost functional strength as well.
There is no reason why an older man cannot be in the same great shape as a man in his twenties or thirties. By following a healthy diet and partaking in regular exercise, you too can sport a body to be proud of, even if you don’t have a couple of Academy Awards resting on your mantelpiece.