Do We Really Need a Gym in Order to Stay Fit After 50?

Maintaining fitness at 50 is more difficult due to a slowed metabolism, changing nutritional requirements, and lifestyle. However, trying to stay fit will delay the consequences of aging and ease the limitations of chronic illness

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Do We Really Need a Gym in Order to Stay Fit After 50?
5 Min Read January 16th, 2023

Many people believe that physical activity becomes less important as we age and that it is no longer necessary to hit the gym or engage in regular exercise. 

However, this couldn't be further from the truth. Staying active and healthy doesn't have to mean going to the gym.

In fact, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape without having to invest in a costly gym membership. Creativity and dedication can keep your body strong and healthy even after 50. 

Let's look at how you can stay fit without hitting the gym. 

Take Regular Walks

Walking is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise for people over 50, as it's low-impact and easy to do. Walking can help strengthen bones and muscles, improve balance and coordination, reduce your risk of falls, and boost mental well-being. 

It also helps maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

To begin a walking program for people over 50, start by setting realistic goals that are right for your body and lifestyle. Begin with short walks at a comfortable pace. Start by walking 15 minutes daily and gradually build up to 30 minutes or more as you become fitter. 

You can also add a few hills or interval training (walking at different speeds).

Before walking, make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes and clothes and are well-hydrated. It's also important to stretch before and after your walk. 

As you become more fit, vary the terrain of your walks by walking on grass, sidewalks, dirt trails, or treadmills.

It's best to bring a companion along with you when you can to stay motivated and have some companionship. Explore new places to walk each day for variety and interest. 

It also helps to keep track of your progress so that you can celebrate small successes as your fitness improves.

Find a Hobby

After the age of 50, staying active and taking care of your mental health is important. There are a variety of hobbies that can help keep you fit after 50.


Gardening is one of the most popular activities because it is relatively low-impact and can be done in any season. Not only does gardening provide physical exercise, but it also helps to relieve stress.

  • Kitchen gardeners often experience a deep connection to the land and have a chance to watch something grow. 
  • Greenhouse gardening is also popular for those who want to grow plants year-round or simply need a space to work and relax in.
  • Squarefoot gardening is another popular hobby, which involves growing plants in rows that are organized into squares to use space efficiently.


For those who want something more creative and challenging, woodworking projects can provide hours of satisfaction. You can make furniture or art, or simply build something to enjoy yourself in the workshop. Woodworking is also a great way to develop problem-solving skills.

It also helps reduce stress levels. And the most important benefit of all? You get to enjoy time outside in nature while getting your body into shape. 


Dance classes are a great way to stay fit after 50. Not only is it an enjoyable and fun way to exercise, but the variety of dance styles available allows everyone to find something that suits them best. 

From low-impact classes like line dancing or Zumba to more intense ones like ballet or hip-hop, there's something for everyone.

Dancing can help increase your cardiovascular health, coordination, and balance, as well as reduce stress levels and improve overall mental alertness. 

It's also a great way to socialize with other people of similar ages and interests. Moreover, regular class attendance can be motivational in itself as it will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.

Regardless of the type of dance class you choose, make sure it's something that resonates with you and fits into your schedule.

Bird Watching

Bird watching can be great exercise for those over the age of 50. It is an activity that keeps you active and encourages physical movement. 

Not only does it keep your heart rate up, but it also provides a mental challenge by helping you identify different bird species. 

Bird watching is a low-impact activity and requires no special equipment, so you can do it year-round. It allows you to observe birds' beauty and appreciate their colors, sounds, and behaviors. Plus, bird watching is a great way to get out in nature and enjoy the outdoors.

Bird watching is an excellent choice for those looking for an outdoor activity that doesn't require too much physical exertion but still provides a satisfying challenge. By participating in this activity, you can stay fit and healthy while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. 

Bird watchers also benefit by connecting with their local community as they meet other enthusiasts in the area. So if you're looking for a way to keep active after 50, why not give bird watching a try? It's sure to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Try Low Impact Exercises

Low-impact exercise is a great way to stay fit after age 50. Exercises such as pilates, swimming, yoga, and cycling are all low-impact exercises that can be done to improve overall fitness levels. 


Pilates is a great low-impact exercise to stay fit after 50. It helps strengthen and tone the body, improve balance and flexibility, and promote relaxation and stress relief. 

Pilates exercises are designed to help you focus on correct posture, form, and breathing. You can do pilates at home or in a class setting with a qualified instructor.


Yoga is another great low-impact exercise to stay fit after 50. It improves balance, strength, and flexibility while also helping with relaxation and stress relief. 

Many people find yoga to be an enjoyable exercise form as it helps bring mindfulness into practice. Just like pilates, you can take a class or do it at home.


Swimming is another great low-impact exercise to stay fit after 50. Swimming is a very effective form of aerobic exercise that helps improve cardiovascular health, build muscle tone, and strengthen the body without putting stress on the joints or muscles. 

You can swim laps in a pool or take a leisurely swim in a lake or ocean.

These are just a few of the many options for a low-impact exercise that can help you stay fit and healthy after 50. It's important to find an activity that fits your needs, interests, and lifestyle so that you will enjoy doing it. 


Though having access to a gym can be beneficial, it is not necessary in order to stay fit after 50. Eating a healthy diet and finding an enjoyable activity are key components when it comes to staying fit. 

Ultimately, each individual should choose the fitness routine that works best for them and create a plan to stay physically active. 

With the right dedication and motivation, staying fit after 50 can be achieved without ever setting foot in a gym. 

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About the Author

Clara is a school teacher, fitness trainer, yoga enthusiast, and a writer. Born in San Francisco and lived most of her life in Los Angeles.

LTC News Contributor Clara Carlson

Clara Carlson

Contributor since January 23rd, 2023

Editor's Note

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