Project Body Smart | 50 Fun Facts & Feelings about Fitness over 50


50 Fun Facts & Feelings about Fitness over 50

We’re sharing a ton of short, useful tidbits about fitness over 50 – facts, quotes, bits of inspiration. When you look at it like this, the evidence is overwhelming. If you want to stay healthy, strong and independent, you simply must move, move, move.


  1. One-third of people over 50 exercise regularly. (Most, therefore, do not.)
  2. Any kind of exercise you do consistently will improve your Parkinson’s symptoms and overall health. – The Parkinson’s Foundation
  3. Working out with your romantic partner increases the happiness in the relationship — and the efficiency of your workouts. — Psychology Today
  4. Any physical movement lowers the risk of dementia. – Neurology
  5. Just being outdoors, especially in green spaces, quickly improves our health and happiness. — The International Journal of Environmental Health Research
  6. Weightlifting has a greater effect than running, walking or cycling on lowering the risk of heart disease, according to the British Telegraph.
  7. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is good for everyone “and has even bigger benefits for older adults.” — The Mayo Clinic


  • “Cells age faster with a sedentary lifestyle,” said the University of California San Diego’s School of Medicine. “Chronological age doesn’t always match biological age.”
  • Exercise and eating right are the best defenses against heart disease, the No. 1 killer in the United States.
  • “I want primary care physicians to prescribe not only antidepressants but also prescribe a dose of exercise for the treatment of depression.” — Dr. Madhukar Trivedi
  • About one-fourth of the 30 million Americans with diabetes are 65 or over. Exercise and proper eating are important in preventing and managing it.
  • “In African-Americans, we need even greater attention not only to reducing weight, but in improving fitness. The two go together but are separate, too.” — Dr. Carl J. Lavie
  • Low back pain is the second most common cause of disability in the United States. Exercise can alleviate the pain.
  • “Exercise is an inexpensive way to improve health and may have a protective effect on the brain.” — Dr. Aron S. Buchman
  • Even five minutes of physical activity has real benefits. – US Health and Human Services
  • “In older age, we can overcome our destiny for obesity — given to us by our parents — through exercise,” Dr. Heather Ochs-Balcom. 
  • The Alzheimer’s Association says regular cardiovascular exercise can help reduce the risk of getting the disease.


  1. Resistance training burns fat. Think it’s all about cardio? Wrong.
  2. The gluteus maximus (aka, your butt) is the largest muscle in the body.
  3. Exercise is the miracle drug. It’s good for your bones, muscles, balance, heart, mental health and sleep.
  4. “We trainers can use all the tools at our disposal – including strength machines, barbells, elliptical trainers, step climbers and more for clients at any age.” — Cody Sipe, Functional Aging Institute, Ph.D.
  5. “Investing just a little exercise time each day while traveling will keep you on track — 15 minutes a day of some light strength training and movement.” — Rick Mayo, Alloy Personal Training.
  6. Positive people are 50 percent less likely to have heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke.Wellness consultant Dianne McCaughey, Ph.D.
  7. Fitness programming for people over 50 ranked No. 4 on the year’s trends, according to a large global study.
  8. “You don’t HAVE to be 64 years old. You GET to be 64 years young.” — Trainer Nate Wilkins
  9. When you meet a trainer you are considering, he or she should ask you these kinds of questions: What are your goals? What’s your exercise history? Do you have any injuries, physical limitations or medical conditions? Have you ever had a joint replacement? Have you discussed fitness with your physician?


  • “I want to be able to play golf till the last day I’m breathing. That’s my rest and relaxation. That’s my stress release.”  — Roy Sprague, 60, of Houston
  • “Sometimes people say, ‘You’re too old’ or ‘Women shouldn’t play hockey,’ but I don’t care.” – Diane Firmani, Wasilla, Alaska
  • “Before I discovered exercise, my life was in a shambles. It changed my whole outlook on everything.” – Superfit grandma Wendy Ida
  •  “I do as I feel, and I like to stay active and be around people. I still want to keep moving. If I sat down, I think I’d just give up.” — Toni Stahl of Kentucky, who works out regularly at age 100.
  • “It’s like you have a date with this person and you don’t want to let them down,” Carolyn Weaver of North Carolina about her successful “buddy system” workouts with friend Karen Merritt
  • Jimmy Hatcher of Georgia prizes the meditative aspect of exercise: “It slows you down and requires you to focus on the moment, not what you need to do later.”
  • “I work out because it’s fun. Exercising makes me feel good when I’m done, and even when I’m doing it.” Sue Heaton of Chicago
  • Super-fit golfing legend Greg Norman says his fitness is like a “15th club in my bag.”
  • “Eat right. Move your body. That’s all I’m doing. Ain’t nothing magic here, right?”—Instagram star Bill Hendricks of Las Vegas
  • Jeff Lasater of Tennessee wants to prolong his quality of life as long as possible. “I’ve watched people who aged gracefully. And they all did some kind of exercise regularly.”
  • “You’re never so old that it’s OK to be weak.” – Football coach Bill Curry
  • “I’ve never felt this alive. It’s amazing what we are capable of, and it just takes the faith to make that first step.” – Rosalinda Parrish of Washington state
  • “That’s why I keep working out. I want to keep going where I want to go and doing what I want to do.” – World traveler Kay Willoughby of Houston
  • “You just can’t stop because something happens (like her hip replacement surgery). You have to keep going.” Shebah Carfagna of Miami
  • Stroke survivor Lora Brooks of Georgia works out three times a week. “Living healthy and spiritually wealthy so I can laugh, love and live!”


  • Always keep frozen vegetables and fruits on hand.
  • A cup of mashed potatoes: Run 2 ½ miles. A slice of apple pie: 34 minutes biking.
  • Get five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Stay hydrated – don’t wait till you’re thirsty.
  • You’re just one workout away from a good mood.
  • “The best is yet to be.” — Robert Browning
  • “We don’t quit playing because we grow older; we grow older because we quit playing.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes.
  • “People don’t die of old age. They die of inactivity.” — Jack LaLanne.
  • “The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

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