Maintaining cardiovascular endurance over fifty

Without regular exercise, it's common to lose muscle after fifty. At the same time, heart and lung health can suffer. Together, these deplete cardiovascular endurance. Exercise will help to arrest or even reverse this decline.

In fact, there is nothing to stop you making some quite serious fitness progression if you bear the following in mind:

Choose the right style of exercise

Lower impact activities will be more conducive to long-term joint health and comfort. Skip anything that knocks you about too much. Find something that will be lower impact but that you enjoy.

Swimming, walking and yoga are good places to start. They will build strength and stamina and will maintain and improve cardiovascular health without sacrificing your joints.

Take up resistance training

Weight training isn't known for building cardiovascular endurance. However, it will keep your body together in the long run, meaning that you can train with greater longevity. You can also turn resistance training into a cardiovascular workout: circuit training and swimming are great for this, boosting your heart rate whilst strengthening muscles.

Choose your volume carefully

We should all aim at about 150 minutes, so 2.5 hours, of moderate cardio per week. This is best spread out evenly. Try three to five sessions or go for a small amount every day. Vary intensity: go swimming a couple of days, take an easy walk the rest.

When to pull back

If you experience any kind of chest pain, breathing problems, dizziness, nausea, or any other adverse symptoms when you exercise, you should consult your doctor. Let your doctor know sooner, rather than later. Something is always better than nothing, but there is such a thing as too much.


How to form good fitness habits #5- drink plenty of fluids


Staying properly hydrated is one of the simplest yet most important ways in which you can maintain optimum health and fitness. Without doing so, the human body cannot allot water correctly to cells and organs, leaving many bodily processes working sub-par. There will also be longer-term effects as damage is done over time.

Some of the more common health concerns surrounding inadequate water intake include:

  • Dehydration
  • Premature aging
  • Joint issues
  • Constipation
  • Hunger pangs
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Lack of cognitive ability
  • Skin issues like dry skin
  • Certain cancers
  • Organ damage
  • Chemical and hormonal imbalances

Drinking plenty of water is therefore essential in maximising health and fitness potential. It isn't good enough to simply drink when you feel thirsty: at this point, you will already be down around 1% of your body's natural fluid needs. You need to regularly take in water throughout the day.

Aim for 8 large glasses at regular intervals. Drink more if you live a particularly active lifestyle, live in a warm climate, or tend to perspire heavily. If in doubt, try an online water intake calculator for a rough guide to your hydration needs.