Has Olympics fever inspired you to get in shape?
We probably don't need to remind you that the everyday wear and tear the years can take on our bodies -- not to mention weight gain and slower recovery time from injury -- can make it harder to maintain an active lifestyle as we age. Getting back in shape after a few sedentary years can be a daunting prospect -- and forget it if exercise has never been a part of our lives.
The real devil of it is that we know we should get in shape, especially if we have other ailments. For those suffering from arthritis, for example, physical activity can actually reduce pain, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s not to mention the obvious benefits of a regular workout, both physical and mental.
"Exercise is always good for anybody," said Dr. Alexis Colvin, an orthopedic surgeon at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City specializing in sports medicine. Although she acknowledges the many challenges age can present for would-be athletes over 50 (early arthritis, tendonitis and excess weight to name a few), she offered some advice on working around these challenges, such as turning to more low-impact activities like swimming.
Here's what you need to know to get in shape and stay active at 50 and beyond: