The best 50-something workout

January 31, 2019
Lady riding in the countryside on horseback

Lady riding in the countryside on horseback

This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson.  I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way.  To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.

Pamela says:

This is the regimen that is recommended as being optimal for this age group, but, if it seems too difficult to squeeze into your schedule, don’t forget:  any activity is good for you.

  • A 20 to 40 minute brisk walk, slow jog, or aerobics class three to five times a week at an intensity that enables you to answer a question but not chat.
  • Half an hour of weight training twice a week.


So you hate the gym, resent running and can’t see the point in Pilates? Find a sport or activity that you enjoy. There’s the conventional – cycling, tennis, swimming, golf, netball, hockey and bushwalking: and the unconventional – borrow your daughter’s surfboard, give yoga a go, or …

  • Fling yourself into Flamenco dancing.  It’s great for toning legs and defining waists.  Then book a holiday in Spain.
  • Go back to your girlhood dreams and go horse-riding.  There’s nothing like it for developing a beautiful bum!
  • Learn kickboxing. It’s great for fat burning, endurance and flexibility, and it helps you learn to defend yourself.
  • Take up tai chi.  It’s a low-impact exercise, increases joint mobility and is fabulous for relaxation.
  • Take up serious walking. Manage weight, blood pressure and elevate your mood with regular hikes.  Then book a walking holiday.

My thoughts:

Well apart from my shock at the mention of aerobics class (I did them in the 80’s & 90’s but there are still aerobic classes out there?), I’m pretty well in agreement with Pamela on this one!  It’s made me realise though that I probably should do some more vigorous exercise (sigh).  I walk but I can do more than answer a question!  I can chat, chat, chat and chat … till the cows come home!  I’m thinking I’ve got the weight training covered with the Pilates I do, but perhaps I should do more.  

Anyway, I love her unconventional options – though I’d hardly call yoga unconventional!  Flamenco dancing I have never done but what fun (and so many laughs) would that be to learn!  I used to ride horses as a girl.  I was in a pony club.  I haven’t been on a horse in decades!  Kickboxing I’m not too sure about as I have an achy hip (gosh that sounds old but it’s true).  Tai chi I have never done but I’d be happy to try – it’s just very hard to find the time to fit all these things in.

What unconventional workouts can you come up with.  Hit me with them!  I’ll start!  How about all the unconventional options available on a Wii Fit?  Lots of variety, fun, and in the privacy and convenience of your own home.  Now your turn!

Ciao for now,



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  • Reply Joanne Tracey January 31, 2019 at 8:16 am

    I rode most days when I was a teenager, but rarely since. I wouldn’t inflict myself on a horse at the moment! Re classes, the Les Mills classes are great & Pump, Body Balance and Step are good ones that can be adapted to any fitness level. Body Attack is more your “aerobic” class (those were the days). I love bellydancing, but can no longer make my work schedule fit the classes. Re more vigorous effort, I’ll never run again but I’m adding in hills twice a week – and no, I can’t do anything but puff and pant on those days.

    • Reply Min February 1, 2019 at 6:57 am

      I used to be in a pony club when we lived out in rural Queensland when I was kid. I’d go over jumps and everything! I can’t even tell you when the last time was that I got on a horse. I think (know) I’d be a nervous nelly about it now!! Love your exercise suggestions, particularly the belly dancing! That’d give me the giggles I think which’d be a lovely added bonus! I’ve never done a class but I think it would be so much fun. I tried running – my body and running don’t mix but I gave it a red hot go. I really should introduce some hills in my walks too – it’s just that the waterfront here is so lovely to walk along (but flat) and you get lovely cool breezes off the water.

  • Reply Christine January 31, 2019 at 9:16 am

    haha – I love aerobics classes, at least the various iterations they have become – zumba, zumba toning, bit of weights, body balance, cardio, so many choices and they keep reminding you of the correct/safe way to engage muscles. I do a fair bit of walking but the classes are exercise with intention, but I get that not everyone likes them. Must admit I’ve been slack this week – better squeeze in something today.

    • Reply Min February 1, 2019 at 6:59 am

      Ahhh yes – there are many kinds of classes that give you ‘aerobic’ exercise but are not the old style ‘aerobics class’ (I’m thinking leotards and leg warmers here LOL). I guess I should add something a little more vigorous into my exercise routine but I really do love my Reformer Pilates and walking. 🙂

  • Reply Johanna Castro January 31, 2019 at 10:22 am

    I used to love Jane Fonda aerobics classes back in the 80’s then went on to do Callanetics, which I still do occasionally, but need to do more. I rode all through my teenage years, but worry now that a fall might mean a cracked bone rather than ‘a roll up into a ball and fall like rubber!’ So it’s walking for me, and callanetics. But thanks for the reminder that weight training should be fitted in. Must get to that 🙂

    • Reply Min February 1, 2019 at 7:02 am

      I used to do aerobics regularly every week back in the day too Jo – donned in my leotard and leg warmers LOL (Oh gosh!!) I also used to ride horses too! I was in a pony club. I had no fears back then. Like you, I think those days are behind me now but I wouldn’t mind a gentle horse ride along a beach or something one day! Weight training is important as we get older in order to look after our bones. So hard to fit everything in sometimes isn’t it?!

  • Reply Natalie January 31, 2019 at 11:12 am

    Hi Min – I saw Aquafit class in my community centre and it looks like fun combining aerobic moves in water. I tried kickboxing in the past and to my surprise, enjoyed it! It’s a great stress reliever and total workout. Regardless of which activity you choose, it takes consistency, discipline, and patience to see the results. #teamlovinlife

    • Reply Min February 1, 2019 at 7:07 am

      Some great ones there Natalie! I did aqua aerobics for a while a year or so ago. I only stopped because it was taking too big a chunk out of my days (it was a bit of a drive away). Kickboxing is fun – I’ve done that in the past and yes fantastic stress reliever – as is boxing for me too! You’re right though – just doing these things once off, a couple of times or sporadically doesn’t really achieve anything. Results are seen when you commit to something and stick with it. 🙂

  • Reply Jan Wild January 31, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Walking twice a week (but not fast), 1 Pilates class and 2 gym visits for weights and resistance work. That’s my schedule. I just don’t do fast although I can do short bouts. And aerobics meant way more coordination for me

    • Reply Min February 1, 2019 at 7:09 am

      You’ve got more variety there than me Jan! I do Reformer Pilates 3 times a week and walk 2-3 times per week (briskly but can still chat my head off!). I probably need something that makes me huff and puff more but I don’t like huffing and puffing much! LOL

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit January 31, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    OK, so this is something I need to focus on this year, because I HATE the gym. Was going to do my own post on this. Will need to put my thinking cap on.

    • Reply Min February 1, 2019 at 7:10 am

      I’m not really a huge gym fan either Leanne. I’ve joined a few times and eventually end up paying but not going. I’m mindful of that whenever there is temptation for me to join up to one again! I think I’m best sticking to what I’m doing! 🙂

  • Reply Leanne | January 31, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I walk for two lots of 20mins each day (morning alone and evening with my husband) but I can chat chat chat too – so probably should walk faster! I was so impressed to see Tai Chi mentioned – I don’t think it does much for fitness, but it is good for fall prevention (how old do I sound?) and doesn’t bother my dodgy hip (I have one too) all that much. Looking forward to our big meet up in a few days – just arrived in Brisbane and I’m chilling out in our bnb on Kangaroo Point – seeing Sue tomorrow!!

    • Reply Min February 1, 2019 at 7:13 am

      As long as we keep our bodies moving Leanne! Yes Tai Chi is probably mentioned because it can help improve balance and flexibility which of course will aid in prevention of falls for the more ahem … mature. I’m looking forward to our meet up too! Not far away now. Welcome to Brisbane by the way. Have a great time with Sue today and see you soon! 🙂 xo

  • Reply Sanch @ Sanch Writes February 1, 2019 at 5:45 am

    While I am not in that age range yet, fitness is a big thing for me. I know a lot of the research shows the importance of weight training and unfortunately, there are a lot of women who don’t do it. We really should incorporate that given it is good for the bones and our health in general.

    • Reply Min February 1, 2019 at 7:15 am

      I’ve seen some pics on Insta Sanch and you’re looking super fit and fab! You’re right – weight training becomes even more important as we get older and it makes you feel stronger and fabulous too! 🙂

  • Reply Christina Daggett February 4, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Min, My husband and I work out regularly at the gym in whatever country we’re in. I enjoy running, on a tread mill, and I also do strength training. Going to the gym has become a routine part of our day, and it always changes when we change countries. I do agree with you, it’s best to do something that you enjoy. Then it won’t seem like a chore that you won’t continue. I love horse back riding, and also took lessons when I was young and we lived in Colombia. I also took ballet, and I’d love to try that again in a foreign country. Ballet really tones your legs, as well as giving you grace and balance. I enjoyed your post and will share to fb.

    • Reply Min February 5, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Hi Christina – you’ve impressed me with your commitment to your exercise even whilst travelling. I so wanted to be a runner but my body won’t let me so I’m a brisk walker! lol Yes I do believe you have to find things that you enjoy, in order to stick to it and have fun whilst you’re at it! Ballet I haven’t done since I was a small child and horse riding I probably haven’t done since high school. There’s so many different ways we can work out our bodies without it being boring isn’t there? 🙂

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