How I Stay Fit At Fifty: When Things Have Changed

by Michelle Johnson

How I Stay Fit At Fifty: When Things Have Changed

Staying fit at 50 is no easy feat.

But, in a way for me it’s easier than it used to be. I was working way too hard! It did develop my body, but it also burned me out.

As we grow older our bones and joints do change. So I actually do less now and get better results. When I over push I gain weight - weird, but true. Maybe you noticed this also happens to you. You know why? CORTISOL. Your body is taxed more easily since it’s not in its peak athletic condition at this age and why many pro athletes RETIRE in their mid 30s.

We can act young and jump around in the gym and do all kinds of crazy things like run marathons and enroll in Cross Fit. But It is not ideal for your body because of your human nature. Bottomline!

But, this post is only about what I have discovered about me and based on research and time studying what works with MY BODY. This comes from a place of non-judgement and only experience having coached thousands of people and helping them transform their mind, body and spirit.

What I do now to stay fit is not nearly what I had to do as Pro athlete. This is because I don’t care if I am 115 lbs. or perfect. I am happy to enjoy life vs being the best body on the beach or on stage.

My adrenals respond better now to lighter loads and steady state cardio - HIIT must be done low impact and in intervals. I actually lose weight when I don't over train.

Doing intensive training and over using my joints is how I tore my ACL, meniscus and shoulder. I am now looking at 6 months to a year of recovery if I opt to have surgery. TOO LATE. Even though being hard core and training heavy was once the way, I now appreciate and teach more classes like:


Basic Strength

And I'm enjoying a good seated Senior Fitness Class :)

I have even incorporated these methods into my clients programs so that they don't get overwhelmed by heavy hard and intensive training in order to lose weight. If they aren't in a competition that is not necessary.

Strength training is important for maintaining muscle and bone health.

I do it four times a week, but I don’t use weight that could actually give me a heart attack. I keep my cardio time down to 30-45 mins. Why? Because it’s harder to gain muscle, Too much muscle can cost you and I am working on preserving energy for my work and other things. Working out often can drain your brain.

The key is keeping calories controlled and understanding the timing of macros (protein, carbs and fats).

I don't over eat protein anymore. It does not have the best impact on my digestion. It can also impair my kidneys. So I continue to eat high protein, but many sources are plant based and sources like Collagen Protein.

I also don't just eat rice and potatoes for carbs. I look for foods that are high in Orac value. Micronutrients and Antioxidants are very important to our health and even mental well being. Our skin will flourish and be more radiant and beautiful. I incorporate lots of Superfoods and I also use some supplementation that ensures.

I get nitric oxide, superfoods and healthy fats.I do not take a bunch of different supplements anymore. I keep it simple. You know why? Because the liver and kidneys become more sluggish and can’t process too much crap going through them. It that can cause side effects. If you are supplementing a lot, be sure to drink a lot of water and check those liver enzymes.

I am sure to get electrolytes.

It’s common in my clients that they need them. Hot yoga junkies especially. I don’t drink as much water only because as we age, it can flush all the vital nutrients out of your body. (Sodium, magnesium and calcium). So I drink 1 gallon a day vs 2.

Being my age is awesome! You probably think I’m kidding, but the best part for me is perspective.

  • I don’t care to be perfect
  • I have bites of desserts and enjoy a good wine.
  • I don’t care to be the best at everything.
  • I am into quality everything.
  • I care more about my personal relationships & build them
  • I look forward to being a grandma one day
  • I have raised my kids so I have more time for me
  • I don’t sweat the small stuff
  • I embrace all kinds of people
  • I have more compassion.
  • I have been there and done that so now I great vision... (well actually that is changing too)

I keep it real and accept where I am at. Especially, where this body is at.

Collagen and Elasticity change. You can do things to improve things without going extreme. Every 50 year old should have a good Med Spa. But all those treatments, can be toxic so take it easy. I refresh my looks, but make sure my face doesn’t look 10-20 years younger than my body. The foods I put in my body and organic skin care and treatments help a lot.

My focus now is more on good health and having more energy.

I accept that I may not be able to feel my best at my 115 lb. competition weight and that my 135 is a healthy weight for me at this time in my life. I still enjoy cute clothes and love a good party! But drinking, oh boy, wine has definitely become a part of my lifestyle because it relaxes me, but getting drunk ruins my body, my brain and my mind. So that must be in moderation. I want a healthy liver so I continue to have a healthy glow.

Cheers to fifty years!

Be well... enjoy your next half a century!

Michelle Johnson
Michelle Johnson

IFBB Bikini Professional, President/CEO Michelle Fitness Enterprises, Team Knockouts Leader and Coach

Michelle Johnson is an Team BeautyFit Athlete, IFBB Bikini Pro, ISSA Specialist in Performance Nutrition, and Fitness Trainer who is recognized as a national level fitness authority, figure model, speaker and writer. Her innovative workout programs have been implemented into some of the nation's leading health and fitness organizations. Her articles have been published by many leading industry magazines. She is an industry speaker on topics including weight management, wellness and group fitness.

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