The FitNow Blog

Older Athletes Can Stay “Fit After 50”

posted on: October 22, 2015    |    by: Michelle Ricker, RDN

We are all getting older, a fact of life we cannot change. Something that we CAN change is how rapidly our body responds to the passing of the years. In his new book, Fast After 50, celebrated triathlete Joe Friel talks about the benefits of high-intensity interval training for older athletes. According to Friel’s research, we don’t need to slow down as we age.

Even for those of us who don’t put exercise high on the list of things to do every day, there’s still some EXCELLENT news. Friel says, “The athletes who tend to benefit the most from strength training are novices, women and ectomorphs (skinny people who have a hard time adding muscle). With that in mind, I would say that most aging athletes who are healthy and cleared to lift weights need to do heavy-load strength training two to three times a week year-round.”

And, as a Registered Dietitian, I truly believe in the need for proper nutrition as well as activity to keep the body in optimal condition. This goes to show that being healthy and staying that way throughout your lifetime is a process, yet can be accomplished with the right combo. Now nearing his 70th birthday, Friel has found that “…the best way to maintain health and performance for the dedicated but aging athlete is by doing high-intensity interval training, doing strength training with heavy loads, including adequate protein in the diet, and getting lots of sleep.”

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