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What Does Getting in Shape After 50 Really Mean?

A few weeks ago, I asked the women in our community whether they thought getting in shape after 50 was possible. For the most part, they were positive about their prospects for finding fitness after 50. However, as I read through the comments, one response to my question stood out.

One woman responded, “Come on! Haven’t we outgrown this? You don’t need to be skinny to be beautiful.”

Getting in Shape After 50 Isn’t About Looking Younger

This is an excellent question because it highlights one of the biggest rationalizations that we use to stay unhealthy and out of shape. By the time we reach our 50s and 60s, we feel like we shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks. Most of us have rejected the idea that we need to look younger or fit a certain body ideal to be beautiful.

This is why so many of us bristle at questions like, “What are you doing to get in shape?” We want to respond, “Exactly whose shape do you want me to get into? I’m happy with my shape, thank you very much!”

Getting in Shape is About Getting More from Life

This is missing the point. Getting in shape doesn’t mean that you need to mold your body to society’s ideal. Getting in shape requires you to mold your body to your ideal.

It’s not about looking good for other people – although there is nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive – it’s about staying physically active, enjoying your body, building your stamina and feeling great. It’s about investing in yourself so that you can enjoy everything that this amazing world has to offer.

Should we compare ourselves to others? No, of course not! People come in all shapes and sizes. There is no ideal body type that fits all of us equally. But, not caring about what others think is not an excuse for laziness. Every one of us has a responsibility to take care of ourselves – for our own sake.

Your body is the most amazing tool you have. Don’t polish it because you want it to shine for others. Keep it sharp because you want it to serve you well for the rest of your life.

What Does Getting in Shape After 50 Really Mean

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this.

Do you think that getting in shape is a good idea, even if you no longer care about what other people think? Why or why not? What do you think are the keys to getting in shape after 50? Please join the conversation.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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