Fitness Goals: Is It Too Late to Get in Shape?

An older man works toward his fitness goals by hitting a punching bag

An older man works toward his fitness goals by hitting a punching bag | China Photos/Getty Images

For many people, there comes a point in life at which we come to a crossroads regarding our physical health. Some people grow up playing sports or being physically active in some way. Others, for a variety of reasons, come of age in conditions that may not allow much room for exercise or even the resources to stick to a healthy diet. Fitness, then, becomes an afterthought.

As you grow older, you realize that you do need to take care of yourself, even if it’s not been a priority at any point in your life previously. Fitness is important, and if you didn’t grow up mindful of your level of fitness, you may feel that you’re already too far out of shape or unhealthy to turn the tide. You resign to the fact that you’re in bad shape, and that it’s always going to be that way.

So, it begs the question: Is it too late to get in shape? Are you doomed to a sedentary lifestyle, and too anxious or apprehensive to ever set foot in a fitness center?

It’s a scary thought, but there’s a very simple answer to that question — no, it’s never too late to start taking fitness seriously. Yes, you may be scared to death of looking at the scale, and it’s going to be difficult to accurately take stock of your fitness level — whether you never have before, or if you used to be an athlete, and have simply let yourself go.

It’s never a bad time for course correction.

It’s never too late to get started

A man running through the English countryside

A man running through the English countryside | Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Again — eating smart, exercising, and taking fitness seriously is not going to be easy. Especially if you’ve never put much stock into it before. It means some big lifestyle changes. And there are forces at work that will make you want to revert back to your old ways; social inertia, of sorts. But if you really want to turn things around? Your age or condition doesn’t really matter. It’s all about having the right attitude.

There are many reasons to want to get healthy and start taking fitness seriously. For one, you’ll likely extend your lifespan significantly. Exercise and a proper diet are a panacea for a number of health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and even depression. Not to mention, physical activity can actually make you better at your job or hobby. But it takes a little while to get there.

A good place to start? By building and instilling a sense of discipline into your life. Chances are, you’ve found yourself in bad shape due to a lack of discipline, both with what you eat, and in how much exercise you get. There are ways to teach yourself discipline and to mind-hack your way into creating small victories for yourself. Once you get going and stick with it, you’ll see results and have a harder time slowing down or giving up.

Fitness technology is a powerful tool

A Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker

A Fitbit Blaze fitness tracker | Fitbit

If you’re ready to take the leap and get real about fitness, you have more tools and weapons at your disposal these days than ever before. Obviously, exercise science — along with research in biology, physiology, anatomy, etc. — have all found ways to make a healthy lifestyle as achievable as ever. Along with any number of easy to follow diet plans and healthy recipes, numerous cardio and weight lifting programs can make getting fit as simple as following the steps.

But aside from that, we also have many new pieces of technology that have hit the scene in recent years. Fitbit is the first that comes to mind — though there is some dispute over how accurate they can be. Fitbit is only one brand or company, though; there are numerous other fitness trackers out there that can, at the very least, help remind you to go the extra mile to get some exercise in. Looking down at your wrist may inspire you to take the stairs, for example. Or walk home, instead of catching an Uber.

And there are so many online resources that can help you along, it’ll blow your mind. There are calorie counters and food trackers, which can be perfect for people just starting out. Take some time and go online to see what’s out there.

Just remember, that no matter how apprehensive or nervous you are about getting fit, there’s never a bad time to start. Whether you’re 16 or 60, establishing new fitness goals is never a bad idea and can pay off big down the line.

Follow Sam on Twitter @Sliceofginger and Facebook