Fitness Over Fifty

By: Karen Dybis | January 13, 2020
Fitness Programs featured image

Photo Courtesy of Pure Barre Birmingham.

In the not-so-distant past, exercising after the age of 50 may make one think of leisurely walks, shuffleboard or those strange machines that shake your middle section in some effort to create core strength. But today’s 50-something exercisers are working out harder and longer than any generation before.

In other words, Generation X and its older peers are interested in building muscle tone, lowering cholesterol, boosting endorphins and creating long-lasting health. They look for classes and approaches to wellness and exercise that put an emphasis on working hard while they’re working out, for the most part. 

Metro Detroit has a variety of fitness-focused businesses that offer specific training techniques as well as yoga studios, boxing gyms and the like. These locations are open to all ages, but many have classes and trainers who specialize in the 50-and-up crowd, creating prime conditions to help people in the prime of life stay in shape.

Here are some exercise classes and fitness-forward locations that specialize in helping people who are 50 or older with getting fit.

Whether you're going out on a fishing trip, discovering new hiking spots, or heading out for a weekend of camping, the Trailblazer is an ideal companion for your active lifestyle.


Part of why mature people are attracted to this workout facility is the happy orange color of its branding and storefront, but they also like its theories on how and why exercise matters. For example, its workouts emphasize that you should set the pace within the hour in which you’re there to exercise. You also get to choose running, walking or cycling. Orangetheory also lends you a heart monitor to wear during your first free classes and guidelines to follow depending on your fitness level. The newest Metro Detroit location is in Grosse Pointe Woods, so it is easy for Eastsiders to give it a try.

Syphus Training 

This exercise hotspot describes itself as “an intelligent and creative genre of exercise that uses sport, statistics and competition.” It uses a social network and in-person members to create a welcoming and team-like atmosphere for your workout. This likely would be a good fit for a mature person who likes to push themselves and get the stats to back up the workout they did that day. There are locations all around Metro Detroit including St. Clair Shores, Shelby Township, Harrison Township and more. 


You likely have heard the name, but it may sound like a kind of exercise cult. That’s not too far from the truth – but that’s because the people who commit themselves to this workout tend to become fanatical about the experience. The idea is to make it a lifestyle, and anyone can try it. CrossFit workouts can be modified for any age and level of fitness, whether you’ve run marathons as a youth or if you’re just getting off of the couch. Locations are all over Metro Detroit, including Detroit, Sterling Heights and Royal Oak. 

Barre classes 

Maybe you took ballet as a child. Maybe you admire a dancer’s lean physique. Whatever the reason, barre classes may be a fit for you. These classes are described as low-impact workouts but with high intensity, the kind that you need to develop muscle and lose weight. They strengthen and tone the body at the same time, which should help with the muscle loss that starts after you enter your 40s. Workout locations include Grosse Pointe Farms, Detroit, Birmingham, Royal Oak and beyond. 


After a long day in the office or in front of your laptop at the coffee house, you may feel like hitting something. That’s when you take your over 50 body over to a boxing gym. These gyms have popped up all over Metro Detroit for good reason. The workouts are structured and require a lot of footwork and stamina. But they’re fun and good for friendly competition. If you’re looking for an all-body workout, then boxing might be your jam.