Are you a gym rat or more of a couch potato? Even if you are workout-resistant, you know exercise benefits your health in multiple ways. Plus, it eases stress — we can all use a little tension-taming in these uncertain times.
Your age influences the activities you choose. Every stage of life brings unique challenges that the right fitness routine can help to remedy. Here are the benefits for every age, as well as suggestions for activities to try.
At this age, you are at the peak of your physical abilities. The most massive hurdle you might face on the road to fitness is procrastination. However, the practices you cultivate now will set the stage going forward. You can teach an old dog new tricks, but it’s considerably more challenging to get into a positive routine once you’ve fallen into a couch-potato habit. Plus, chronic diseases can arise at any age.
Since you’re new to the career world, you probably have a full schedule, and you need to maximize your time in the gym. To shave minutes, try completing compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups. For example, you can do a superset of pushups and side planks to work your upper body and core in half the time.
At this stage, you retain your youthful fitness, but you might notice that you don’t look as toned as you did when you were younger. That’s because the average adult loses 3% to 8% of muscle mass after age 30. What’s the remedy? You need to step up your strength training routine.
Fortunately, by this point in your career, you likely have enough financial resources to join a gym. However, if the COVID-19 pandemic left you leary of sweating among strangers, don’t give up hope. You can find light hand weights and resistance bands inexpensively online and in retail stores. Slide them under your couch, and you can perform squats and biceps curls during TV commercial breaks.
When you hit the big 4-0, you might have a midlife crisis. Try to harness the nervous energy you feel when you reflect on your life and use it as inspiration to reach new fitness heights. If you haven’t gotten into working out, you might feel like it’s too late — that’s when you need to harness your dissatisfaction and unrest and use it to say, “I can be whomever I choose.”
The most crucial component to remember at this age is to focus on your form to prevent injury and avoid defeating your purpose. Also, avoid the urge to make the elliptical machine your one-stop shop when you hit the gym. You need to work on cardio, but strength training becomes more vital as you age.
50 is the new 30, and if you saw J. Lo’s performance at the last Super Bowl, you know that you don’t have to lose a lick of your physical ability. However, you might want to start incorporating more flexibility training into your routine. If you notice that your back aches continually, more stretching might be in order.
To test your ability, sit in a chair and cross one leg over the other. Bend your trunk forward — if doing so produces pain, you know that a lack of flexibility contributes to your ache. Repeat on the other side. It isn’t unusual for the muscles to be shorter on one side than the other, and you may feel more or less achy.
At this point, you might start to experience a few health issues, even if nothing plagued you before. Fortunately, getting 150 minutes of physical activity weekly is associated with a 33% lower risk of early death from any cause.
If you put fitness on the back burner while you were raising your family, you might rediscover the joys of activity. Start small and work out with a partner to keep yourself motivated. If it’s been a while since you’ve hit the gym, schedule a few sessions with a trainer to relearn the correct techniques.
Your 70’s and Beyond
Fitness isn’t only for your body. It benefits your brain, as well. Research reveals that regular exercise can reduce your risk of dementia by 30% and of Alzheimer’s disease by 45%. A study of over 600 individuals in Scotland found that those who participate in physical activity at age 70 experienced less brain shrinkage than those who lead sedentary lifestyles.
You do need to take additional precautions. Falls can lead to broken bones that take a significant time to heal. Investigate programs designed for those in your age bracket and enlist the help of a trainer to make sure you execute moves correctly.
Stay Fit During Every Life Stage With These Tips
Fitness benefits folks of all ages. Make working out a lifelong habit and reap the benefits of improved health and well-being.