It’s never too late to look after your body through exercise!
Here, we have a look at the best kinds of exercise for every stage of life.
This is the perfect time to start exercising. Incorporate both cardio and strength training into your weekly routine. Strength training is of particular importance as it staves off osteoporosis and other health problems in the future, as well as building muscle definition, so make sure you do this 2-3 days a week. Try to alternate with cardio, of which you should do regularly and with as much variety as possible (circuit training, running, etc.).
The thing with being in your 20s is, the earlier you start the healthier you’ll be later in life, both physically and cognitively!
This is around the time when your heart’s maximum rate falls, so you’ll want to improve this by running in intervals. A good example is alternating jogging and short moments of sprinting, and circuit training is also a good choice.
However, if you’re looking to lose weight at this age, strength training is a better bet for you than cardio. Your muscle mass will also fall as you age, which is why you want to take up strength training such as weight lifting and push ups. Just remember that the key is to not get your body into one particular strength training routine. Switch things up!
Now that you’re in your 40s, you’ll be losing muscle mass as well as balance. This means your focus should be on flexibility and your sense of balance, as both are affected by the aforementioned muscle loss as well as stiffness. Cardio is still crucial for keeping your weight down, but resistance training should be the ultimate focus at this age. Focus on push-ups, lunges, bicep curls, etc.
Dynamic stretching is also encouraged, which is where you move as you stretch (e.g. squats), as opposed to the riskier static stretching. The former allows improved balance, which is essential as you age.
If you’re in your 50s, you should seriously consider yoga as a form of exercise. Not only is this exercise fantastic overall for combating menopausal symptoms, but yoga is a fun and sociable activity that will make you enjoy exercise instead of dread it. It’s also great for keeping your balance in check, which becomes exponentially more important as you grow older.
If you’re not a fan of yoga, however, swimming is another great option. This exercise also helps strengthen your bones, but on top of that, cardio is a good preventative exercise against breast cancer. Weight training is also a fantastic and highly recommended form of exercise, as it works all your muscles.
Start off slow, and try to build up to exercising five times a week. So long as you do light exercises, it will help with joint problems. Simple daily changes to accommodate more movement does wonders, such as walking instead of driving. It will also help with cholesterol, balance, high blood pressure, and the endless list carries on.
Yoga and pilates can be something else you consider as they strengthen the core. Stick with other low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking, and cycling. If you’re up for it, weight-bearing exercises like climbing stairs can help with maintaining bone density.
At this age it is essential to be aware of your joints and balance. Balance is especially vital when it comes to finding the right exercise for you, as those that require it can be dangerous and thus should be avoided. Walking up and down stairs, on the other hand, is a great weight-bearing exercise, and will help with osteoporosis. Just move around as much as possible!
Try going for a low impact cardio routine 2-3 times a week. A good idea is swimming, especially if you have cranky joints. Otherwise, opt for an exercise bike to reap the benefits of cycling without the danger that comes with balance! To help with bone strength, now is a great time to learn squats and lunges to increase your muscle mass.
Whatever your age, it’s never too late to improve your body. After all, it’s your vehicle through life, and it’ll thank you in the long run!
Words: Minnie Jung