Fitness over 40 is as simple and as easy as fitness under 40. However, people over 40 do have some things to consider before they leap into any fitness programme. Here is an overall review of the benefits of fitness over 40 as well as some suggestions on points to consider before beginning any fitness programme.
All around the globe, people in their 80s are skiing, hiking, canoeing, and biking. Some, not so adventurous, are lifting weights or sweating. Some are black belts in karate, and some quietly and calmly practice yoga or tai-chi. As easy as it sounds, fitness over 40 requires regular performance of the proper exercises. Just as in our 30s or 40s, sitting in the easy chair, clicking the remote, doing 16 ounce just doesn’t cut it. However, it is not necessary to pack up and head for the gym and try to keep up with the hard body cuties, either. It is necessary to pick an exercise programme or physical activity, combine that with some healthy eating habits...and stick to it.
People over 40 tend to break bones, usually from falling. As we age, bones weaken, as do muscles. Exercise helps bones stay strong and exercises such as weightlifting and other resistance training help your body maintain balance and stability. People over 40 begin to lose their zest for living and experience more health crises. Part of this is due to normal changes that take place as we grow older.
Regular exercise comes to the rescue here as well. It can help with weight loss, or it can help with weight management once we get to our appropriate weight. Regular, moderate exercise can keep joints supple, in many cases even joints under attack by arthritis. Exercise also strengthens the immune system, which helps us avoid or fight off the normal bacterial and viral infections which seem to come our way and which often seem to wreak havoc on the older population.
What exercise programme is beneficial for fitness over 40?
In the first analysis, almost any physical activity which gets your heart rate up, makes you breathe more deeply than normal, and which challenges muscles beyond their normal range of activity is going to be on the list. Anything from walking, to swimming, to yoga, to weightlifting will generally fill the bill. There are, however, some simple points to think about.
1. Get your doctor’s approval first.
2. Pick an activity, or even a group of activities, which you will enjoy doing. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Take some classes in yoga, tai chi, or even karate. Maybe you will feel better in a certain amount of solitude and just want to pick up a set of weights and exercise in the privacy of your home.
3.Any exercise cannot itself provide the three basic types of exercise needed. We need exercises which will stretch muscles and joints, exercises which strengthen muscle, and exercises which improve our cardiovascular fitness. This is not really hard to do, however, and should not take a lot of time out of your life, particularly when you consider how much it will put back into your life. As one example, you could do a simple weight or resistance training for strength two or three times a week, some sort of low-impact aerobics or walking for cardio on other days, and do some simple stretching exercises every day. None of these workout periods needs to be more than about 30 minutes, although a little more time and effort may produce better benefits, particularly once you have trained up to a level where your body is comfortable meeting the demands you place on it. You are more likely to stay on a physical fitness regimen if you enjoy it. However, things do tend to get stale over time.
4. Start off easy. At any age, a common reason for failure to stay on any exercise programme is that people tend to try to do too much at first and try to progress too fast. Whatever you choose, your body needs time to adjust to the new demands being made on it, and results will never come overnight.
5. Don’t stop. Probably the most important aspect of any exercise programme, or any other self-improvement programme, is the commitment to what you know you should be doing day after day. A haphazard approach to your exercise programme is detrimental at any stage in your life. After 40, however, making sure you get your regular dose of anti-ageing exercise is incredibly important.
6. Eat healthy. Diets don’t work and can even work against you. They are difficult to stay on and take a major portion of fun out of life instead of making life better. Healthy eating choices will do the trick if you make them a regular part of your life.
While fitness over 40 can demand some of your time and attention that you might not want to surrender to it, the rewards in overall health, fitness, and enjoyment of life will far outweigh any investment you put into it.