Exercise After 40: Do You Know What to Do?

Exercise the age old debate (no pun intended).  How do you know they type of exercises to do when your not a gym warrior or a fitness guru.  You can slow the aging process to a crawl the more fit you are as you get older but you don’t want to over do it and feel like your in constant sourness all the time.  The aging process accelerates the breakdown of connective tissues and muscle, if you don’t stay active as you get older.  The tendency to sit and not to do anything is the worse thing you can do for your future health and well being.  We all would like to age gracefully and we all have the control to do so.  If you are already over 40 it’s still time to change the path your path from constant weight and health problems to a healthier life.  Read on to find out what you should do when planning your fitness plan.

Aerobics

Aerobics is an essential part of exercise, it maintains the health of the heart, brain and lungs.  And this should be a main part of your daily exercise and becomes even more important as we get older.  There are numerous types of aerobic exercise but if you’re just starting out you should perform lower impact exercises that will have lower impact on your joints.  This you give you time fore your body to get stronger to be able to handle more intense aerobic activities.

Low impact aerobics included but not limited to listed below:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling (including stationary bikes)
  • Walking
  • Jogging (This could have more of an impact on your joints if your not ready walking is better if your just starting)

Strength Training

Does not mean you have to become a body builder 🙂 it means exactly what it says strength training.  Your body muscles need resistance training will greatly decrease the risk of fractures, immobility and pain as you get older.

Basic strength training doesn’t actually mean you have to use weights but your own body weight can be used to accomplish the goals of being healthy and increasing your strength.  If you feel you are capable of doing more there is a few movements that you can try below:

  • Squats (if you have knee issues do leg extensions instead)
  • Bench presses (If you have shoulder issues use resistance straps)
  • Push ups (resistance straps)
  • Pull up/ assisted pull ups
  • Lat pull downs shoulder presses
  • Deadlifts / hyperextensions
  • Triceps presses
  • Dumbbell curls

Flexibility Training

No one really thinks about flexibility in a training program, but flexibility is a very important component of your training.  Most don’t see the immediate benefit of this type of training but its what you will not feel after training that’s the most important thing.  Flexibility training decreases the pain following training the reason for this is the inability of your muscles to elongate back to it’s natural position, or when they do they cause stress on connective tissue that causes the pain in your muscle.  It promotes muscle balance as we age due to loss of muscle mass, but also helps to stiffen connective tissue.

Include these in your flexibility training to reap the benefits:

  • Dynamic Stretches- these are stretches performed prior to your workout to get the muscle and connective tissue loose and ready for activity. This significantly helps to reduce the risk of injury during an active workout set.
  • Static Stretches- these are stretches performed after working out a muscle group, to relieve muscle tension. Static stretches help stretch the muscle fibers and reduce pain after your workout.

Conclusion

A complete plan should include aspects from each of the exercise types mentioned above, to maintain the integrity of joints, heart and muscles. Staying mobile will definitely contribute to long term health in the long run.

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