Breaking it down by age group:
20s: This is the time to build the foundation for long- term fitness and wellness. You may feel like this is the stage that you can 'take it easy' - after all, your metabolism is still cooperating! But this is actually the perfect age to start building a fit and healthy self. Lifting weights, coupled with 30 minute of cardio workouts, 2-3 times per week yield the highest benefits.
30s: Think about diversifying your workouts. Engaging in the same exercise(s) for extended periods of time may create long-term physical issues. For example, if you have always been a runner, perhaps swimming or cycling is a good alternative. Conversely, if you have been a swimmer, incorporate cycling or running into your workout regimen. Yoga helps with balance, agility, and flexibility—The National Institute on Aging says, "stretching is a simple way to maintain flexibility and exercises and activities like yoga, tai chi, or dancing are also good options."
40s: Uh Oh! Did you wake up one day and see some belly fat? You are not alone! Unfortunately, testosterone levels in men start to drop and women start to lose muscle mass in their 40's. So, keep lifting those weights for upper body strength and tone—it's a key component to maintaining lean muscle mass and the appearance of being fit. Consistency will help to keep the pounds off and reduce stress levels that can create 'stress fat.'
50s: As you approach age 50, exercising is even more crucial to staying heart healthy and for relieving the aches and pains. Remember to respect your limitations—if you are runner and your feet or knees are starting to hurt, try activities that are easier on the joints! Yoga and Pilates are also a good alternative in helping back pain and other ailments. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends "30 minutes of aerobic activity five times per week to preserve heart health as you age."
60s: Hopefully, up to now, you have been engaging in an ongoing exercise regimen. If not, have no fear! You can still reap the benefits of starting an exercise program. The first thing you need to do? Go out and get yourself an exercise mat to protect and pad your upper and lower back while doing any floor exercises.AHA says "staying strong through your 60s will also improve your odds of surviving a fall, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pegs as a high risk once you hit 65. "Be sure to consult with a fitness trainer or your doctor before starting an exercise program to avoid injury.
70s+: At this time, it is crucial to maintain and sustain your strength and flexibility. Rigorous workouts are not recommended, but walking, chair exercises and exercise bands can be quite helpful. These and other exercises will promote flexibility, balance and strength, all necessary to maintain ones independence.
Be sure to take it slow. And as always, check with your doctor if you are not sure how to begin or if you feel any discomfort during your exercise routine.
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