Exercise Through the Ages | 20’s, 30s, 40’s, 50’s, 60+
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
It’s never too late to start your exercise regimen and get the benefits of exercise!
If you have been maintaining your fitness all of your life, then you know your body and what it can accomplish. If you have been away from exercise for a while, or even if you have never exercised before, it is never too late to start a fitness regimen. Consider your age and your life circumstances when choosing a program or regimen. No two people are exactly the same, but here is a general way to consider workout regimens as we go through the decades of life. Regardless of your age, consider all of these areas, and, as always, ask a fitness professional if you are not sure what is right for you.
20’s: Prime Bone and Muscle Building
In the majority of people, the 20’s are the time for muscle and bone building. Hormones are in a stable condition for growth, and bones continue to develop mass through the 20’s. It is important to establish a healthy regimen so that aging is easy for you. A good exercise regimen builds a solid foundation of strength that would help reduce muscle and bone loss later. Also, think about keeping joints safe in the 20’s so that they do not start losing mobility later on.
An exercise regimen in your 20’s can include just about anything, if directed by a professional and if there are no other physical ailments.
For example, a cardio regimen that includes running, biking, swimming, dancing, and kickboxing are all great for building and maintaining heart and lung strength. Heavy weight lifting builds muscle and bone that can last for decades to come. Most people in their 20’s can enjoy high-intensity exercise such as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) programs.
30’s: Hold on strong
There may be some slight hormonal changes in the 30’s. The 30’s is also when bone growth slows down, and it’s actually tougher to build bone strength. This is why the 30’s is an important era to resistance or weight train. Barring physical ailments, people in their 30’s should continue in a similar style to the 20’s, with more attention to low or non-impact sports that preserve joints while building muscle and bone.
Examples would be: Les Mills Body Pump class for weight lifting, and Body Combat for cardio conditioning. A balanced conditioning program would be P90X for home or the P90X class at a local gym. Getting with a personal trainer for small group or personal exercise can help you stay on track. You need to continue to push yourself to work hard without overstressing your body, and a trainer or GRIT teacher can help you achieve more in less time.
40’s: Keep Moving
A lot of times, in your 40’s, you could experience a whole new level of energy, especially if you have not stopped exercising. Women in their 40’s feel more self-confident than younger women and sometimes are more willing to spend extra time on themselves. If you are not already an exerciser and you reach your 40’s, it’s likely that you have started to feel older. But don’t worry! It is not too late. Exercise is the fountain of youth, and the 40’s is a great time to begin to experience the benefits of health and exercise.
Perfect cardio activities in your 40’s include: walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing. Hard work without adding high impact at this point is important. Protect your joints by not stressing them, but keep the bones strong and joints limber through difficult cardio low impact exercise. Chalene Johnson calls this “Low HIIT” in her hit video series, Turbo Fire. Low HIIT would be doing movement that is low to the ground and does not add high impact, in short intervals. For instance, doing a dance move from a squat for a minute will intensify your exercise, raise your heart rate, and stress your muscles, but will not hurt your joints if done correctly.
50’s: Mind-Body Exercise
Mind-Body exercise is always important. It is best to start implementing mind-body exercise into any beginning workout routine, no matter when you start. But, if you have not attempted anything that challenges your focus while increasing flexibility, then definitely try to start as soon as possible.
A recent study in Hong Kong shows that people who exercise and add mind-body exercise to their regimens maintain brain health longer than those who do not. Hong Kong many areas in Eastern countries boast centuries of practicing Tai Chi and Qi Gong to increase focus while maintaining alignment in the body. Alignment and posture are incredibly important as we age and the body starts to angle forward and down, especially in people who have been in sitting occupations. An important part of Tai Chi is about posture and alignment while protecting the lower back and joints helps with overall posture, balance, and alignment. The focus of this type of exercise helps keep the brain strong.
60+: Continue moving
If you have always done a particular type of exercise, no one will tell you to stop in your 60’s unless your body and health have changed. Even if that happens, there are plenty of exercise plans to choose from. Swimming and water aerobics are particularly helpful in adding no impact to strenuous activity. Any type of mind-body exercise helps the body stay strong, lean, and aligned. These exercises include Pilates and Yoga.
Many facilities also include Silver Sneakers programs for older people who have some physical ailments and need help staying active. The worst thing to do, whether you have arthritis, osteoporosis, or any other ailment, is to stop moving. Joints and bones need to move. The heart needs challenge. The lungs need challenge. So, just keep moving.
Before starting any new exercise routines, please check with your personal physician if any of these health conditions apply.
For more information on getting the benefits of exercise from any program, or to get personalized health coaching, please contact Carrie Harper through CarrieFit.