Everyone knows that exercise is a vital part of keeping your body healthy. In order to maintain a healthy weight and protect against the risk of certain disease, regular activity is necessary.
While expert's advice on how much exercise we need varies, your age is certainly a factor to consider on how to exercise. Over the next few weeks will we break down exercise by age group and then finish off our Keeping Fit and Healthy At Any Age series with advice on 'getting started' and 'weight management.'
In your 20s, it is much easier to fit exercise into your schedule. It is also the best time to try and make the most gains out of your training since the body is young. In your youth, processes like digestion and cellular regeneration should be functioning well. At this age, joints should also be nice and healthy, so you can afford to take on activity with the higher impact such as contact sports. This is also a great time to try new things and experiment with different hobbies. It is important at this age to keep activity levels as high as possible and to eat a healthy diet to lay the foundations of a healthy body going into the later stages in life.
It is easy to eat and drink to your heart's content when you’re young and not necessarily seeing any physical impacts from your lifestyle. However, once you cross the 30s and enter the next phase of your hormonal and metabolic cycle, the impacts of your lifestyle choices can hit hard. It is therefore important in your 20s to take a more preventative approach and invest in preserving or prolonging your youth through a healthy lifestyle.
The 30s are all about change! These changes are not just in your body (hormones, metabolism, energy levels, ability to lose weight) but general means in your career, family life, disposable income (time spent on social activities). These changes are all inter-related and when compounded together, can have significant effects on your energy levels, hormonal regulation and weight management. For most, the 30s represents a phase of reduced time but increased disposable income. So this is might be a good time to invest in eating healthy, buying organic where possible, supplementing if necessary and working with a personal trainer to ensure that your training is targeted towards your goals and your form and technique are good. You should still be able to push your body so continue playing sport or take up a new one. If you are pressed for time, HIIT and circuit training are great ways to still give the muscles and metabolism a boost. And if you travel, again it would be good to engage a personal trainer to set you up on a plan that can take into account the access to equipment/training whilst on the road.
In the 40s, it is highly important, particularly for women, to maintain a consistent routine of resistance training or any weight bearing exercise. This is because it is important to keep lean muscle mass up and promote good bone density. Keeping the muscles strong can also help to support the joints, particularly in the knees and hips. In this age band, it is also important to strengthen the postural muscles in the mid back to prevent the rounding of the shoulders and hunching of the back which is common as people get older.
In your 50's +
In this age band, the most important thing is to just keep active in order to maintain good mobility through the joints and lean muscle mass. As we age, our muscles naturally atrophy, so it is important to keep building lean muscle mass as it will only become harder to maintain later in life. Keeping active and mobile also helps to promote good joint function and range of movement.
Check back next week to read about alternative forms of exercising...