Aging is something that occurs in all our lives. No matter how much we wish it were otherwise, there’s nothing we can do to prevent aging. Our best choice is to adapt and adjust in order to keep up with the aging process in our body. Nowhere else is this more important than in your approach to exercise and working out. You can’t keep trying to exercise the same way as you grow older—you’ll just increase your risk of injuries! If you want to know how to change your workout as you age, here’s a simple and easy to follow guide:
Working Out in Your Teens and 20s
You are at the peak of your physical fitness, so you can focus a lot more on high-intensity exercise. Your body will be able to keep up with the higher energy demands and the increased muscle fiber damage, as your faster metabolism can make repairs more efficiently. Try to focus on doing moderate-to-high intensity exercise, both cardio and weight lifting. This is the time to build up strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity, all of which will help you to continue to be fit into your later years.
Working Out in Your 30s
This is the time of life when you’ve got less free time, thanks to work and family commitments. Those short high intensity workouts are going to be a life-saver, as you’ll have the time to fit them in around your other activities of daily life. Make sure to work on your core as well, as now is when most people—men, especially—begin to notice hints of lower back problems. Spending more time strengthening and training your core is crucial to help you continue to stay in good shape and avoid spinal issues as you age.
Working Out in Your 40s
You may not be moving as quickly as you once were, but you can still push yourself! You’ve still got the energy to kick your resistance training workouts into high gear, and you’ll find it’s possible to keep up with moderate-intensity exercise like running, cycling, swimming, and sports. For women, this is the time of life when it’s most important to be active, as these are the days of perimenopause when estrogen levels decline and body fat tends to settle around the midsection. Moderate aerobic exercise and resistance training can do wonders to keep your body healthy and your fat under control!
Working Out in Your 50s
Menopause will often hit hard, and it can lead to serious changes in your hormone levels, which may affect body fat storage significantly. Many women in their 50s struggle with fat gain, and the fat already on their bodies tend to sag. Combat this by doing a lot of resistance training and low-to-moderate intensity exercise. You may need to scale back on the high intensity workouts (unless you’ve already been doing them and have adapted to the intense demands placed on your body) and lower the intensity to protect your joints, muscles, and bones.
Working Out in Your 60s and Beyond
Age is just a number, and you can keep that number low by continuing with your daily aerobic and resistance training efforts. Low-impact cardiovascular exercise is definitely ideal, as you want to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your joints. Make sure to include resistance training at least 3 to 4 times a week, and focus on maintaining strength rather than trying to build maximum power. Keeping fit will help you enjoy your “golden years” a whole lot more!