Learning how to stay fit throughout every decade in life is a key to longevity, without dispute.
How many times have you heard that age is only a number, or perhaps the adage that you’re only as old as you feel? While these are empowering and positive statements, you still need to balance your fitness level with your age.
Whether you’ve always been in good shape or you are a newbie, your body may last longer if you stay fit. It’s never too late to find an exercise regimen that’s tailored to your needs. As you get older, these needs will change.
Let’s face it; you’re probably not as strong and limber in your 40s as you were in your 20s. Your mind may be thinking you’re unchanged, but your body is telling you a different story. Physical fitness is essential throughout your life and must evolve with you.
An article published by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services explores the aspects of living longer. Research suggests that along with a healthy diet and lifestyle, exercising regularly may extend your life. Even as your body changes, muscles weaken, and joints hurt, but exercise can help you stay fit into your golden years, per the article.
Ten Habits To Keep You Fit At Every Age
Everyone is different and has health conditions and various abilities that require exercise modifications. Before you start any new exercise routine, talk to your healthcare provider or a certified fitness instructor. Consider these essential steps to stay fit after forty.
No matter what time of day you work out, your body needs preparation. According to an article published by the Harvard Medical School, stretching helps your muscles stay limber, strong, and healthy. When you stretch before and after your workout, you have a lower risk of muscle strain and torn tendons.
2. Get Warmed Up
Your muscles need a gradual warm-up before you do any strength training or lifting. After stretching, try a few minutes on a cycling machine or elliptical. These will gently stretch your muscles and get them ready for a good workout.
3. Know Your Limits
Your amazing body instinctively knows what’s best for it, and it will “talk” to you if you listen. Instead of a voice, it will speak to you with a trigger like muscle and joint pain that lasts for more than two days. If you’re doing an exercise that is doing more harm than good, listen to your body and make modifications.
4. Machines are Your Friends
Do you enjoy lifting weights? It’s an efficient way to strengthen your muscles and inner core. However, even the strongest athletes and weightlifters gradually lose muscle tone with aging. Consider using weight machines to get the training you want with fewer risks of injury.
5. Work with a Trainer
There is much value in working with a trainer who is well versed in safety and appropriate exercises for your weight and body type.
6. Set Realistic Expectations
You can’t work out as you did in your 20’s, so don’t push yourself to the point of injury.
7. Stay Hydrated
It’s easier for older folks to become dehydrated, so make sure you’re chugging plenty of water to keep from having issues.
8. Keep a Good Attitude by Staying Positive
It’s not easy to start a new exercise routine, and it may be quite painful at the beginning. However, staying positive will help you keep going.
9. Get Medical Approval
If you have medical conditions, you must talk to your doctor to get approval or recommendations before you begin.
10. Set Small, Obtainable Goals
It would help if you paced yourself. It’s good to have a list so that you can see the goals you’ve reached. Don’t get defeated by what you used to do; instead, set your goals for your current age and health situation.
Here Are Excellent Tips For Working Out, Decade By Decade
Keeping your body strong and healthy doesn’t end once you turn forty. Even if you can’t do everything you could as a teen and in your twenties or thirties, you can stay fit with a tailored workout. Here are some helpful fitness guidelines to consider for each decade.
Many people dread reaching their 40th birthday because it’s dubbed as coming “middle age” or going “over the hill.” However, once you hit the big 4-0, you may be surprised at how great you feel. Perhaps there are still things you can do just as well as you could in your 20s and 30s.
In your 4os decade, your life is surrounded by your family and career. It’s usually a time when you are most comfortable in your routine, even when you face unforeseen obstacles. You may be pressed for time, but you can find ways to plan workout routines.
As much as you hate to admit, this is the age that the “little aches and pains” are more noticeable. Your skin starts to lose some of its elasticity, and it’s often more challenging to lose weight. Your physical fitness level in the future may depend on what you establish now.
Are you having more difficulty keeping a regular workout schedule during this hectic time in your life? Even if you can’t have an exercise routine each day, walking can help. Using stairs at work at taking a brisk walk during your breaks can keep your muscles toned, and you can burn calories.
At 40, most people have less muscle elasticity and stiff joints. Yoga is an ideal exercise that combines mindful breathing with gentle stretches and body poses. Use it as a warm-up or an entire routine to strengthen and tone your body.
If you are doing cardio and strength training, you might consider adding cycling or another high-intensity exercise. Adding it to your workout may help keep your muscles stronger and give you more energy. Again, listen to your body and discuss a plan with a certified fitness instructor.
• Your 50s
When you awaken on your 50th birthday, you may be tempted to sulk because you have lived for half a century. Why not consider your 5th decade a blessing and enjoy the years to come? Now more than ever, this is a time when your mental and physical health depends on balanced nutrition and staying fit.
This is an age where many people develop chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis. While some situations can be hereditary and inevitable, many common ones can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
When you are in your 50s, consider a fitness routine that includes challenging your brain. Your brain needs regular mental exercises to stay healthy and alert. An article published by the Cleveland Clinic suggests that physical activities like cycling and swimming may boost brain cell production and maintain current ones.
This is also an age where children move out and become independent, and you have more free time. Consider taking up a fun sporting hobby like golf or martial arts. These exercises require brain work as well as muscle power.
• Your 60s
During your 60s, you’ll probably take your long-awaited retirement. However, it doesn’t mean you are resigned to a rocking chair. To keep your muscles and joints healthy, you must stay active at a measured pace.
Those minor aches and pains aren’t so little anymore. You also don’t recover after exercise as quickly. Keep an exercise plan that is best for you, and try to do something physical each day.
You may continue healthy weight training, but you should consider switching to weight machines. They are more controlled, and you won’t be as likely to have muscle strains or other injuries. Weight machines are also less stressful for your aging joints.
Staying fit is even more fun when you do it in a group. Try signing up for group classes in yoga, swimming, or other fitness programs. You’ll meet like-minded people who will help you stay committed and inspired.
• Your 70s
Once you’ve reached your 7th decade, you work for the strength to chase after your beloved grandchildren and pets. Don’t let this number intimidate you or keep you from exercising. You may need to modify your activities due to your physical abilities, but you can still reap some health benefits.
A certified fitness instructor can help devise a resistance training plan that’s best for you. It would help if you keep your joints and muscles moving so they are more flexible. Stretching exercises like yoga or Tai chi are ideal for seniors.
• Your Golden 80s and Beyond
According to a vital statistics report published by the Centers for Disease Control, the average lifespan in America is 77.8 years. If you’ve lived into your 80s, you’ve probably known how to follow a healthy lifestyle and how to stay fit.
Yes, your body will have many age-related challenges, but you can still stay active. Since people of advanced age are more susceptible to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it’s crucial to keep your mind busy. It’s also essential to stay connected with friends and other like-minded people, so consider group exercise.
Octogenarians may have fragile bones and joints, so you should work closely with your healthcare professionals. Gentle stretching and resistance exercises can help keep you mobile and less stiff. Keep your mind sharp and do puzzles, learn new hobbies, or even take a class in something interesting for you.
If you haven’t thought about nutrition and how to stay fit, today is the day. You are never too old to follow an exercise routine that will benefit your body and mind. The benefits may take you from youth, middle age, and well into your senior years. Remember that age is just a number, and you can feel fit and healthy at any decade in your life.