Age and Working Out
Exercise Is Important At Any Age
When is it too early or too late to reap the benefits of an exercise program? Simply put, exercise at any age provides multiple benefits from reducing the risk of heart disease to preventing osteoporosis to relieving stress and promoting weight loss. As a general rule, people of all ages need to engage in a combination of cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises to maintain health and overall fitness. This is not to imply, however, that workout regimes should be the same for every age group. The following is a discussion of some general strategies for middle age fitness, women’s fitness at age 40 and workouts for kids age 10-16.
Middle Age Fitness
As mentioned above, exercise is one of the lifestyle modifications health experts recommend, not only to reduce excess belly flab but to help prevent or minimize a number of life threatening conditions including heart disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Interestingly, a recent study published in the online journal, The Lancet Neurology, indicates that middle aged people who are more physically active have a reduced risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease as they age.
For many, the fight against fat can be a never-ending struggle, but the best time to prevent middle-age weight gain and the onset of other adverse health conditions is now. All you have to do is increase your activity by adding a few minutes to your regular workout until you reach an extra half hour of physical activity per week. For men and women, boosting activity during your middle years with activities such as walking, dancing, swimming, playing tennis, working out with exercise videos, and playing with your children will effectively increase overall health and wellness regardless of what kind of shape you were in to begin with.
Women’s Fitness at Age 40
At the age of 40 and beyond, it is important for women to realize that their joints are also 40 years old. That said, you might need to modify your exercise intensity and routine in keeping with the physical, physiological and hormonal changes that naturally occur at this time.
An aerobic routine coupled with strength training, a healthy diet and stretching has been proven to replace lost muscle, get the body's metabolism revved up, keep weight off, reduce pre- and post-menopausal symptoms, lower blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol. In addition, exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer and kidney stones, helps fight depression and promotes improved sleep patterns. Most importantly for this age group, the focus needs to be on physical activity as opposed to dieting.
Low-impact workouts are generally recommended for women at 40 to allow them to burn a high number of calories. If you are bored with your current exercise routine or have reached a plateau, here are some exercise options to get your metabolism rolling:
When beginning a new routine, remember that fitness means the ability to get on with your life without becoming exhausted by normal daily activities. Listen to your body and avoid trying to do too much, too soon.
Workouts For Kids Age 10-16
According to Dr. Kenneth Cooper, author of Kid Fitness and the founder of aerobics, this is the age when you might expect to see a decline in your child’s physical activity. With childhood obesity at an all-time high, it is becoming increasingly important to encourage your child to incorporate exercise into their life at an early age to keep them healthy and fit and to prevent sedentary habits that could potentially extend into adulthood. For this age group, team sports and group classes are good choices in addition to strength training, dancing, step classes, basketball, soccer, baseball, wrestling, gymnastics and yoga, according to your child’s individual preferences.
Remember that, as a parent, you can be your child’s best role model by exercising regularly yourself and by making time for family activities such as swimming, biking and walking the dog throughout the week.
Note: Always consult with a professional health care advisor before beginning any physical fitness program.
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