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Exercise Throughout the Ages

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How many times have you heard the phrase “You’re only as old as you feel”? Just because you are getting older doesn’t mean that you should resign yourself to the rocking chair. While you may need to alter your workout in order to avoid injury, you should still try to maintain an active lifestyle. Of course, you should be sure to consult your physician to determine the exercise program that is right for you.

20 to 30 Years – Strength Training

In addition to health benefits such as increased metabolism and increased lean muscle mass, strength training can also help increase or restore bone mass. Lifting dumbbells, walking with wrist weights, doing push-ups or using weight machines are all excellent methods of strength training. Other age-appropriate activities include: running or jogging, swimming, rock climbing, resistance stretching with rubber bands, archery and bowling.

30 to 40 Years – Aerobic Conditioning

Aerobic conditioning trains your heart and other muscles to utilize oxygen more efficiently, which allows you to perform exercise for longer periods of time. Walking is an excellent way to start aerobic conditioning. From there, try using an exercise bicycle or exercise along with an aerobics video. Other appropriate activities include: basketball, jumping rope, running, soccer, tennis and racquetball.

40 to 50 Years – Low-Impact Exercises

At this age, you need to start taking your body’s joints and muscles into consideration. A knee injury or pulled muscle can keep you on the sidelines, which can lead to weight gain, depression and a loss of flexibility. Low-impact exercise can burn a high number of calories, without putting your joints and muscles at undue risk. Biking and swimming are both excellent forms of low-impact exercise. Other appropriate activities include: low-impact aerobics, volleyball, walking, hiking and water aerobics.

50 Years and Beyond – Flexibility Exercises

A loss of flexibility is inevitable as we age, but there is no reason to discontinue your favorite exercise routines. Just be sure to incorporate some new exercises to help promote flexibility and prevent boredom with your old routines. Yoga is an excellent choice for people in this age group. It uses your own body weight to help build muscle and also improves balance and flexibility. Pilates also concentrates on stretching and building body strength. Other choices for this age group include: swimming, walking, tai chi, golf and dancing.

It is never too late to start leading a physically active lifestyle. Keeping active not only helps us feel and look better, it can also help ward off diseases like diabetes and arthritis, depression and weight gain. Adjusting your routine as you age can help protect your joints and muscles from injury, allowing you to enjoy an active life for many years to come!

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