Should Exercise Change with Age?

Remember your “No pain, no gain” days? Exercising through pain really is a thing of the past. Now, it’s important for exercisers of all ages to listen to their bodies to avoid extremes and maintain a lifetime of activity. Staying active helps keep you healthy and functional as you grow older, but most of us notice changes in our energy levels, and we don’t recover quite as quickly after our workouts. So how should you change your exercise habits as you age?

1. Keep up the resistance

Fitting in 150 minutes of cardio and aerobic exercise per week is great way to stay active. But the importance of strength training, especially as we age, often gets lost in the focus on cardio. Every year after the age of 30 we start to lose muscle mass. I call this “The Great Decline.” The technical term for this is sarcopenia and it affects over 30% of adults over 60. It not only impacts your risk for falls and fractures, but it also starts to limit your activities because of lack of functional strength. The bias toward strength training increases as we get older…that means it gets more important! But remember, your joints, tendons, and muscles lose some of their flexibility as they age, so it’s important to have warm muscles and tendons before your workouts to lower your risk of injury. This can be as simple as a 5-minute light walk or jog in place. Throw in a few jumping jacks, or some alternating knee lifts, and your muscles will warm and ready to go!

2. Spice up your cardio

Variety is the spice of life and as you age, it’s important to add more variety to your cardiovascular workouts, so you don’t develop repetitive motion injuries by placing repeated stress on your joints. Circuit training is a great way to increase your heart rate with minimal impact on your joints. Also, High intensity interval training, or known as HIIT training, is safe and effective for older adults. You just may need slightly more recovery time between the bursts of activity. And, you don’t need HIIT training any more than twice a week….recovery becomes more important as we age!

3. Strive for balance

As you age, your body’s balance is your best ally for creating stability. Your kinesthetic sense – your awareness of where you are in relationship to the space around you – starts to diminish as you age, so it’s important to practice balance throughout the week. The more you fine-tune your sense of balance, the less likely you are to get injured or to fall. You can even incorporate balance challenges throughout your regular workouts. One of the best anti-aging medicines doesn’t come in a bottle or tube. It’s exercise and with simple modifications you can continue training for the rest of your life.


  •  Ageless Staying Strong DVD – Reset your body with four 15-minute workouts! This target-training DVD sculpts your arms, legs, glutes, and core while using light weights. The progression of exercises are designed to give you maximum results in record time.
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