By : Kate Flannery
Our bodies inevitably change with age – the skin loses elasticity, joints are more susceptible to injuries, we gain excess weight more easily, and weight loss is exceedingly daunting. We are significantly affected with sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass. The good news is that if you never worked out before, it is never too late to start. It’s harder with the years, but impossible – never. The benefits of exercising are both physical and psychological. With help of exercising, you can regain and retain the vitality of your youth.
Start with these:
1. Turn every situation into a workout opportunity.
Forget the elevator, take the stairs instead. Walk to the store and buy only a few essential things that you need, so you could go back the next day. Gradually, try reaching the goal of making 10,000 steps a day. Turn everyday house chores into workouts. Wax your car, or shovel the snow. This all counts as exercise and though it is physically demanding, it is also an important chore, which is a bit more relevant than being just a motivation to work out.
2. Take it slowly.
You cannot get in shape overnight, especially when you have to stay very safe – injuries are easier to obtain and harder to recover from when you’re 40+. Start small, maybe a 30-minute walk every other day, then introduce some stretching exercises before walks, and continue to build up and add more sets when you feel ready. It is not a competition, but it could become a pleasant lifestyle.
3. Warm up good.
Walking into the gym and digging into exercises without warming up is not advisable even in your 20s. But it becomes more dangerous as we get older. Always start with gentle cardio on the treadmill for 10 minutes, or a light set of exercises to increase your core body temperature and prepare you joints and muscles for something more serious.
4. Love your cardio.
Most people get bored with cardio exercises easily and start hating and avoiding them. But the benefits of cardio cannot be ignored. Cardio will increase your lung capacity, strengthen and regulate your heart rhythm, help you recover faster after training, and speed up the fat burning process. Start easy, then pyramid progressively, and after a higher intensity interval, slowly pace it down. Repeat cardio for 20 minutes three times a week to get into better shape.
5. Keep a log.
Keeping a log of your training routine will help you track how much you have progressed and how effective your routine is. Eating right is just as important as moving your body, so keep track of your diet as well. Things you might want to include in your log are your bodyweight, calories burned, sets, reps, and poundage, as well as your intake of proteins, carbs and fats. Having all the information in one place will help you gain a better insight and devise a better plan by making appropriate adjustments. Perhaps, you should increase the intensity of workouts, cut back on carbs, or add workout supplements to your regime.
When was the last time you went to a gym? Why not make it a pre-New Year’s resolution to be fit?