The Best Exercises if You’re Over 40

Know that, although the body is aging, physical decline is not inevitable

Being a fit and strong 40+ year old person is not a difficult long-term goal. As the body ages, it is not as responsive or swift, but it can learn.

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to their age and working out is allowing themselves to fall into one of two extremes: Completely ignoring that their body changes or believing that they can't work out because of their age, Caitlin Bailey, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and fitness instructor at PhilanthroFIT Training, says.

“The most important thing to keep in mind is that, although the body is aging, physical decline is not inevitable,” she adds. “Symptoms that are normally associated with age, such as muscle weakness and loss of balance, are actually direct results of inactivity. Not age.”[slideshow:90026]

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends four types of trainings for people as they get older – strength, balance, endurance and stretching exercises. People lose lean muscle with time and that’s why they need to build muscles to increase metabolism, which helps regulate weight and blood sugar levels. 

“The length of an entire workout does not decrease with age; however, built into the workout would be longer recovery periods between sets and exercises, so the amount of time actually spent being active would be less,” Bailey says. “It is important to note that consistent exercise itself does increase energy.” 

The older people get, the more health risks they face. This is where keeping an active lifestyle comes in as one of the most important prevention methods. Many studies have shown the benefits senior citizens get by exercising often. It helps avoid falls and strokes, and improves memory.

People can’t ignore their age. Making this mistake can lead to weight gain, heart problems and chronic illnesses brought by unhealthy lifestyles. A lot of hormonal changes are happening. Any imbalance can have a bad effect. Just as you adjust your everyday habits, you may have to adjust your workout program.

Whatever you change, make sure cardio is in it. Studies have linked light jogging to living longer – just 2.5 hours a week of the aerobic exercise can add between five and six years to your life. Resistance exercises are crucial for longevity as well.

“The best workouts for people over 40 would include multi-joint, compound exercises such as squats combined with a shoulder press,” Bailey says. “Also, a good balance between cardio and strength training workouts with dedicated days for recovery,” she adds.

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