How much exercise do you get? The benefits of regular physical activity are well-established and include improved physical and mental health, as well as a reduced risk of many diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Experts recommend that adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, plus muscle strengthening exercises.
- For children, getting enough exercise is easy. It’s recommended that children get at least an hour of physical activity each day, but most kids get that much just by being kids. Running, playing on the playground, and riding their bikes all provide aerobic exercise and help strengthen bones, while climbing trees, playing on the jungle gym, and doing gymnastics help build their muscles.
- Teens need opportunities to exercise. Teenagers need an hour of exercise each day, just like younger children. It may be harder for them to get this exercise in, though, unless they’re into sports. Encourage them to be active, whether through school sports or a recreational league, or give them other opportunities to be active. This could be riding bikes with their friends, hiking, swimming, or even playing ball in the yard. Many teens also become interested in weight training, which is good for building strong muscles and bones.
- Staying active in your 20s is uncomplicated. Most 20-somethings are strong and healthy, so it’s a great time to begin really building a foundation of fitness. Make exercise a regular part of your routine, playing sports like tennis with friends, hiking, biking, or swimming. Now is the time to get into the habit of exercising 30 minutes a day, five days each week, incorporating cardio, balance work, and stretching, as well as focusing two of those days on muscle-strengthening exercises. Cross training is a good workout for people in their 20s, because it provides a challenge while offering both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Strength training is especially important for women at this age, because the 20s are the best time to increase bone density. For men in their 20s, yoga can be a good exercise for establishing flexibility and mobility, creating healthier posture, better spinal alignment, and looser muscles.
- In our 30s, life gets busy, and exercising requires planning. It’s a good time to find a good coach, because not only do you need motivation to hit the gym, but you also need to start counteracting the effects of aging. It’s in the 30s that the body first begins to lose muscle mass, and you might notice that it takes you longer to recover from a workout than it did in your previous decade. It’s important, then, to focus on weight training and bone strengthening, incorporating weight-bearing activities into your routine. Don’t skimp on the cardio in favor of lifting weights, though; you still need cardio at least three times a week. Mix it up, trying different types of exercise and keeping your workouts well-rounded. If you normally do a lot of swimming, try biking or dancing to work different muscles. Interval-based cardio like spinning is a great workout, too, and high-intensity interval training may be better for you than steady cardio.
- The 40s are a crucial time for exercise. As you approach middle age, your body will naturally begin to decline, with your muscles losing mass and elasticity and your metabolism beginning to slow. You are likely to find it easier to gain weight, especially around your middle, which increases your risk of issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. That’s why it’s crucial to keep up the cardio three to five times a week and stick with your muscle-strengthening routine, which is more important now than it ever has been before. If you are starting to feel more pain after your workouts, you can switch to lower impact exercise, like swimming, but make sure some of your workout is weight bearing. Hiking is a wonderful way to get exercise in your 40s, and it you haven’t found a routine you love at this point, that may be just the thing, slowly increasing the intensity of your hikes to match your fitness level.
- Don’t let the aches and pains of the 50s slow you down. Instead, adjust your exercise routine, switching to low-impact activities that are easier on the joints, like walking, biking, and swimming. If you find that you’re sore after your workouts, try reducing the intensity in favor of more frequent exercise. Focus on the muscles of your abdomen and back to strengthen your core and fight the changes in posture that come with age. Keep up the resistance training, especially for the hips and shoulders, to counteract the slowing of bone and muscle development. Walk as much as you can, because leg strength is important not just for your physical well-being but also to fight cognitive decline.
- Exercising in your 60s can help prevent falls. Exercises for seniors begin to take on a new kind of focus, with an eye on improving and maintaining balance, to prevent problems down the line. Stick to at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week, with weights or resistance training two or three of those days. If you don’t feel like you have the energy for all that, realize that consistent exercise can actually improve your energy levels so that you can improve or maintain your independence. Staying ahead of the game can be as simple as walking consistently, doing bodyweight exercises like sit-ups or push-ups, and attending a yoga class one or two days a week. Consistency is better than intensity at this stage, because exercise that is too strenuous can cause permanent damage. Keep your exercises low impact, and make sure you are doing weight bearing exercises at least twice a week because this has been shown to protect mental function.
- In your 70s, focus on flexibility. Older people who maintain their strength and flexibility typically have many more years of independence and functionality than their sedentary peers. Continue to get aerobic exercise, work on your balance, and use resistance bands for muscle strengthening, taking extra time to warm up and cool down and remembering to stretch for flexibility. Fit in some low-impact cardio at least three times each week.
- Beyond 80, work on maintaining strength. Just about any exercise is going to help strengthen your body and mind as you grow older. Keep up with resistance training, to maintain your muscle strength. It’s a great time to work with a personal trainer, to help you decide which exercises are right for you.
Pledge to Fitness is committed to helping people maintain their physical and mental wellness at every age, and we count many seniors among our clientele. Our older clients benefit from our customized training programs, based on their specific needs, that help build muscle, increase mobility and strength, improve balance, and continue recovering after physical therapy. One of our clients is Mickey Rosenau, age 92, who was recently featured in an article in The Buzz Magazine. In that article, he gives some sound advice about being active, saying, “Enjoy it!”
Rosenau should know. He’s been enjoying fitness for his whole life, doing fun things like canoeing and scuba diving. In fact, he only quit scuba diving at age 86, when he began to be concerned about his ability to handle dangerous currents. Now he works out at home most days, on a treadmill and by doing forearm planks. Twice a week, he works out at Pledge to Fitness, with owner, founder, and trainer Andres Loperena. Rosenau enjoys this, not just for the workout, but for the social interaction.
At Pledge to Fitness®, we offer a holistic approach to wellness, with physical training, massage therapy, and nutrition coaching to help you reclaim your energy, passion, and motivation in body, mind, and spirit. Results of The Pledge System™ are guaranteed, and our team is committed to giving each client the expert care, personal attention, and motivation needed to develop and maintain physical energy and resilience. In addition to crafting a well-rounded wellness plan for you, our coaches craft an individualized program based on your physical condition and goals, designed to meet your needs and work with your budget and availability.
Our skillful coaches and personal trainers are required to hold higher credentials and complete more hours of work with clients than professionals in similar facilities. As a Pledge, you can use your sessions as you need, with no requirement of purchasing more sessions for massage therapy or nutrition coaching. We guarantee you will get results, and we are committed to helping our clients improve their wellness levels, meet their goals, and build sustainable habits that allow them to keep their results forever. For more information or to book a free session, call 713.405.7420 or contact us through our website.