Your priorities begin to change as you get older, don’t they? Things that seemed important in your twenties don’t matter so much when you cross into middle-age. Meanwhile, things you never dreamed you’d have to deal with take center stage.
One thing many of us begin to think about in earnest as we age is our health – and for good reason. As the body ages, muscles weaken, heart disease lurks, and brain health declines. Luckily, there’s a simple solution to staying youthful, and that’s exercise.
Health Benefits You Can Feel Good About at Any Age
Among the many benefits of exercise for those who aren’t that young anymore include disease prevention, preservation of bone health and muscle tone, and improved mental clarity. Regular exercise can help you treat conditions like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Because exercise releases endorphins, it also helps you battle depression, stabilize your mood, and focus on difficult tasks. It may even help you keep dementia at bay: According to a study published in the journal Neurology, women who made fitness a priority in middle age were nearly 90% less likely to develop dementia.
While you may not be able to work out the way you did in high school, you can continue to get that heart rate up and build stronger muscles and bones. With a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training, you can hold back the hands of time – just a little – as you improve your strength, balance, and flexibility.
How Your Body Changes as You Age, and How to Fight Back at Each Stage of Your Life
If you’re 40 or over, you’re probably already noticing a few changes in your energy level and overall health. Here’s about what you can expect during each midlife decade:
- Your 40s
In your 40s, you have to contend with three harsh reality checks: gravity, hormones, and a slowing metabolism. During this decade, your muscle mass can decrease as your body fat increases. Women, especially, may gain weight more easily in the belly. It’s not necessarily a matter of overeating, either. Women’s bodies simply change as they age and as their hormone levels fluctuate. Men may face lower testosterone levels and an increased risk of heart disease.
How do you fight back? Resistance training is absolutely vital to strengthen muscle tone and preserve your health throughout this decade. It’s also important to offset stress with healthy habits. If you can incorporate regular cardio exercise now, it will become a habit that will serve you well as you age.
- Your 50s
In this decade, bones begin to lose density. Menopause presents another challenge to women. You may find that you’re a little stiffer when you wake up or get ready to exercise. Plus, your memory can begin to falter. Now is the time when those exercise routines you established become vital. The more you can do to maintain your fitness routine, the better you’ll be able to meet health challenges in this decade and the next.
One way to combat your new aches and pains is to add warm-ups and stretches into your fitness routine. This keeps you flexible, and it also aids in your post-workout recovery time. Concerned about heart health and mental clarity? Keep working away at that cardio!
- Your 60s
At this age, problems like arthritis can make sticking with an exercise routine challenging. Yet, it’s even more important to strengthen your bones and increase flexibility in your 60s. You may adapt your workout in this decade, replacing exercise that wears on the joints with a fitness regimen that’s easier on the body. Whatever you do, don’t stop exercising! If you keep your weight down and continue incorporating cardio a few times a week, you can prevent or lessen the impact of issues like osteoarthritis.
At Pursuit, We Design Workouts to Meet the Needs of Our Clients at Any Age
If you come to a group workout at Pursuit Fitness and Performance, you’ll notice that we keep you moving with both resistance training and aerobic exercises. While we train people at any age, we work specifically with those 45 and up who are concerned about maintaining their health. Get to know us, and discover how we can support you as you create healthy habits that will benefit you throughout your life.