[img]http://media1.picsearch.com/is?aKHGq-3GhzIIS-h8jwoQB7glDUXNPYqrzN9R9Kr0cr4 regular, moderate exercise seems to be somewhat effective in helping ward off such common companions of aging as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and even some forms of cancer.
What exercise program is beneficial for fitness over 40?
In the first analysis, almost any physical activity which gets your heart rate up, makes you breathe more deeply than normal, and which challenges muscles beyond their normal range of activity is going to be on the list. There are people in their 80's hiking mountain trails, water skiing, playing softball, weightlifting (as pointed out earlier), or even cheerleading. It is NOT necessary to take out a membership in a local gym, hire a personal trainer, or invest in a lot of exercise equipment and apparel...unless that helps get you motivated. Anything from walking, to swimming, to yoga, to weightlifting will generally fill the bill. There are, however, some simple points to think about.
1. Get your doctor's approval first. "Nuff said?
2. Pick an activity, or even a group of activities, which you will enjoy doing. Don't be afraid to try something new...take some classes in yoga, tai chi, or even karate. Maybe you will feel better in a certain amount of solitude and just want to pick up a set of weights and exercise in the privacy of your home. Perhaps the idea of biking around the neighborhood or even around other parts of the country appeals to you. If this is a new set of decisions, realize that you may try a few things at first that just don't pan out for one reason or another. Keep experimenting until you find what is right for you. You are STILL exercising, right?
3. Put some variation into your exercise.
Any exercise cannot itself provide the three basic types of exercise needed. We need exercises which will stretch muscles and joints, exercises which strengthen muscle, and exercises which improve our cardiovascular fitness. This is not really hard to do, however, and should not take a lot of time out of your life, particularly when you consider how much it will put back into your life. As one example, you could do a simple weight or resistance training for strength two or three times a week, some sort of low-impact aerobics or walking for cardio on other days, and do some simple stretching exercises every day. None of these workout periods needs to be more than about 30 minutes, although a little more time and effort may produce better benefits, particularly once you have trained up to a level where your body is comfortable meeting the demands you place on it.
You are more likely to stay on a physical fitness regimen if you enjoy it. However, things do tend to get stale over time. It doesn't hurt to vary your approach from time to time in either the manner in which you do certain exercises, or by varying the exercises themselves. While not exact equals, for example, swimming, biking, and walking can be somewhat interchangeable as part of your fitness routine. In some cases, simply varying the environment, i.e. taking a walk in the park or botanical gardens as opposed your neighborhood may be all the variation you need to feel like you have put a little zing into your day-to-day workout existence.
4. Start off easy. At any age, a common reason for failure to stay on ANY exercise program is that people tend to try to do too much at first and try to progress too fast. Whatever you choose, your body needs time to adjust to the new demands being made on it, and results will never come overnight.
5. Don't stop. Probably the most important aspect of any exercise program, or any other self-improvement program, is the commitment to what you know you should be doing day after day. A haphazard approach to your exercise program is detrimental at any stage in your life. After 40, however, making sure you get your regular dose of anti-aging exercise is incredibly important.
6. Eat healthy. I try to avoid the use of the word "diet", and often substitute the term "healthy eating" instead. Diets don't work and can even work against you. They are difficult to stay on and take a major portion of fun out of life instead of making life better. Healthy eating choices will do the trick if you make them a regular part of your life.
While Fitness Competition Diet over 40 can demand some of your time and attention that you might not want to surrender to it, the rewards in overall health, fitness, and enjoyment of life will far outweigh any investment you put into it.