Age is not a valid excuse for avoiding exercise. One must consider that your body changes as you get older and that your body fat percentage increases. Thus, exercise becomes more vital in later years and can contribute to a better quality of life.
Most people reach their maximum muscle strength between 27 and 32 years. Thereafter, the speed and force with which the muscles contract, as well as the endurance and elasticity of muscle tissue, may gradually begin to decrease. From your thirtieth year, you must work 10 per cent harder, otherwise, you have to accept that your weight could increase by up to four kilograms every ten years.
Weakness and ageing are not synonyms
Some people mistakenly believe that after fifty, a downwards spiral is all that lies ahead. Inactivity can become a vicious cycle. When you don’t exercise because you feel inflexible, your muscles and joints are getting weaker and weaker, and this, in turn, gives rise to new aches and pains.
This deterioration can be avoided and/or alleviated by staying active and exercising your muscles and joints regularly. In particular, daily stretching contributes to maintaining flexibility. So, start the day with a few stretches as soon as you notice you become less mobile.
It will take a while before weakened muscles become firm again, but with patience and consistency, you will see the benefits. The right stretching exercises counteract stiffness so that you can move easier, faster, and therefore move more. In addition, it relieves physiological as well as psychological tension and promotes blood circulation – truly therapy for body and mind.
Make the decision and start the right way
When you start any exercise program for the first time, or if you haven’t exercised for three or more months, it’s very important to start slowly. Any person older than 50 should first consult his or her doctor before starting. Make sure you discuss the following with your doctor:
- Do you have heart problems?
- Do you suffer from high blood pressure?
- Do you suffer from asthma?
- Do you have a serious back problem?
- Do you have any bone or joint problems such as arthritis?
- Are you very overweight or underweight?
- Does your work involve sitting a lot?
Your doctor will then advise you on the type of exercise best suited to you. Starting again, or for the first time is worth it, because exercise makes you a fitter, toned, healthier, and happier person.
Begin with a short walk
Walking for exercise is underestimated. It’s the easiest and most natural aerobic exercise for beginners, regardless of their age and fitness level.
If you are a beginner and have the LK Fitness app, you can do one exercise on the app after your walk. Increase the app exercises every week, until you can do the full Beginner program, and then walk on the days that long cardio is prescribed.
Make sure you wear comfortable trainers/tekkies. Start by walking calmly and gradually increase the pace. As you get fitter, you can also jog for short periods of time. From time to time, add an uphill to your route.
Because oxygen is involved in fat release by your body’s fat cells, as well as in the burning of fat in the muscle cells, your breathing rate is very important. When walking for exercise, your breathing should speed up, but you should still be able to have a conversation. If you become so out of breath that you can no longer talk, you need to slow down.
Change your body to “fat burner”
Aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling, rhythmic classes and circuit training on the LK FITNESS app encourage your fat cells to release fat instead of accumulating it. This is done at a moderate intensity (about 60 – 85% of your maximum heart rate). Try to do 40-45 minutes at a moderate pace aerobic exercise.
For effective fat burning, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a buzzword. You’ll also find HIIT on the LK FITNESS APP .
Research has shown that with HIIT you can burn up to 40% more fat than with other exercises. HIIT is an exercise technique where you give 100% effort for a very short time, such as 30 seconds, alternated with a short time of rest or less intense exercise.
The short intense set increases your heart rate very quickly and then you bring your heart rate down again in the part where you rest or exercise more calmly. Because it’s so intense, your workout is much shorter. You do a HIIT routine for just 12 to 25 minutes, depending on your fitness level.
HIIT should be done only once or twice a week and never two days in a row, which could lead to injuries if you overdo it. So, if you’re very unfit, or a beginner, first get fit with regular cardiovascular exercises such as walking or jogging.
Note that one or two sessions of cardio (aerobic exercise) a week, is not enough to condition your body to release and burn fat. For the best results, you should exercise at lease four times or five times a week. If you exercise to keep your weight constant, three times a week is enough.
Also, consider exercising with light weights (2-5kg). This will help to tone and define your muscles as well as activate your muscle cells to burn fat.
Whatever you choose to do – make sure you enjoy your exercise routine!
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