Exercising after 50 may be a great way to delay the aging process. However as our bodies change with age our exercise routines should too.
Mix Your Routine Up
The advantages of cross training are widely know and include reduced risk of injury, a diversity of targeted muscle groups and a break in the monotony of doing the same routine all the time. Runners might take up biking or swimming in addition to running. By replacing some of your running time with alternative exercise you may reduce the wear and tear to specific muscle groups and joints. Over time muscles and joints which are subjected to continual use will break down, so achieve some of the same results using different exercises which supplement a particular type of exercise. For example, I bike, hike, walk, trail run and use the elliptical machine as part of my cardio training.
Continue to Exercise
As our bodies age the amount of time and effort to “get in shape” following periods of inactivity increases. So as you age, instead of allowing yourself to get out of shape carry on some type of exercise routine continually. Making sure you are consistently in some type of exercise training. Look at year rounding training options as the seasons change.
Cardio is King but Don’t Leave Out the Weights
While cardio work is great for weight control, stronger lungs, healthier heart and increased energy among other things, do not totally ignore weight training. Weight training has been linked to improved balance, strength and density of bones, better sleep and increased immunity. Also, as we age muscle mass is reduced. Weight training can slow the effects of aging on a person’s muscular makeup. Weight training as we age should not be about increasing the amount of weight we can lift but about maintaining muscle mass and function. A new study has indicated that weight training may even help prevent dementia.
Step up the Stretching
Flexibility at any age reduces the likely hood of injury according to the Mayo Clinic. Maintaining flexibility may increase balance and relieve pain. As you age, increase the time you spend stretching. Consider stretching to be a major portion of your exercise routine and do not consider stretching to be only a warm up activity. Spend time stretching pre and post cardio and weight training. On days when you don’t do cardio or lift weights stretch. Flexibility can be improved over time.