Working out is just that, work. But, typically exercise will payoff in dividends such as a leaner body, weight loss, or feeling more energetic. As we get older our bodies change. Some foods we once enjoyed in our twenties, without gaining a pound, now leave us feeling heavier. That 5 mile run that used to be so easy became a tad more challenging as we aged. We can and should adjust our diets and exercise routines so that we are more in sync with our age. It is futile to pursue an exercise program that you won’t stick to because it is too hard, or too vigorous. If you’re over 40 there are various ways you can maximize the benefits of exercise. Once you get a routine down, you’ll feel better, and will even lose a couple of pounds.
One of the most overlooked parts of the exercise program is the stretch. Even if you only spend 5 minutes stretching both before and after exercise, you will reduce the risk of muscle tightness and injury. The stretches can be simple ones, such as touching your toes, and holding the pose for a minute. You can stand on your tiptoes and reach to the sky, and hold that position for 30 seconds. Whatever you decide, make sure to stretch. It’ll limber you up and keep you flexible.
Mix It Up
No exercise routine will work if you complete the same set of exercises day after day. Some days should be dedicated to aerobic type exercises. Being over 40 doesn’t mean that aerobics are off the table. If you find running or jogging too challenging, take a nice, brisk walk. A walk has many of the same benefits as a jog, and gets your heart rate up.
On another day, you should try some yoga. Yoga is essentially about breathing and maintaining posture. While some poses are admittedly too challenging, such as standing on one leg with your hands in the air, other poses serve as wonderful ways to improve health and relaxation. Some consider yoga to be a form of meditation, but you can be assured that your body will become more toned when you adopt yoga as part of your exercise regime.
Strength training should also be done on several days. These types of exercises will build and tone muscles. Since muscles burn fat, strength training is an excellent way to shed a couple of pounds. For the over 40 person, strength training does not mean lifting 300 pound weights over your head. Simple 1 or 5 pound weights can be used just as effectively.
The Right Food
No one likes to be on a diet constantly. Many diets have a high failure rate as they are just impractical and difficult to follow. Making sensible choices about the food you eat means that you get to have the foods you love, but within moderation. Maintaining a consistent exercise program, combined with opting for healthier choices in food will leave you feeling much more invigorated.
When you’re over 40, your exercise routine should take your age into account. Some exercise routines will just have you spinning your wheels, with the only side effect being frustration at the lack of results. Knowing how to exercise when you’re over 40 is critical to achieving the results you want.