Adapting your exercise regimen throughout the years
BY ANDREW MOORE
PHYSICAL ACTIVIT Y
is one of the most important factors that
Nearly everyone agrees
with its importance, but
many people fall short
of what is necessary.
Developing physical fitness habits as early in life as possible
paves the way for better health in later
years. Correspondingly, maintaining levels
of physical activity becomes more and
more important as you grow older.
In general, here are some physical fitness priorities, broken down
Your body is most susceptible to
change during your ;;s. During this
period, it’s possible to make rapid
progress in both strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Suggested strength exercises include
squat, bench and deadlift variations, as they
incorporate large muscle groups and use the
Suggested cardio includes high-intensity interval training, such as running
or cycling, with a work-to-rest ratio of
approximately ;-to-;. So, for example, for
every two minutes of intense work, you’d
have one minute of rest.
During your ;;s, you’ll start to notice
that you don’t achieve progress as easily as
when you were younger, and injuries may
start to arise.
At this stage in your life, while you are
still maintaining a high level of physical
activity, another focus needs to be on recovering properly to avoid injury and burnout.
Continue resistance training similar to
SPECIAL SEC TION
FOR YOUR HEALTH
that of your ;;s to maintain strength, and
incorporate high-intensity aerobic activity,
including running, biking, intervals, etc.,
that gets your heart rate up to ;; to ;; percent of your maximum heart rate to maintain cardiovascular fitness.
This is often the period when things like
work and family obligations can prevent
you from exercising as much as you should.
It is important to find a balance that will
allow you to maintain your health along with
In your ;;s, if you have not been maintaining a consistent exercise regimen, you
start to become aware of certain health
problems related to lack of physical fitness
and/or poor diet. Problems such as high
blood pressure, chronic stress, depression
or cardiovascular disease make beginning
and maintaining regular physical activity
even more crucial.
Try performing lower-impact open-chain exercises. Open-chain exercises
include any exercise where the body moves
freely through space, such as chest presses,
bicep curls, leg curls and leg extensions.
These can be done with weights (shoulder
presses) or without weights (pullups).
In your ;;s, you may find that you need
to modify the type of exercise you do to
accommodate physical limitations.
For example, if you have been a lifelong
runner, you may be unable to continue
running as frequently or unable to run longer distances due to joint issues. Taking up
something lower in impact, such as biking
or swimming, will allow you to get a cardiovascular workout but without the repetitive
impact to the joints that running involves.
Your primary exercises should be at a
lower intensity when it comes to cardiovas-
cular fitness; resistance training can remain
the same, with the goal of minimizing loss
As you go through your ;;s, maintaining strength becomes a priority.
Strength is extremely important to
overall health in several ways. Muscle mass
maintains normal hormone function in the
body, lets you exert less energy during tasks
related to daily living and reduces stress on
the heart, and maintaining strength can
prevent injuries from events such as falls.
Exercises should be body-weight and
ground-based to stimulate bone and muscle
growth and maintenance. Examples would
be body-weight squats or pushups, as both
are ground-based and incorporate multiple
joints, or pullups.
Suggested cardio would include lower-intensity, steady-state exercises such as
jogging, walking, biking or swimming.
In your ;;s, the mode of physical activity becomes less important than the amount
At this age, you may not need to go to
the gym to work out if you have an active
lifestyle with hobbies that involve being
physically active or if you spend time walking and have minimal sedentary time.
Activities like these have many benefits,
such as maintaining cardiovascular
health, keeping your strength and preventing bone loss.
If you’re at this age, tai chi and water
aerobics are great because of their low-im-pact and low-intensity nature. C
Andrew Moore is the director of education at
Precision Sports Performance (precision
sportsperformance.com) in East Hanover,
Decades of fitness