The effect of exercise on health goes beyond saying. It can protect you from a range of conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. But the type and amount of exercise you should do changes as you age. To ensure you are doing the right type of exercise for your age, follow this simple guide.
Childhood and adolescence
In childhood, exercise helps control body weight, builds healthy bones and promotes self-confidence and healthy sleep patterns. The government recommends children should get at least one hour of exercise a day.
Children should try a variety of sports and develop skills, such as swimming and the ability to hit and kick a ball.
Lots of non-scheduled physical activity, such as playing in playgrounds, getting involved with school sports of any kind can promote a sense of wellbeing and uplift a child’s sense of worth. Doing a regular form of exercise from the early years of academic learning can promote an active lifestyle that can stay with a young person throughout their adult life. This will set a pattern of regular exercise from teen years, through early adulthood and into middle and even retirement age.
Exercise habits tend to steadily decline during teen years, particularly in girls. Getting enough exercise promotes a healthy body image and helps manage stress and anxiety. Again, which a young person can take with them as they get older.
In your 20s
You are at your physical peak, with the fastest reaction times and highest VO2 max - the maximum rate at which the body can pump oxygen to muscles. After this peak, your VO2 max decreases by up to 1 percent each year and your reaction time slows each year. Regular physical activity can slow this decline. Building lean muscle mass and bone density at this age helps you retain them in later years.
In your 30s
It is important you maintain cardiovascular fitness and strength to slow normal physical decline. If you have a sedentary job, make sure you maintain good posture and break up long periods of sitting by forcing activity into your day, so you are moving every half an hour where possible.
Work smart. Try high-intensity interval training, where bursts of high-intensity activity, up to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate, such as sprinting and cycling, are broken up with lower-intensity exercise. HIIT training is a great way to incorporate this into your regular exercise routines. The high-intensity workouts push your body to it’s max and even while you're resting you're still benefiting from that workout by continuing to burn off calories.
In your 40s
Most people start to put on weight. Resistance exercise is the best way to optimize calorie burning to counteract fat accumulation and reverse the loss of 3 to 8 percent of muscle mass per decade. Ten weeks of resistance training could increase lean weight by 1.4kg, increase resting metabolic rate by 7 percent and decrease fat weight by 1.8kg.
Try kettlebells or start a weight-training
Take up running, if you don't already. You get more bang for your buck with running versus walking.
Pilates can build core strength to protect against back pain, which often starts in this decade.
A regimen of strength training incorporated 3 times a week, along with cardio can provide you with the resistance and muscle toning you need in order to slow down your body’s aging process. Now, there is no stopping the aging process, but with regular exercise that targets your core, muscle groups, and cardio, you can definitely add years to your life.
In your 50s
Aches and pains may crop up and chronic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, can manifest. As estrogen declines in postmenopausal women, the risk of heart disease increases.
Do strength training twice a week to maintain your muscle mass.
Do weight-bearing exercises, such as walking. Walk fast enough that your breathing rate increases and you break a sweat. Remember, anything worth doing is worth doing right.
And monitoring all of your exercise routines provides you with trackable data with which you can set goals, meet them and push pass them on to new ones.
To do this an activity tracker like the Garmin Vivosport GPS Sport & Activity Tracker
This smart activity tracker with wrist-based heart rate and built-in GPS for mapping out your walk or runs. It also includes strength training and cardio activities. Safe for swimming and showering, Vívosport is the perfect accessory for everyday exercises and tracking your active life. Monitor your fitness level with VO2 max and manage your stress with all-day stress monitoring.
Get connected features such as smart notifications, Live-Track and automatic uploads to the Garmin Connect™ online community, where you can see your personalized data on cool graphs, compete in weekly challenges and connect with other fitness enthusiasts. This slim, sporty tracker also features an always-on color Garmin Chroma Display and gets up to 7 days of battery life.
In your 60s
Maintaining a high level of physical activity can help prevent cancers and reduces the risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Again, the old adage is truer at this stage of your life than at any other. That “Use it or Lose it!” If you don’t maintain an active lifestyle at this age of your life you may soon find yourself slipping back into a sedentary lifestyle and all or any of the good you did as far as routine exercises could be lost in a few short years. So why throw all of that good strength building away. Maintain, Maintain and continue to shoot for newer goals.
Incorporate strength and flexibility exercises twice a week. Aqua-aerobics develops strength using water as resistance.
Maintain cardiovascular exercises, such as brisk walking, power walking and short bursts of running to get that heart pumping.
70s and beyond
Exercise helps prevent frailty and falls and is important for cognitive function. If you have a period of ill health, try to keep mobile, if possible as strength and fitness can decline rapidly.
By incorporating strength, balance and cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis, you can help yourself be better able to live and enjoy an active and mobile lifestyle. Instead of sitting back on a porch and watching the world pass you by.
As always, seek advice from your physician as you continue your exercise program.