Aging is a funny thing. Most young people do not even bother giving it a second thought. When you are young, strong, and healthy it is easy to feel invincible. Even though you know somewhere in the back of your mind that you will grow older and weaker it seems so far in the future that it becomes a non-issue. However, life tends to go by fast. Before you can blink an eye you turn 30. Next thing you know you are turning 40, and that is when most people realize that they are not getting any younger.
With the passage of time we all tend to slow down a bit. It becomes far easier to skip the gym and spend that time relaxing instead. However, this is the worst thing that you can do for your body and your mind. In fact, you can be as strong and fit as ever when you are in your 40’s. The key is exercising smarter not harder. The following information will provide you with three ways to modify your workout for better health after forty.
Rely Less On The Weight Machines And More On Functional Strength
When we were younger whoever could lift the most weight was king of the gym. Remember stacking all of those 45-pound plates on the leg press, or dead lift bar? As we grow older, lifting such a tremendous amount of weight can actually do a tremendous amount of damage. It is far more practical and better for your body to rely less on the weight machines and more functional strength. In essence, functional strength is training your muscles the way that you actually use them day-to-day activities.
For example, outside of the gym you use your quads in coordination with your hamstrings, butt, and core when climbing stairs, loading groceries into the car, and picking up your children. When you turn 40, it is important to modify your workout program accordingly. For example, instead of doing heavy leg presses, do lunges and squats instead.
Work On Your Flexibility On A Daily Basis
When people age, their tendons and muscles typically become tighter, which means that people in there forties are at a significantly higher risk of injury. The odds of coming down with tendonitis go through the roof. In essence, stiff connective tissues are much like dried out rubber bands. One hard tug and the brittle material rips apart. This is exactly why you need to stretch each and every day. It is important to incorporate foam rolling into your workout routine. The roll of hard foam serves as a rolling pin to break up small adhesions and scar tissue.
This results in increased blood flow to problem areas. Foam rolling is best utilized first thing in the morning after a hot shower. It will leave you far more limber throughout the day. You should also partake in dynamic stretching and warm ups that involve slow and controlled movements. Shoulder rolls and sumo squats are good examples of this. Avoid static stretches, such as grabbing your ankle and holding it for 30 seconds. Flexibility is simple to ignore, however it is essential for people that want to stay active well into their senior years.
Focus On Your Balance
In our younger years, we tend to work out in order to gain strength and muscle whether it is to perform better at sports, or simply to look good. As we age it become more important to add exercises into your routine that concentrate on your balance. For example, try standing on one leg. It may sound like an easy task, but it can actually be a lot harder than you may think. People typically do not realize that their balance is getting worse until they end up toppling over.
Part of the problem is that with age, our neuromuscular connections that help keep us upright slowly decline. However, the negative effects of this can be reversed with specific daily exercises such as Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. You can also add balance moves such as leg raises and toe raises to your workout program.
In conclusion, it is incredibly important to exercise in your forties and beyond. It is just as important to modify the way you workout. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have about cardio exercises, weight lifting, eating properly, and taking the proper nutritional supplements. Wucely St. Fleur will help you crush your fitness goals, as well as your nutritional and overall wellness objectives. Give us a call today to get started on the path to better health.