There is an abundance of proof that we can each change our level of fitness at any age, even into our nineties. However, as we age, the proper program may be different for us than in previous years. Check out this amazing 72 year old. When she began with Max Results, she could only stand from a standard business chair 3 times until she needed assistance.
-Resistance training, or weight lifting, is a vital part of a healthy fitness plan, especially as we age. For women, pushing and pulling against resistance is the number one way to protect your bone density. Adding muscle to your body also helps you be a greater calorie burner, all day, every day. We’ve frequently had clients come to us that were doing hours of cardio a day, yet were not happy with how they looked and felt. As resistance training was added in, they were ecstatic with the improvements in both. Posture improvement is another added benefit of weight training.
Nancy turns 40 in just a few days and has lost 100 pounds
-Don’t buy into the fear of “bulking up”. A professional competitor trying to gain muscle would be fortunate to add five pounds of muscle in a year of focusing entirely on that single goal, so it is highly unlikely that lifting weights is going to bulk up any female that is only adding weight training as a part of their fitness program.
Here’s a 62 year old that lifts several times each week. As you can see, she is very fit, but not bulky
–The tendency for most when trying to lose weight is to cut our caloric intake down as low as possible. There is a point, however, when our bodies are not receiving enough nutritional intake that we go in to “shut down” mode, where we store food as fat , as the body senses it will be undernourished. Making sure we have sufficient intake is a vital part of the equation.
Check out this 63 year old success story
-As our bodies lose subcutaneous and visceral fat, often times our skin doesn’t shrink as quickly as it may have in our younger years. What can we do to help? Hydration and external moisturizing are important steps. Make sure you keep your skin well hydrated (click here to learn more about hydration), from inside and out. Click here for an article on skin shrinking to tell you more.
–You will need cardio as a part of your fitness program., Often the tendency is to spend long periods of steady state exercise on a treadmill or elliptical. The more effective program would consist of HIIT, or high intensity interval cardio. In addition to being a great calorie burner, this type of workout, when it includes a resistance component, can also create a situation know as EPOC, or excessive post exercise oxygen consumption. Click here to learn more about EPOC. This type workout will have your body burning extra calories for up to 36 hours after your workout ends. In addition, recent studies have determined that HIIT workouts keep the structure of the telomeres in our cells intact longer, so our cells reproduce much later in life and actually can add up to nine years to our life expectancy. Click here to learn more.
-Prescription drugs can play a huge part in impacting how exercise impacts us. Certain drugs and keep your heart rate from rising as high as it would naturally, so exercise would not burn as many calories while taking that particular product as it mighty otherwise. Certain foods may be a bad idea if you are on certain meds. Click here to learn more about how pharmaceuticals can impact you.
-Make sure you keep the proper mix of healthy carbs in your nutritional intake. Your body needs energy to exercise properly and to perform the activities that are a part of your daily routine. Clean carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, clean legumes and lentils can make a positive impact on your fitness progress and your daily energy levels. There are short and long term consequences to cutting carbs from your food plan. Click here to learn more.
So, the good news is that almost everyone can improve their fitness and overall health, regardless of our age. As we pass certain milestones in age, there are considerations to factor in, but still there is a path forward. So, eat healthy, lift, do HIIT workouts and enjoy a greater quality of life, and hopefully a longer one as well!
Author; Jim Harris. Jim is a Master Personal Trainer and a contributing writer to Men’s Health Magazine, Gainesville Magazine and Local Life Magazine. He is the owner of Max Results Training, pulse 45 Fitness , Emerson Parker Publishing and BodyPlex Oakwood.