Exercise for the over 40’s
Just because you’re growing older doesn’t mean it’s too late to start exercising or you should reduce your exercise routine. There are four main factors to consider Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of exercise, otherwise referred to as the F.I.T.T. Principals.
Exercising Frequently is fundamental to achieve results. It has been scientifically proven that for the human body to experience any positive effects while undergoing an exercise program you must workout two to three times a week with a recommended rest recovery day between sessions.
If we do not manage our workout sessions at the correct Intensity levels, whether it is strength or cardio training, our overall results will be difficult to achieve. Push yourself a little harder each time, lift a little heavier but don’t over do it, listen to your body. An effective and safe way to measure your intensity levels is to invest into a heart rate monitor which can accurately calculate your prescribed training heart rate specifically for your exercise requirements.
The length of Time you train should ideally be for one hour, a minimum of 3 times per week. For fat burning to occur I recommend a minimum of 30 minutes consistent training within your fat burning heart rate range for your age. If you do not need to lose weight you still need cardio vascular exercise to improve such things as blood circulation, lower cholesterol, maintain a healthy heart, lower the risk of diabetes and to avoid a whole host of other health problems. Following cardio vascular activity a resistance training workout is recommended because as we grow older we need to maintain or build up our strength, improve our bone density and our balance to encourage an active and independent life in our later years. For bulk muscle I recommend 8-10 repetitions and for lean, toned muscles 12-15 repetitions.
The Type of exercise you choose is dependant on your current fitness status. If you are overweight start gently with exercise that won’t impact on your joints such as walking, swimming, bike riding, if you suffer knee and back problems a recumbent bike is an excellent alternative. If you haven’t trained for some time or need a refresher on your weight training technique, visit your local gym or a personal trainer as the correct technique is vital for both effectiveness and to minimize the risk of injury.
The key to longevity with good mobility and independence is exercise. Following these FITT principles will enhance your personal fitness goals and more importantly give you a greater quality of life. It is advisable to consult your personal physician prior to embarking a fitness program – even if you feel in good health it can’t hurt to have a reassuring check up.