Exercise Over 40: 5 Key Area’s You Must Focus On

Essential Over 40 Exercise Key Components

Okay, so you’ve got a problem. You’re getting a little older now. You can tell from the extra little bit of weight you’ve put on. You can tell by the strange noses your body seems to be making. Enough is enough.

Millions of people around the world just like you either do one of two following things;

  1. Exercise until the hills come home (and in-case you hadn’t noticed…hills don’t come home)
  2. Don’t exercise at all. (Running isn’t in their vocabulary)

All the people in the first group seem almost superhuman. They’ve exercised as long as you’ve known them. The problem is there’s a very good chance they’re exercising too much. You know all the running, cycling, running, gyming….running.

Who has time for that?

And then there’s Group B who make the ‘funny’ jokes about ‘exercising their arms down the local pub’.

**Tumble Weed Flies Past**

So where do you fit in?

Older Exercise

 

Right there.

And the best news? You don’t have to move (from the picture that is). You can stay exactly where you are right now and discover the 5 key areas to focus on exercise programs as you get older.

Exercise for Over 40 is Easy!

Exercise seems like a simple enough concept, but there are a few areas that are commonly overlooked when considering how to maintain or improve your fitness level as you age. One of these areas is the breakdown of the overused term ‘fitness’ into its components.

Fitness isn’t a single measurement, but rather a combination of measurements that indicate one’s physical ability levels in five different areas:

  • Muscular strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Cardiovascular Fitness
  • Balance

These areas are all very distinct from each other, although they work together to ensure that you are able to maintain your mobility, coordination, and capacity to perform activities of daily living.

When coming up with a weekly exercise plan, you should be certain to incorporate elements from all five of these areas. It is a great idea to communicate with your family physician, a kinesiologist, or a certified personal trainer about your current level of fitness in each of these areas.

This will allow you to identify areas of strength, any areas of need, and to set goals that are specific to your abilities and hopes for your overall fitness level.

I’ve broken down the different fitness components for you, and provided suggestions about how often you should incorporate these areas into your week, some exercises that will help you to target these areas, and why these areas are important to your overall fitness!

Exercise Over 40 Key Component #1 – Cardiovascular Fitness

Cardiovascular fitness is centered on how well your heart and lungs can supply the rest of your body with oxygen-rich blood.  Basically, any kind of exercise that elevates your heart rate for a sustained period of time and leaves you out of breath can be considered a form of cardiovascular fitness.

This component of fitness is very important in preventing health concerns such as; Diabetes, heart disease and is also significantly implicated in the prevention of obesity and weight gain.

There are a number of different activities that can help you increase your cardiovascular fitness, including:

  1. Speedwalking,
  2. Jogging
  • Swimming
  1. Cycling
  2. Dancing
  3. Tennis
  • Or even heavy housecleaning.

Ideally, exercise involving the cardiovascular system will last for at least 20 minutes to properly train the heart and lungs. Moderate to vigorous cardiovascular exercise should be incorporated into your life daily, for at least 20 minutes each day.

Exercise Over 40 Key Component #2 – Muscular Strength

               Muscular strength is the fitness component that measures the maximum amount of force that your muscles are able to exert in a short period of time.

Normally when we think about muscular strength we think about picking up heavy objects – not a talent that many of us need in our everyday lives. However, every movement that you do involves the weight of your own body.

For example, every time you stand, your legs must be able to lift the rest of your body weight into the air. For this reason, it is incredibly important that you maintain muscular strength as you age.

Muscle tissue tends to weaken no matter what as you age, but does so more rapidly if you lead a largely sedentary lifestyle. Performing muscle strengthening exercises, such as weight training or resistance training, can reduce the amount of strength lost over time.

These activities should be performed about twice or thrice a week for best results.

 Exercise Over 40 Key Component #3: Muscular Endurance

               Muscular endurance is a different kind of fitness than muscular strength. Your muscular endurance is a measurement of how well your muscles can sustain a repeated motion over time.

For example, a person with high muscular endurance will be able to perform multiple repetitions of a bodyweight exercise (such as squats or pushups). Muscular endurance is also important for participation in certain kinds of physical activity such as dance, or in daily life where you may be picking up small children, carrying groceries, or performing household chores.

Much like muscular strength training, muscular endurance training should also be performed two or three times weekly for best results, and the two forms of exercise can generally be performed in the same training session.

Muscular endurance training often involves a higher number of repetitions of exercises with either light weights or your own body weight.As well, you do want to make sure that you are providing your muscles with recovery time in-between muscle workouts so that they have recovery time, something important for injury prevention.

Exercise Over 40 Key Component #4: Flexibility

Flexibility is a component of physical fitness that can seem out of place when compared to the others. However, flexibility is more important than you may be aware of.

Think about how important it is to tie your shoes, dress yourself, and reach the top shelves of your home – all of these actions require muscle mobility and flexibility in order to be performed. Flexibility is also an asset because it can provide a preventative measure against injury.

Flexibility training should be incorporated into your workouts four or more times per week. Much like cardiovascular exercise, the more you are able to do flexibility-building exercises the better.

Be sure to always warm up your muscles before beginning a flexibility workout, as if your muscles are not warmed up before you begin you could be increasing your chances of injury. Flexibility training generally incorporates stretching, and yoga is another excellent form of physical activity to improve your flexibility fitness.

Exercise Over 40 Key Component #5: Balance

Balance is a component of physical fitness that is not included on all lists of fitness components.

However, I have included it here because it definitely has a significant impact on your ability to perform not only your activities of daily living, but also the training exercises for all other forms of fitness.

Maintaining your balance abilities is key for preventing injuries, falls, and dizziness as you go about your daily life.

Balance training is often accomplished through the use of small exercises that deal with visual distractions, your stabilizing core muscles, and disorienting your inner ear.

These exercises should generally be performed daily, but should not take much time to accomplish on any given day, and can often be performed simultaneously with another activity of daily living.

Unfortunately, deterioration in your balancing skills can be hard to recognize until it reaches a critical level. That is why it is so important that you begin working on this fitness component before it becomes an issue – maintaining your balance abilities is much easier than trying to regain them after they have begun to decline.

Conclusion

Told you, you didn’t have to go anywhere.

Listen, being aware of all of the different components of physical fitness is very important. Taking everything above into consideration will have your physical well-being striding forward in leap and bounds.

Having this knowledge will allow you to ensure that you are engaging in forms of physical activity that target all five of these areas.

There are incredible benefits to doing so, including;

  1. Increased Physical Health
  2. The Prevention of Several Chronic Diseases
  3. Improvements in your Mental Health
  4. And Increased ease of performing activities of daily living.

Maintaining and improving your physical health does take some time out of your busy week, but it is time well spent and will give you a much higher quality of life than you would have without engaging in targeted exercise.

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