Aging is a part of life that we cannot avoid. After the age of 40 (sometimes as soon as 30 years old) we start to lose muscle mass. It's also harder to lose weight after 40 as your metabolism slows down. And, we'll probably start to experience some aches and pains out of nowhere.
The good news is that there is a tiny trick to growing older that may help reduce some of these unwanted side-effects: exercising. By keeping yourself moving and active you'll have a better chance of warding off aches, pains, and a chance of suffering an injury.
Squats Will Strengthen Your Legs And Backside
Squats are a great way to tone your legs and bum, keep your muscles strong, and increase your flexibility. The best part is that you don't even need to have a gym membership to do them!
Start by putting your feet shoulder-width apart, to help keep yourself balanced. This next part can be done a few ways, either hold your arms out parallel to the ground, clasp your hands together in front of you, or, hold a kettlebell between your legs. Then, squat! Make sure your knees don't go over your toes, though. Hold the position for about 10 seconds, come up, and repeat!
Glute Bridges Improve Hip Mobility
If you're sitting down at work most of the day, then you've probably felt a change in your hip flexors. According to COACH, "The [glute] bridge is great for improving hip mobility and strengthening your lower back, two things that any desk-bound worker can really benefit from."
Begin by lying on the floor with both of your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Engage your glute and core muscles, using them to bring your hips upwards. Your goal end-position is to have a straight line from your knees down to your head. Hold the position for about five seconds before slowly lowering back down to the ground.
Lower Body Stretches to Keep Your Body Strong
Lower body stretches have a lot of benefits for both men and women. It helps to circulate blood to your muscles, increases your flexibility, and may even help to reduce injuries. The key to stretching is not overdoing it and remembering that flexibility comes with time!
There are many different stretches, but let's start with a simple low lunge. You will want to kneel on one leg, keeping the other bent at a 90-degree angle. Once you are situated, lean forward into your bent knee. Hold the stretch for a few seconds and then lean back into the "grounded" leg, extending your bent leg in front of you.
Yoga Helps Cleanse Your Body And Soul
We have to remember the importance of mental health as well as physical health. Thanks to all of the benefits that come along with practicing yoga, you will begin to feel younger in both your body and your mind. Not to mention, your flexibility will be off the charts!
"The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body," explains Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California. There are about 100 different schools of yoga, so feel free to explore your options and find one that cleanses your soul.
Resistance Exercises Jump Start Your Metabolism
Resistance training will help to improve your muscle strength and tone while helping protect your joints from injury. These types of exercises are a great way to get your metabolism burning again, making you feel younger in the process! If you have a rowing machine handy, then you are good to go! If not, try using resistance bands.
Start by putting the band under your right foot. Take one band end in your right hand, pulling it until it becomes parallel with your shoulder. Slowly bring the band back to its starting position. Do four sets of ten on each side. Once you become more comfortable, try adding weight!
Jumping Rope Burns A Lot Of Calories
Who knew that the childhood classic, jump rope, would have positive health benefits in later years? ScienceDaily says, "This aerobic exercise can achieve a "burn rate" of up to 1,300 calories per hour of vigorous activity, with about 0.1 calories consumed per jump."
Try starting out with five sets of 15 jumps each, taking a ten-second break between each set. Even if you don't have a rope, jumping up and down, even very lightly, can have an effect on your body. The important thing is to keep your heart rate up and your body moving!
Low-Impact Cardio Helps Increase Positive Thinking
As we get older, high-impact cardio can get to be too tiring and therefore not all too effective. That's where low-impact cardio comes in! Low-impact cardio helps boost strength, stamina, overall health, and positive thinking. The best part is that this type of cardio can be a lot of fun and usually gets you out into nature.
Two types of low-impact cardio are biking or using the elliptical. Both of these exercises are easy on the joints and can be done away from a gym, if necessary. Remember, just because it's low-impact, that doesn't mean that the exercise is low intensity.
HIIT Is Perfect For Anyone Constantly On The Move
HITT, or high-intensity interval training, is a short workout that alternates between periods of intense activity and rest. The entire workout usually lasts 30 minutes or so, making it the perfect routine for anyone who has a packed schedule but also wants to stay in shape.
Aside from HITT being very time-friendly, it has also proven to be effective at recharging slower metabolisms 24-hours after exercising, burning a lot of calories, and reducing heart rate and blood pressure. HITT is also never boring, as the exercises always vary. One day you could be sprinting, and the next, you could be doing weight exercises, almost like a circuit workout!
Balance Training Reduces The Risk Of Falling
As you get older, it's very important to maintain your balance and equilibrium. It's said to help reduce falls in older adults, helping prevent injuries in the process. There are many different exercises that can help with balancing training. You can try something a bit more complex, like Thai Chi, or you can go as simple as standing on one leg with your eyes closed for 30 seconds.
It might be best to start with standing on one leg because you can do it anywhere! If you're in line at the movies, stand on one leg while you're waiting for your popcorn.
You Should Try To Go On Daily Walks
Many believe that workouts need to be very intensive in order to produce results. We're here to tell you that is not necessarily true. Some research tells us that daily walks are just as important as weight-lifting and running. Walking can help you burn calories, strengthen your heart, lower your blood sugar, ease joint pain, and boost your energy.
The best part is that walking is free! You can grab a friend or loved one, maybe even your dog, and go for a nice half-hour walk around town. Your body and mind will thank you when you get home!
Planks Strengthen The Whole Body
Contrary to popular belief, planks don't solely strengthen your core. This exercise has many other benefits, such as reducing back pain and strengthening your chest and spinal muscles. Planks are also known to improve one's posture!
Planking is simple, all you need to do is to go into a push-up position, making sure your entire body is in a straight line. Tighten your core muscles and hold the position for at least 20 seconds, working up to longer stretches of time. If the push-up position is too intense, try putting your forearms down on the mat, bending your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
Heel Touches Will Help You Get Rid Of Pesky Belly Fat
Heel touches are a core exercise that is great for both men and women who are looking to cut away some of that pesky side-belly that they've accumulated over the years. Not only can you do this exercise at home, but it's also a great add-on for longer abdominal circuits.
Start by lying down on the floor, both knees bent, and your feet and arms flat on the floor. From here, you're going to want to raise your chest towards the ceiling, and bring your right hand toward your right heel, then your left hand to your left heel. Repeat for 15 repetitions on each side.
Balance Ball Crunches Are Perfect For Those With Bad Backs
If you're not a fan of lying down on the hard ground to do your core exercises, then try out balance ball crunches. Aside from keeping your back happy, this workout increases abdominal muscle activity more so then doing the same exercise on the floor.
To get started with balance ball crunches, you're going to want to lie back on the ball with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your hands behind your head, inhale deeply on your way up and then exhale on your way back to the starting position. Be sure to hold each inhale for about five seconds!
Swimming Helps Core Muscle Groups
According to Caleb Backe, a personal trainer and health and wellness expert at Maple Holistics, swimming can "enhance overall muscle strength, endurance, and tone." The simple exercise helps to rejuvenate core muscle groups, especially for people over 40 years old.
This full-body workout is a great way to get into shape, increase energy levels, and burn a lot of calories. There are also a few different strokes to learn how to do, so be sure to stretch before getting into the water! There is nothing worse than a leg or arm cramp while swimming laps.
Wood Chopping Can Help Improve Your Golf Swing
As you get older, it's key to remember to practice rotational movement. For anyone who enjoys playing golf or tennis on a regular basis, wood chopping is a great way to reduce the risk of injury!
Wood chopping is exactly what it sounds like, a movement in which it looks like your chopping some wood. You're going to want to grab a medicine ball, probably 10-15 pounds, and start in a squat position while holding the ball at your left hip. Then, twist to a standing position, lifting the ball above your right shoulder. Hold for a few seconds and return to the squat position.
Standing Push-Ups Help Tone Your Arms And Core
Push-ups are a great way to tone your core and upper body in one neat little exercise. However, the older you get, the more strain this workout might put on your wrists. If that's the case, try standing push-ups. If done correctly, this exercise benefits your lower body, too.
First, you're going to want to find a wall and stand about arms-length away. Then, place both hands flat on the wall about shoulder-width apart. You're going to want your feet flat on the floor with your knees slightly bent. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering yourself towards the wall, hold for a second, and push back up.
An Inclined Treadmill Builds More Muscle Then A Surface Level Treadmill
If you're getting increasingly busier with age, then we recommend an incline treadmill to speed along your workout results. Even if it's just a one percent tilt, an incline builds more muscle in the ankles, calves, upper and lower thighs, and glutes than a level surface.
Using the incline feature on a treadmill can also increase the number of calories you burn. For example, if you weight 160-pounds and walk at a 4.0 pace with no incline, you will burn around 145 calories. If you raise that incline to five percent, you will burn around 243 calories. That's quite the difference!
Standing Calf Raises Can Be Done Anywhere!
Calf raises are the perfect exercise for anyone who is trying to feel younger. Not only does this exercise increase muscle strength, but it also gives your lower legs a bit more definition, improving their appearance. This exercise can also be done virtually anywhere!
If you don't trust your balance, we recommend standing next to a wall or something you're able to rest your hands on. Then, bring one foot off the ground and point it behind you, rising up as far as you can on the other. Lower your heel slowly back down to the ground without touching it. Feel free to add weight when you get more comfortable!
If You're Looking For A Motivational Class Try Spin
If you're looking for an exercise that pushes you while making you feel younger, look no further than spin class! Spinning is a great way to burn calories while getting a full-body workout. Not to mention, it's a lot easier on aging joints than running.
Classes are also a great way to get motivated with a new workout. So, if you've never done a spin class before, don't be too worried! Trainers and other gym-goers are there to help you and push you to keep going. Peloton instructor Jesse King says, "Spin gives you a new perspective on how to ride, breathe, and think about your body."
Seated Cable Row Works Your Entire Upper Body
The seated cable row is an exercise that works the back, forearms, and upper arm muscles. Unlike a typical rowing exercise, this workout is meant to increase strength instead of stamina (even though it does both!). Add this workout to your routine, and you'll feel like an athlete in their prime in no time!
To start, sit with your back straight and your feet flat against the platform with your knees slightly bent. Grasp the cable attachment and pull the handle towards your lower abdomen, engaging your legs and core as you do so. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and return the attachment to the starting position.