Fact: Even just 10 minutes of exercise a day can reduce your risk of age-related disease and keep you looking youthful
Your decade-by-decade guide to peak physical fitness and stay young…
Exercise in your 30s
The big three-oh, it turns out, is no big deal — not in the way you imagine when you are 21. In fact, life’s pretty damn good. You are more confident and energetic; you are figuring a lot out and a lot of changes are happening, eg becoming an adult…
As for that bikini, know this: after 35, your oestrogen levels will decrease while your testosterone levels increase, meaning your body is primed for putting on lean muscle mass — cue: toned arms and legs. Plus, more muscle means a higher metabolism & more fat burn = Awesome! — So get weight training to burn more fat.
Fact: A study published in January 2015 in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society found that women who had their last child after the age of 33 doubled their chances of living to 95, compared with women whose last child was born before they turned 30.
In your 30s: Squat and row
The squat and row is a fantastic compound exercise that involves all the major muscle groups. It targets the back, core and legs and it is a great exercise for someone in their 30s, as it is a big calorie burner, helps with posture and encourages a good level of flexibility.
How to do it:
Loop a cable or resistance band through a sturdy object (like a pole or fence post) at chest height. Hold each end with one hand and step back from the object until there is no slack. Sit back into a squat position and as you do, allow your arms to extend in front of you so they are straight, in line with your shoulders. As you stand up, pull your elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Do three sets of 15 reps.
Exercise in your 40s
During your forties, your metabolism slows down — but that doesn’t have to be a problem. Compensate with a simple energy equation: what goes in needs to be a lot less than the energy expended. That means smaller portions and loads of exercise…
One of the biggest contributors to weight gain in your forties is lack of physical exercise — your slowing metabolism isn’t entirely to blame. Never been the sporty type? No problem! The benefits of exercise can be reaped regardless of the age you start.
Where to start? By your forties, life experience has toughened you up and you will probably be far better at exercise than when you were younger. In this decade, you will have more endurance and you will be stronger mentally. And, if you are prone to stress, yoga can help — plus it will increase strength and flexibility at the same time.
Tip: Eat your calories, don’t drink them. It makes it so much easier to maintain your weight when you are not consuming a large portion of your daily energy requirements through fizzy drinks, flavoured water, lattes, hot chocolate, fruit juice or alcohol.
In your 40s: Turkish half get up
You need a dumbbell or a kettle bell to perform this exercise, which is effective for mums who need help strengthening their pelvic floor.
The Turkish half get up is a fantastic exercise to increase mobility and strengthen rotational stability. It targets the shoulder, core and the pelvic floor. The main benefits include core strength and stability, T-spine mobility, hip mobility, hip extension, strength shoulder stability and body awareness.
How to do it:
Lie down next to your kettlebell. Pick it up with your left hand and hold it at your chest, then push towards the ceiling so your arm is vertical. Bend your left knee and support yourself with your right arm until you are in sitting position; all the while, your arm should remain straight and vertical, holding the kettlebell, and your eyes should be focused on the kettlebell. Keep your left foot and right arm on the ground and lift your hips and right leg off the ground. Hold for two seconds then fall back to the sitting position, then lie down again. Repeat the full exercise on the other size. Do three sets of 10 reps.
Exercise in your 50s
Now that the kids are out the house, it’s time to put the focus back on you. Your fifties are a time to find your passions and rediscover old pastimes that you may not have had time for in your forties. Prioritise doing things that give you a sense of fulfilment and bring you joy. Find aerobic exercises that are fun and sociable, like dancing, walking or jogging with friends and work up to 20 minutes a session, three or four days a week. Exercise at a pace that lets you carry on a conversation. Do some strength training too, and progress from one set of eight repetitions to three sets of 12 reps.
Tip: Following a Mediterranean diet will be really good for you during your fifties, as it is rich in fibre, antioxidants and good fats.
In your 50s: Glute bridge
A fantastic body weight exercise, the glute bridge can be practiced anywhere, at any time. It strengthens the pelvic floor and core muscles and it is perfect for woman in their 50s, as it does not put any stress through their knees or hips — but you can still gain muscle tone to the glutes and reduce the chances of incontinence.
How to do it:
Lie on the ground facing the ceiling with your arms to the side, your knees bent and your heels on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders are in a straight line; from the side, your body shape will resemble a triangle. Hold for three seconds, return to the start position, then repeat. Do three sets of 15 reps.
Exercise after 60
If you thought turning 60 meant slowing down, think again because your sixties (and beyond) are when you reap the benefits of taking good care of yourself in previous decades. This can be the best time of your life. If you’ve retired and your time is your own, it can be a most fulfilling, rich period. Just remember that maintaining body and mind activity is critical to this period being the best act in the play of life.
When it comes to exercise, it is essential to effectively manage osteoporosis, which, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, will affect one-tenth of women over 60, one-fifth over 70, two-fifths over 80 and two-thirds over 90. Exercise will also improve your balance (key for longevity). Incorporate resistance training to reduce muscle loss, as well as flexibility and balance exercises. Aerobic exercise is important to keep your heart healthy.
Post-60: Exercise during your sixties is all about health benefits. You can still do what you did in your forties, but your recovery period will be longer. It is suggested to do 30 minutes of lightweight training three days a week and cardio three times a week.
In your 60s: Bicep curl to shoulder press
This exercise will help strengthen the upper body, mainly focusing on the biceps and shoulders as well as all the stabiliser muscles within the shoulder girdle. Osteoporosis is a big problem with females in their 60s and resistance weights have proven to help stop this from occurring.
How to do it:
Stand normally with your arms at your sides and a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your elbows tucked in and your upper arms still as you rotate your forearms so that your palms face up as you curl the weights up toward your shoulders. Then, straighten your arms and press the weights straight upward toward the ceiling, rotating your forearms so your hands face forward. Reverse the motion to complete the rep. Do three sets of 10 reps on each arm.
Be strong Stay Fit xxx