Three essential exercise everyone should do as they age.

Older woman running on the beach with her headphones

It saddens me is that most people become less active the older they get.

Lack of exercise as we age can cause problems for our muscles, bones and overall health.

Exercise and healthy eating should be everyone’s primary aim for a disease-free & fulfilling life – no matter what age. As you get older, it may become apparent that you’re not as energetic or can recover from exercise as well as you did in your 30s.

I noticed this in my 40s, which has produced many problems in my hips and hamstrings. It doesn’t take much to push something slightly out of place – then we have to spend hours and a lot of money with physiotherapists and deep tissue massage. If you’re like me, it’s pretty normal to “kill it” in the gym, no matter your age.

Recently, as my physio examined me, she could tell that I’m quite an avid lifter. Her response to one of my answers was, “you know, you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym to get great results.” She’s right – and the conditioning of years of quite ghastly bodybuilding theories, I found myself nodding, contemplating taking on something like “yoga” for stretching and relaxation. It made me shudder somewhat!

Many yoga gurus have told me it’s better for me than weightlifting.

I cannot even comprehend this. Life isn’t the same without lifting me. As I see it, moderate participation in different activities (that hopefully interest us) is the key to exercising well as we age. Let’s look into some exercises you can do to help you transition to aging a lot smoother.

Three essential exercises everyone should do as they age.

One: Walking.

If running or jogging is hard on your joints and exhausts you – why not try walking instead?

You can get away with walking at any age, even recovering from an injury. It’s low impact enough to still give you a bit of a cardio boost (as well as some fat burning) without causing any issues in your joints. I love that walking puts me in the relaxation zone.

I always leave my car at home and wear those sneakers for a good old walk. Perhaps you might not walk as fast as you get older, but you can work toward a faster pace. What distance do you want to cover, how many steps do you want to do in a single day etc.? These are all great milestones.

This will help keep you motivated and on the move. I keep my records on the iWatch, and knowing how much I’m doing helps me keep on track.

Two: Strength training (weights).

Sarcopenia is something we should all be concerned about after age 30.

Our muscle mass starts to decline rapidly unless we lift weights!

These weight training sessions don’t have to be hours long but pick a few different exercises. With your walking, having your strength training goals in place is a great idea. What days will you work particular muscles, and what’s your intent? Is it to build some muscle mass or get stronger? Maybe it’s a bit of both. You can do more as you increase your strength and endurance.

Listen to your intuition, and if anything hurts, stop. I know it can be challenging for those of us to tone it down, but it may be essential on some occasions. I’m positive Arnold doesn’t slaughter his body as he did during those bodybuilding days.

Three: Yoga or pilates.

I do believe it’s essential to keep our muscles flexible and strong. Stretching before a workout does help, but it’s unlike a yoga class concentrating on lengthening those muscle groups.

I’m not too keen on yoga, but if it will help me become more able to lift weights (which is my foremost love), then why not try it? I also like to stretch between weight training sets, which helps to loosen up the muscles – especially when it’s leg day.

Apart from your intuition, none should tell you how much exercise you do. I’m a massive advocate of the “mind-muscle connection”, and it’s not let me down. What I mean by this is to use your intuition on what’s working best for you.

There will be days when you’re energy is at its peak. Those days you can do a bit more than you usually would.

Then you may suffer when you are tired, stressed, or don’t feel like doing much.

As you age, the body starts to take over in its demands for rest. You should allow yourself to feel comfortable taking a break, shortening your workouts, or just walking on the treadmill. I always say that some activity is better than none.

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