Exercise is an important and integral part of a healthy lifestyle. We need nutrients from food and therefore we follow a balanced diet and we need to stimulate the muscular and other systems of the body and so the need to exercise. However, just like an ideal balanced diet will differ according to a person’s age and activity level, similarly appropriate exercise also follows certain norms.
Let us understand how our age affects our exercise routine.
Teens and below – Energy levels are really high during this age and in most cases one is exercising to release energy as opposed to losing weight. The exercise here needs to be a cardio intensive one where the heart rate is increased for a period of 45 minutes. Right from playing soccer to cycling to even running, teens can adopt it all when looking for exercise. In most cases these teenagers should avoid weight lifting since they are growing and lifting heavy weights can affect their height negatively. In short strength building techniques in teenagers should be restricted to very light weight lifting if at all and most of their exercise should come from sports activities and other similar cardio- vascular exercises. These kids can exercise anywhere from 2 to 4 hours in a day, depending on personal choice and needs.
Twenties to forties – This is where the strength building weight training comes into play. The cardio activity can be decreased to about an hour a day, while some attention needs to be paid to weight lifting. The muscles of people in this age bracket are fully developed and now they are free to stimulate them in the desired areas. Joining a gym, playing racquet ball, walking with ankle weights, are some of the exercises that one can do in this age group. The exercise needs to be adopted for at least 60 to 90 minutes a day for five times a week.
Fifties onwards – Now is the time to slow down with the exercising. Lifting heavy weights or running for long distances could affect your knees and spine badly. Yoga and other similar forms of exercise are recommended at this age. Swimming, light cycling, walking and yoga should be adopted during this age bracket. Try in get in about an hour of such exercise at least four times a day. Make sure that at no time are you pushing yourself too hard. Stretching both before and after exercise takes on an all new importance at this stage and must not be ignored even for a day.
If you overlook these norms and go on to exercise like a child even when you are way over the hill, chances of injury are really high. On the other hand if you exercise as much as an above fifties person when you are a teenager, you will fall prey to obesity and under exercise. Indeed it is important to work out according to your age. A balanced diet and good hydration must be adopted too in order to allow these exercise plans to work to their best capacity.