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Fitness Through Your Ages

Find the right fitness routine for you as you age

By Tina Kissavos

Your 20s are a perfect age to try new exercises that focus on core strength, work on flexibility, and become well rounded physically. Women in their 20s are finishing school or working long hours or both. A strong core improves posture when slumping over a desk all day. During this period, the body is at its cardiovascular peak and able to bounce back fairly quickly from injury and overtraining. It also reacts more speedily to exercise and nutrition plans. This, of course, is due to a faster metabolism when estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, human growth hormone, and thyroid hormone are working in harmony.

Time is of the essence for most women in their 30s. Many have young children, a busy professional life, and are forced to try and fit in exercise. Three to four days a week of high intensity interval or Tabata training can be a great 20- to 45-minute solution. These types of programs prevent boredom, are relieve stress, and deliver results by reducing body fat and adding lean muscle mass when combined with a proper nutrition plan. Now is the time to make weightlifting a priority. Beginning at age 30, most of us lose approximately a third of a pound of muscle each year. With an already slowing metabolism, the more lean muscle you can create, the more efficient your metabolism will be.

Fitness in your 40s is essential. It doesn’t need to be as intense as your when you were in your 20s, but it should include muscle building, flexibility, and fat burning elements. This is generally the age where perimenopause sets in. Irregular periods, weight gain, lower metabolism, and sleep troubles are only a handful of symptoms women experience during this time. With lowering estrogen levels, fat storage tends to settle around the tummy area, which can contribute to heart disease. Because the body tends to stiffen with age, incorporating yoga or some form of flexibility program will keep you limber as well as help with proper breathing techniques.

In addition to cardio and weight-bearing exercises, women in their 50s should concentrate on stretching to elongate the muscles as well as throw in some balancing exercises. Training with a Bosu ball or lifting dumbbells on one leg will help strengthen the entire core and both the lower and upper body. Dance workouts like Zumba are a great way to have fun while building up endurance and burning body fat.

In the 60’s and up, it’s not uncommon to see the physical results of ageing like arthritis and general aches. For this reason, warming up and cooling down are key components in a comfortable workout routine. While weight training is still necessary for optimal health, aiming for higher repetitions at a lower weight can be useful at reducing stress on joints and muscles while still allowing for an enjoyable and effective workout. Walking a few kilometres regularly, going for a bike ride, and engaging in outdoor activities is a great way to get the heart rate up keep the muscles strong and get a taste of being outdoors to enhance the mood.

CanFitPro-certified trainer and wellness specialist Tina ’Toner’ Kissavos is co-founder of the fastest growing bootcamp in Quebec, Better Body Bootcamp. With more than a decade of experience, Tina and her team of trainers continue to help people change their lifestyles for the better and for the fitter.

 

Summer 2016, Vol 8 N°3

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