By Aimee Hodges, CI-CPT, Personal Trainer, Fit-N-Wise, Opposite Way Training
Sometimes where to begin a new exercise program is as overwhelming a life decision one can make however with some simple guidance on taking that first step you can be on your way to stronger you.
Checking in with your body is always a good idea before starting a new exercise regime. As we age we need to consider some factors before we begin and also expect some satisfying results if you stick to your program. As a Personal Trainer and working with an array of age groups in my client base, progression is key in any age group but most importantly over 50. What? 50 is still young but the body is beginning a natural progression of change so being mindful of the changes will progress you to your next goal and keep you free of injury. The body does not recover as efficient as the younger version however with proper warm ups and cool downs we are treating the muscles with respect they deserve. Warm up consists of increasing your heart rate progressively while loosening your limbs so motion in each is ideal:
Begin with a brisk walk outdoors, on a treadmill or your favorite choice, my preference is a rowing machine; as it is low impact and warms the body efficiently
Follow with a stretching program that is gentle and covers total body as we need not take any area for granted. The body needs a regular stretching program as it is losing mobility fairly rapid after the age of 30. We have to add stretching as a high priority on our to do lists as our mobility is the foundation of our fitness level. Repeating the stretch 3 to 4 times per muscle group is recommended for increased range of motion.
Next do something you enjoy. If you need to experiment so be it but don’t get caught trying to stick out something you really dislike. Finding the joy in activity will be beneficial in helping you set and reach your goals.
Begin with an entry level to moderate exercise program and keep the strength training at 30 minutes to 1 hour in the beginning progressing as your endurance builds.
The most fabulous part of my job is seeing your face after you reach a goal you set or as you are explaining how you were able to complete a task that was once very challenging with ease. Some amazing benefits of your exercise program include maintain or lose weight, as your metabolism naturally will slow with age so does the ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Read more in the May/June issue of LiveIt.