Should I change my exercise routine as I get older?

As you age you should focus more on an effective warm up and cool down strategy. As you age your body’s ability to adapt to exercise and physical activity decreases slightly so it becomes more important with age to focus on a good a warm up and cool down session. As you age load bearing, or weight bearing exercise becomes extremely important to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Furthermore, as we age, it becomes more important to incorporate balance training into your routine as people’s balance tends to decrease with age. So as you get older incorporate to longer warm up and cool downs, more balance training, and more weight bearing exercise.

Your exercise routine should not really be "routine" no matter what your age.  If you keep doing the same thing, your body will adjust to it and you will plateau.  In order to keep from hitting that plateau and stalling your progress, I recommend changing up your workouts on a regular basis.

The way I change up the program for my clients is by having them perform different exercises, change up the weights (i.e. heavy to light, light to heavy), change up the number of repetitions, sets and tempo.  The cardiopulmonary workouts I design for my clients include intervals based upon his or her fitness level and keeps them challenge so he or she continues to improve his or her cardiopulmonary condition.

Family Running in Park

Most people change their routine when they start hitting their plateaus in there workouts.  As a trainer myself I try to change my programs for my clients on a regular basis.  Not only do I change programs for not allowing people to hit a plateau but also keep things fresh and challenging.  So no matter what age you are you should change up your programs until you hit your goals and then you can set your workouts for your maintance level.

The best fitness plan includes the five components of fitness: optimal body composition, cardiopulmonary endurance, muscular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility. If these components are included your current routine, keep going!! If you have been doing the same routine for a while, change up some variables of your routine to keep your body responsive to exercise. You can change weight, repetitions, tempo (go slower  or faster at certain parts of the exercise),sets, rest, superset your exercises ( do exercises back to back with no rest) or throw in some high intensity cardio intervals in between sets of weights.

If you are not including all five of the components in your routine, start!! Listed are the benefits of each as related to aging:

Body Composition: The ratio between the amount of lean tissue (bone, muscle, organs) and body fat that a person carries on his or her body. High percentages of body fat have been linked to metabolic disease, low energy, and compromised emotional health. Maintaining a healthy and nutrient dense diet will greatly reduce risk of age-related disease, counteract age-related weight loss efforts, and boost energy.

Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Cardiorespiratory health is needed to maintain the health and function of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system, and to decrease any age-related risk of heart problems, stroke, diabetes, and metabolic disease. Traditional activity such as running, walking, biking, swimming or functional activity sustained over a duration of time will enhance CF.

Muscular Strength & Endurance: The ability to generate muscular force and perform repeated muscular efforts while prolonging fatigue will reduce the age-related conditions of osteopenia (softening of bones), osteoporosis (bone loss), arthritis (joint inflammation) and reduce the incidence of falls, balance problems, neurological deficit disorders, and loss of independent living options.

Flexibility: Optimal levels of flexibility allow us to live life without restriction. Inadequate flexibility can lead to loss of power, movement, strength, balance, and can lead to potential injury from falls and loss of balance as we age.

It is very important to stay ahead of the “aging curve” by choosing to incorporate these components of fitness into your fitness routine and lifestyle. By doing so, you add life to your years by training for independent living.

Continue Learning about Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Exercise provides many health benefits - from fitness to increased physical and mental energy. In order to prepare yourself for a exercise routine, you need to research which exercise is right for you and how to fit a new exercise ...

e program into your daily schedule.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.