Many people hold the opinion that exercise has some sort of anti-aging benefits. This is true but physical activities won’t stop you from aging. However, they can help you age better. That’s why we decided to share tips with you on the best and worst exercises for people over 40.
Exercise can indeed help you cope better with aging and increase your life expectancy. Researchers have proven that exercise can limit the progression of even the development of chronic disease conditions. Incidentally, these chronic conditions are more common in people who are over 40.
Think about it for a while. In your 40s, your body would undergo remarkable changes. In that decade of life, your muscle mass would start breaking down while fat deposits start building up. And except for your exercise regularly, you might have higher risks of developing conditions like high BP (blood pressure) and heart disease as you grow older.
As such, staying active physically is something you must do to support your health as you grow into middle age and old age. However, you must know that all workouts are different. They are not all created equal.
By the time you hit your 40s, your joints would be weaker and your bones would be more fragile. Your heart would also not be as perfect as before. As such, the ideal workouts in your previous decade and adolescent years might no longer be ideal in your 40s and older years.
We will tell you the worst exercises for people over 40 as you read on. You should avoid these exercises. We will also share tips on how to start getting fit in your 40s.
Top 5 Worst Exercise for People Over 40
Resistance training could help maintain muscles and support healthy bones as you grow older. But if you are over 40, one type of resistance training you should stay away from is deadlifts.
This is because your weak bones and muscles can easily injure when you do deadlifts. Even younger people find deadlifts incredibly difficult. How much more for older adults?
This exercise is dangerous for the spine. The issue here is very simple: when you perform crunches, your spine would have to bend. But at over 40, bending your spine this way can cause spinal injury.
Instead of crunches, consider doing planks. This would work all your muscles, and particularly your core. More so, your spine doesn’t have to be bent. What’s more, you can perform different plank variations to spice up your workout.
Your core strength has great importance, especially for preventing and easing back pain for people above 40. But don’t use sit-ups to work out your six-packs if you are in this age group. It is especially dangerous for those who suffer from low back or neck pain.
Older adults can perform mild to moderate cardio exercises. But sprint running is not a good exercise to try if you are older than 40. It’s better to stick with jogging, brisk walking, or running.
Sprinting is intense cardio that can be too hectic for your 40+ years old heart. You should only perform sprinting as an older adult if you have been running professionally with a life-long practice of intense cardio training since your younger years.
Your knee joints would naturally deteriorate with age. So as you grow into middle and old age, you should stay away from exercises that might damage any of your joints. Squats are one such exercise.
If you still want to squat at this age, you should perform a variety called “chair squat”. This requires that you make use of a chair in the exercise. That way, your joints would experience less strain.
Tips for People Over 40 on How to Start Getting Fit
1. Find the right activities for you
To start with, you should do something that you enjoy doing. Secondly, do only the things you have the strength and ability to do. Don’t go beyond what your schedule can accommodate. Don’t do any exercise simply because you feel it’s the appropriate exercise for people your age.
2. Get comfortable
Get yourself a comfortable workout outfit. And find a setting that fits you too. For instance, if you are not used to working out, you should join a low-key workout gym rather than a top-standard gym. Walking groups are also good.
And if you have been used to intense workouts, low-key gyms might get you bored. If this is your case, you should get like-minded athletes to work out with.
3. Go beyond just aerobics
You should indeed get 30 minutes of cardio exercise almost daily. But you should realize that you need more than just aerobics. You also need strength-training and flexibility exercises, as well as exercises that build your equilibrium.
4. Start slowly
You’re never going to be too old to exercise. However, if you have not been exercising regularly before now, you should start slowly with very simple plans. You can start by walking daily after dinner. As soon as that has become a habit, you can start building on it from there.
Even if you are an experienced athlete, you should start with good warm-ups. This is very essential for older adults.
5. Change things up
Things would get boring if you have only one exercise you do daily. You should, therefore, change things up. Vary your exercises regularly. You might consult a trainer or read workout books to get ideas on how to change things up.
6. If need be, get good social support
If you’re in need of social support, go get it. You could get your friends and family on board. You can also get exercise partners if you don’t like exercising solo.
Physical Activities for Over 40s
These are 7 physical activities to kick off your fitness if you are over 40:
- Brisk walking
- Side-to-side walking
- Walking backward
- One-legged squat
As you stay away from the worst exercise for people over 40, you can kick off with these 7 exercises. Don’t forget the tips we shared. They will help you get fit and keep you healthy.