It’s pretty common for many middle aged people to give up exercise or taking care of themselves due to a fear of injury, believing they are past their prime, or other factors.
Even worse is when you hear a middle aged person complain that they can’t exercise due to various age related issues like aching joints, dodgy knees, and muscle soreness. These may all be perfectly valid reasons for cutting back on training intensity, but if you stop exercise completely, these issues are only going to get worse.
If you’re approaching middle age, or are there already, then you might be wondering about how you should change your exercise routine. There are certain factors you need to consider, as you may well find that you don’t recover as well between sessions, experience more aches and pains, and not feel as fit and strong as you used to. However, with a few small tweaks, you can still train at a high intensity, and get fantastic results.
Frequency refers to how many times per week you train. In your 20s and 30s, you were probably able to train every day of the week with no ill-effects. Unfortunately though, the older you get, the more rest time you need between sessions. Three exercise sessions per week is ideal for middle aged trainees.
Weight training is tough on joints, so it may be time to cut down. Of course, this is a case by case basis. This definitely isn’t the case. You can still get a great workout without lifting weights and instead using bodyweight-only exercises. If you are going to continue lifting weights, then you may want to make a small change. Low rep, heavy lifting can be tough on the joints, so try to avoid going super-heavy too often. For most of your exercises, stick between eight and 20 reps per set.
If you find that it takes you longer to recover between sessions, and that you experience more joint and muscle pain, then you need to focus on your recovery.
Partaking in lots of active rest exercise can be a huge help. Low intensity activities like walking, swimming and yoga all help keep you mobile, reduce muscle soreness, and improve general health.
To keep your joints pain-free, make sure you stretch any tight muscle groups daily. Most people who spend their days sitting at a desk have very tight glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, chests, lats, necks and shoulders, so make sure you stretch those areas daily. It’s also worth getting a regular sports massage to iron out any lumps and bumps.
Finally – nutrition. Keep your nutrition simple – have a protein source, such as meat, fish, dairy products or protein powder in every meal, along with lots of fruits and vegetables, and snack on fresh fruit and unsalted nuts. Limit your consumption of junk and processed foods.
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