Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Fitness Strategies for Every Age

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, At what age will you stop working out?


Every age group has different needs and preferences when it comes to health and wellness. This summer, as we start paying more attention to our bodies and our eating habits, let's make the commitment to make this a lifetime endeavor.

I've designed a fitness plan that takes into consideration each decade of your life.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that we shouldn't be doing certain exercises at certain ages. In reality, it's more of an issue related to how we perform the exercise -- not elimination of it. One can weight train at any age, perform cardio at any age, stretch at any age, compete in athletic events -- yes, at any age. However, as one ages, one will need to lessen intensity, weight poundages, etc.

Aging is determined by one's capacity and not simply by counting the numbers of years of one's life.

  • Fitness:
    One should be creating a solid foundation of strength training to improve muscle and strength, cardiovascular exercise to improve endurance, and flexibility exercises to improve mobility.

    In order to maintain life-long consistency, try to design a routine based on fun activities such as weekend volleyball on the beach, hiking, mountain biking, etc. If pitching a tent on a treadmill sounds boring, then think "outdoors" and "fun." Adding two to three days of strength training will balance out your program.

  • Watch Out For:
    Even though you're in your 20s, it doesn't mean you have a license to perform exercises in haphazard form. Many people get injuries in their 20s that last a lifetime because they didn't pay attention to proper form. Exercise technique is critical in this decade in order to avoid life-long injuries.

  • Looking Ahead:
    An improved look to the body usually occurs in one's 30s -- if consistency of exercise has been maintained. However, if you've been sedentary and remain so, you'll lose flexibility, muscle mass and overall energy. Even women who've given birth in their 20s or 30s can regain a fit body if they've maintained consistency.


  • Fitness:
    Strength training, cardiovascular exercise and flexibility exercises remain the foundation. Take complete rest days between workouts when beginning a fitness routine, and vary the workout program. For example, two days per week of biking, two days of strength training, or two days of tennis and two days of strength training. Don't let go of the activities you used to love to do such as hiking, swimming, golfing, tennis, etc.

  • Watch Out For:
    If one has been sedentary, then easing back into a fitness program is best. If you were active in your 20s, don't try to duplicate what you did at that time. Your best strategy is one based on natural progression, proper exercise form, plenty of rest and recovery, and a slow building of strength and endurance. This is a period where injuries can occur if you jump immediately back into a program that you did in your 20s.

  • Looking Ahead:
    You can glide into your 40s with a body that looks and feels like you're in your 20s if you maintain consistency with nutrition and workouts. It doesn't take a lot -- just three or four days per week of moderate exercise and control of your weight. If you don't, then you may experience joint pain, loss of energy, skin that looks unhealthy and a more rapid ageing process.


  • Fitness:
    Much of the population becomes sedentary in their 40s due to work pressures, family responsibilities, etc. However, the basic foundation of strength training, cardiovascular exercise and flexibility exercise should remain throughout one's entire life. Trying to keep with the "fun" activity philosophy will help to maintain consistency. Activities with the entire family such as hiking, biking and playing Frisbee are great ways to regain fitness. Strength training sessions of two to three days per week with moderate weights and moderate cardio for 30-40 minutes three to five times per week are all that's needed. Including exercises for the core (lower back and abdominals) should also have a focus. The core of the body is the main center of strength.

  • Watch Out For:
    Into one's 40s, one can still work out with intensity, but special care must be taken with injury prevention. Exercise form becomes more critical, and one should not place excessive stress on the joints. Excessive body fat increases risk of heart disease, prostate cancer in men and many other ailments. Maintaining a stable and healthy weight becomes even more important.

    This is a decade when one needs to train smart, and genetics play a big role during this time -- meaning, some people will be able to do more and work out harder than others. Some will need to do a bit less. Listening to your body's responses related to intensity, activity, rest, etc., is critical. The focus should be on feeling strong, energized and well rested.

  • Looking Ahead:
    In the past, 50 conjured up images of being "older," but the prevailing evidence related to consistent workouts, smart nutrition and less stress shows that the old 50 is the new 35

  • If you've been sedentary and you ease into a fitness program, you can expect renewed energy, increased strength and an invigorated state of well being. If you gain excessive weight and you remain inactive, 50 become 60 -- just the opposite with moderate and consistent exercise.

    Loss of flexibility may also appear in one's 40s, so introducing yoga, Pilates and more advanced stretching exercises is recommended.

    Given a sedentary lifestyle, strength begins to decline at about 15 percent per decade between age 50 and 70. This can be curtailed with strength training and regular moderate cardiovascular sessions.


    Most people think that they have to stop performing certain activities in their 50s, but this a myth. One should maintain or even begin a strength-training program in the 50s. However, weights should be of moderate poundage and emphasis placed on form and technique. Weight training helps to build muscle, increase bone density and burn lots of calories.

    For most of your life anything fun has always motivated you, so why stop now? Power walking outdoors, joining a walking club, and even working with a personal trainer two times per week can be of benefit.

    Core exercises, flexibility and balance exercises should play a role in one's program. This strategy will create and maintain a more fit, flexible and balanced body as one ages

  • Watch Out For:
    Joint health needs to be carefully watched in one's 50s. Also, one should incorporate rest days after more intense workout days. Vary the rate of intensity during the week, so multiple higher intensity workout days don't follow back to back. A stable body weight will keep blood sugar normal and reduce your chances for illness. Never do more than you should and keep your ego in check. This is a time to live in a state of health and wellness, not to set Olympic records.

  • Looking Ahead:
    Beyond your 50s is a time to be maintaining strength levels, endurance, energy and listening to the body at all times. No need to try and set strength or endurance records and place excessive stress on the immune system. Beyond your 50s does not have to equate with "going down hill." Many people maintain remarkable strength, energy and endurance well into an advanced age.


  • Fitness:
    Strength training every other day, light to moderate cardiovascular intensity three to five times per week for 25-40 minutes and flexibility are good health prescriptions during this time. This is a great time when people who want to become fit to gravitate to activities that are enjoyable and those that even involve groups such as walking clubs, tennis clubs and even dance lessons. Strength training should be performed two to three alternate days per week and never to muscular failure in order to preserve the joints and protect bones.

  • Focusing on core strength, flexibility and overall balance remain vital during this period.

  • Watch Out For:
    Joints are susceptible to injury during this time, so pay careful attention to exercise form and never use more weight than is comfortable. Cardiovascular exercise should be performed with moderate intensity, and one should always be able to carry on a conversation. The key is to bolster the immune system, not diminish its capacity.

  • Looking Ahead:
    This should be a period of fun, pleasure and pure enjoyment through activity. Strength training, cardiovascular health and flexibility are always to be practiced. Regular check ups combined with consistent moderate amounts of exercise and a healthy nutrition program can keep you younger than you would have ever imagined.

  • I am also 49!

    Remember, it's how old you feel that really counts.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program.Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

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    About Me

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    Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
    Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

    Any Questions? Ask Glen!