Can we be fit at any age? Absolutely! Naturally, every age has limitations, genetic predispositions, strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, fitness programs must be appropriately designed to take all of those issues into consideration. That said, however, fitness is a relative concept, therefore, it may be applied to each individual regardless of age. This week ten steps to follow toward achieving ageless fitness will be highlighted. As always, please consult your physician prior to beginning any exercise program.
Once your physician has released you to exercise, have a fitness professional perform a thorough fitness assessment to determine your current fitness level. Establishing a fitness baseline from which to progress is critical and, then also have assessments performed regularly, by the same fitness professional to ensure consistency from one assessment to the next (i.e. perhaps every 6-12 weeks) to keep you on track.
Perform your exercise program consistently. Out of these ten steps, this is the most important, and in my decades of training experience, the clients that are the most consistent, tend to experience fitness throughout their lives. This usually means 4-6 days/week dedicated to cardiovascular endurance exercise, 2-3 days/week for muscular strength/endurance exercise (i.e. if total body, then perform your muscular strength on non-consecutive days) and flexibility training may be performed daily following a thorough warm-up.
Be certain that your exercise program is safe, effective and fun. Safety is always first, effectiveness is second and fun is third. Exercise, in general, needs to be pain-free (i.e. if it hurts, don’t do it). Fatigue and reaching momentary muscle failure are generally acceptable to experience.
Cross train, create variety and make sure you are challenged continuously. The body will generally adapt to most exercises/programs eventually. So, to prevent plateaus and eventual loss of fitness level, practice the periodization principle which states you need to periodically modify your program to prevent overuse injuries and to continue improving.
Hire a certified, qualified fitness professional to design an exercise program specifically for you and if you cannot manage that economically, then seek out a high quality fitness facility that offers a wide variety of programming. Once you have established a working relationship with this facility and their staff, obtain the advice of their professional fitness/wellness staff to guide you toward the programs that will fit your needs.
Choose programs where you feel welcomed, comfortable and avoid feeling pushed beyond your safety limitations. Ask if you might try out a program before committing financially. Most facilities will permit you to either try it out or at least observe, chat with other participants, soliciting their feedback and listen to your instincts before investing. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, so avoid those programs.
On your off days from your regimented program, walk everywhere you are able and be active daily. Spend as little time seated as possible. And, if you must sit, get up and move around frequently.
Join activity-oriented recreational clubs or programs which enable you to participate in fun, enjoyable lifetime sports such as golf, tennis and pickle ball.
Make certain that you have access to viable, appropriate in-home exercise programs.
Have tried and true travel exercise programs readily available to perform no matter where life takes you.