Exercise as You Age

Does it have to change?

Do I have to change how I workout as I age? Well, the short answer is, yeah… probably somewhat.

The truth of the matter is that as you age, your body becomes less resilient and recovers a little slower. The aging process begins at the cellular level, and your body starts to get less efficient at repairing damaged tissue. Plus all those little injuries you’ve had throughout the years start stacking up! And when that happens you then have to compensate for them, which causes imbalances, and those imbalances can lead to more injuries. Such a fun circle, huh!?

It’s more about strengthening your weak muscles and creating proper muscle recruitment (meaning making sure you’re using the right muscles and the right types of muscles at the right time). So if you’re doing a push-up and your shoulders are taking over all the work, you need to work on recruiting the right muscles and in the right order. This will help minimize any muscle imbalances, which is important because muscle imbalances can lead to overuse injuries, inflexibility, and other issues.

Then let’s talk about muscle loss as we age. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes, what the…

But listen, it’s not all bad news. Age means experience, and with experience comes practice, and with practice comes good form! Therefore you have stronger muscle memory and muscle maturity as you age. Woohoo! So, you can resistance train for less time or at a lower intensity and your body should show results sooner. So, that’s cool.

The thing is, you gotta keep on keepin’ on. You gotta take care of yourself, and that means making exercise a major, unconditional part of you until the very end. So let us help you out with these tips.

5 Tips to Help Keep Exercise Safe & Effective as You Age:

  1. Pre-Workout Do a Longer Warm up with Dynamic Stretches (see more info here: https://bit.ly/2BIjYbR)
  2. Post-Workout Always Cool Down & Perform Static Stretches (see more info here: https://bit.ly/2BIjYbR)
  3. Do Strength Training to Fight Muscle Loss
  4. Be Mindful of Imbalances & Work on Them
  5. Don’t Let Your Age Stop You! Note I didn’t say “slow you down”

5 Tips on How You Might Adjust Your Goals:

  1. Try to Focus on Your Health Over Your Body Image
  2. You Don’t Always Need to Workout for an Hour – Consider doing cardio for 20 to 30 minutes a few times each week.
  3. Switch to Low-Impact Workouts – Your joints have had enough pounding so, for example, to get that runner’s high you love… get it on a Spinning® bike. I promise you can!
  4. Consider Adding in More LISS Workouts – Low-intensity (LISS) workouts are a safe way to burn fat, work the muscles, and increase cardio capacity. They do take longer to perform though.
  5. Do Things You LOVE to Stay Active – Golfing, swimming, hiking, biking…you decide!

The good news is that Studio SWEAT onDemand has SO many amazing options that you’re sure to find the ones you love. They might just be one-click away! And, yes, it’s hard to not be able to do things like you used to, but try to focus more on the fact that you can still move as well as you do. Take the activities that you can do at whatever age you are and embrace them. Take the good with the bad and just try to focus on the positives, because as we’re learning… life is too short to have a bad attitude. We’re gonna make the most of the one we have and take care of the one body that we’ve been given.

Cat Kom
Founder Studio SWEAT onDemand

Body-sculpting workouts. Non-stop new releases. Pick Your All Access Pass Now!

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Here's what people said about “Exercise as You Age”

4 Comments
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Thanks for this, Cat (and Melissa). I’m also in my late 50s, and I know there are a bunch of us AARP-member Komrades. I still work out as often and with the same intensity, but I am also aware of changes in both body and attitude. Like Melissa, I am MORE motivated now because I am driven less by vanity and more by a desire for healthy and independent “golden years.” I was fortunate enough to have my parents into their 80s, and I had a up-close view of the physical challenges that come with a long life. I also realize, like Melissa, that I’m working against biology and gravity and my body now presents challenges that it didn’t 20, or even 10, years ago. I can only sustain a plank series for so long before my arthritic wrist says “Enough!” So I have found alternatives that work the same muscles and I keep moving. My knees only cooperate with a standing run for so many minutes, so then I sit and add resistance to compensate. I am able to make these adaptations because I know my body and its limitations, and because I no longer feel like a “failure” if I’m not able to do everything exactly the way a 35- or 40-year old trainer does it. Instead I applaud myself for showing up and giving it my best effort. I appreciate the SSOD instructors for always offering and modeling options and for demonstrating an attitude of acceptance and encouragement. If we stop working out at 50 or 55, that could mean 30 years of a non-active lifestyle! No way! Let’s keep moving what will still move!!

This SO hit home for me! I’m 59 and agree with everything Melissa said. My motivation level has increased as I’ve aged too. Working out is as much of a priority in my day as brushing my teeth. Aging (and menopause) has changed everything about how my body works. Ive changed what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. Rather than doing 90 minutes of cardio like I used to do, I usually do 20-30 minutes of spin, then 20-30 min of weight training (with heavier weight) and always add at least 10 min of stretching. I also have added more LISS cardio and I make sure to get at least 1 recovery day in each week. On those days I may do a 45 min yoga stretch and restore class and/or walk. SSoD is the best “gym” Ive ever joined…and Ive gone to a lot of them over the years. Thanks so much for this vlog! Melissa, you look great! 🙂