September 2, 2008

How to stay fit at every age

Everyday I wake up at 5:15am and go out for my morning walk at 5:30am sharp. As you know it isn't easy rising at such an early hour but I forced myself to do a 40 minutes power walk every morning. Otherwise I feel I cheated my body and mind. I am addicted to exercise but I don't want to join any gyms and have to pay an exorbitant fee for being a member. I’m a firm believer in exercising and staying in shape, I just don’t see the need to pay an arm and a leg for it. Walking is the cheapest exercise, just set goals to how much you feel you must reach and try to accomplish that. I also do sit up, some aerobic movements,and weight lifting with a 1 kg dumb-bell each to get my muscle toned. I think we all know it does take a lot of work to stay fit and in shape, but it can be done with determination.

Below is an interesting article from the Daily Mail about the kind of exercise you should do based on your age. If you have not exercised for a while, schedule your time and go for it. Happy exercising!

You're never too young to start and never too old to feel the benefits: How to keep FIT at every age
By Peta Bee

AGE: 18-30
This is the easiest age to maintain a healthy weight because your metabolic rate is at its most efficient, burning more calories both at rest and during physical activity.

However, a failure to be active can result in a steady weight gain that is more difficult to lose as you get older. Bone density peaks between the ages of 25-35 and muscle mass is at its highest around 25, which means you should find it easier at this age than any other to stay toned and lean.

HOW MUCH: At least 30 minutes of moderate activity five or more days a week, according to the government's chief medical officer.

But that is a minimum to stay healthy. Ideally, you should try to include at least three one-hour sessions of aerobic activity (which makes your heart and lungs work harder) a week.

You should also include a couple of weight-bearing and flexibility workouts to maintain bone density. Weight bearing involves moving your body on a surface, such as when running, power-walking or in an aerobics class; this puts stress on your bones and tendons helping build their strength.

Activities such as rowing, swimming and cycling are not weight-bearing forms of exercise.

TYPE OF EXERCISE: Good forms of aerobic activity include running, swimming, brisk walking and cycling. For flexibility, try Pilates or yoga.

Short of time? Try skipping, which works the cardiovascular system, strengthens bones and muscles and burns up to 110 calories in just ten minutes. Build up to as fast a pace as you can.

AGE: 30-40
If you are inactive you lose muscle mass at a rate of one to two per cent a year from around 30 onwards and need, on average, 125 calories less per day at 35 than you did when you were 25.

Both sexes produce less growth hormone from the pituitary gland during this decade, which further contributes to muscle and bone deterioration.

Wear and tear on the joints is more pronounced, and recovery time from injury takes longer.

HOW MUCH: A combined weekly total of two to four hours of weight and strength training. This can involve weight training at the gym or improvising at home with resistance aids such as stretchy bands, lifting cans of beans - even digging the garden. Plus one hour of stretching and flexibility a week (such as yoga).

TYPE OF EXERCISE: 'A combination of weight training and aerobic activity is not only the best way to stay slim, but also to increase bone density and strength,' says Louise Sutton, principal lecturer in health and exercise science at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Try an indoor boxercise class or outdoor circuit - classes such as British Military Fitness are held in many UK parks. Or make up your own exercise circuit using park benches, trees and footpaths as your equipment.

AGE: 40-50
Bones are deteriorating faster than they are forming - women lose one per cent of bone mass a year from now until the menopause. In women, the menopause is likely to occur during the late 40s to early 50s, and consequent hormonal changes can cause weight gain of up to a pound a year until the menopause is over.

Hormonal changes at around the age of 50 - testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (or DHEA, a hormone that helps to control metabolism and energy use) begin to decline - make keeping slim more difficult. Regular exercise routine helps to slow these changes.

HOW MUCH: A combined weekly total of two to four hours of weight or strength training and cardiovascular activity. One hour of stretching and flexibility a week.

TYPE OF EXERCISE: Aerobic exercise is vital for burning fat - try power walking. Invest in a pedometer and work up to 16,000 steps a day, trying to walk as fast as possible. If your joints are starting to get painful, switch to non-weight-bearing aerobic activities, such as swimming or cycling.

However, weight training is vital. Studies have shown that doing high intensity weight lifting (i.e. lifting 70 per cent of the maximum weight you think you can manage) a couple of times a week can offset the loss of muscle mass during this decade.

If you belong to a gym, ask an instructor to devise a progressive weights programme. At home, invest in a set of mini-weights or improvise with bottles filled with sand or water.

AGE: 50-60
Beyond the age of 50, muscle mass is lost at a rate of one fifth of a pound a year. This loss affects both sexes but is more pronounced in men, who often experience a much sharper decline in strength. Often the muscle lost is replaced by fat, hence the dreaded middle-age spread.

Female fat distribution changes after the menopause often causing women to become an 'apple' shape as weight shifts to the waistline. This signals that someone has more visceral fat (around the organs), the type that promotes heart disease and inhibits glucose tolerance.

To check whether you are at risk, place a tape measure around your middle. A measurement of more than 80cm (32in) for women and over 94cm (37in) for men means you are at increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Over 88cm (35in) for women and 102cm (40in) for men puts you at the highest risk of these conditions.

HOW MUCH: A combined weekly total of two to four hours of strength or weight training and cardiovascular activity. One hour of stretching and flexibility a week.

TYPE OF EXERCISE: Sports that challenge your speed and endurance, such as badminton, tennis and football, provide all the elements of fitness you need to address in one session.

Lunges (preferably with hand weights) and leg lifts in the weight room are great for strengthening the quadriceps muscles in the thigh, helping avoid joint injuries and osteoarthritis.

AGE: 60-PLUS
'As you get older, you lose water content from the body's structures, including cartilage that protects the joints,' says Claire Small of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. 'Tissues become weaker, which means injuries happen more easily.'

Osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition caused when the cartilage protecting joints gradually wears away leaving bones to scrape directly against one another, is more common from age 60 onwards.

11 comments:

Toni said...

El, thanks for the tips.
Sepertinya pengen banget olah raga, minimal jalan kaki yang murmer, namun apa daya rasa malasnya itu lho.
Anyway, harus dimulai, kalau nggak, bisa ditinggalkan penggemar. He3x.

Ecky said...

Wah... tipsnya berguna sekali, aku sekarang lagi rajin kick boxing sendiri di rumah pake VCD, udah mulai berasa nih efeknya badan jadi ringan gak terlalu berat karena lemaknya udah mulai kebakar :)

sima said...

setuju Ely..
memang olah raga itu perlu. sebetulnya aku ini malas sekali, sama seperti toni...tapi yach.. aku paksain juga tiap pagi sebisanya jalan2 keliling kompleks...

therry said...

You never fail to remind me how important it is to keep fit and healthy!

Thanks for the article!

Ivy said...

yeah thanks for the tips!

Elyani said...

@Toni: kalau gak mau malas cari kucing yg nakal kayak Suneo, dia bangun-nya lebih cepat dari alarmku lho :)

@Ecky: ajarin dong kick boxing :) asyik tuh kayaknya.

@Sima: memang harus dipaksa`in, tapi lama2 malah jadi biasa lho :)

@Therry @ Ivy: you're welcome.

tere616 said...

El, thanks for sharing the article. Sudah hampir 3 bulan ini aku jadi member di salah satu gym, memang mahal sih, tapi berhubung aku tidak serajin kamu dalam hal jalan pagi (padahal bangun pagi lho), yah .. ke gym dan minta bantuan instruktur :-)

Untung latihan yang diprogram instrukturku sama dengan artikelmu itu :-D

marion said...

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Alena said...

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Alena said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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Diana Guess said...

Really great post. Personally, in order to stay fit and healthy, I'm following Toronto martial arts classes. It's a great and fun way of taking care of my body and I absolutely love to go 2 days a week and learn new, useful self-defense techniques. I will also teach my children about this beautiful sport...