Traditionally, our 40th birthday brings about monumental changes. We start to view life differently. To make matters worse, our clothes are fitting tighter than they should and we become winded much more easily.
Fortunately, there is an explanation for the shrinking clothes; between our 20s and 50s, our metabolism decreases by 200 calories per day. During that 30 year time span, our sluggish metabolism is responsible for a 30 pound weight gain!
Unfortunately, knowing that fact doesn’t make the situation more pleasurable; it does, however, tell us we need to look at our exercise regime differently.
Here are some workout suggestions specifically designed for individuals over the age of 40. Use these age appropriate exercise ideas to combat your less-responsive metabolism.
Kick-Start Your Cardio
Studies show that simple changes to your cardio workout can help you burn up to 50% more calories. That sounds great, right? How do we make it happen?
We all know the importance of warming up. The process gradually prepares our muscles for the beating they are about to face.
However, warming up does much more than that; for each degree your body temperature rises, you’ll increase the metabolic rate of your cells by more than 10%. Try doing some moderate exercises (walking on the treadmill, for example) for at least five minutes
Have a Goal
Sure, some exercise is better than no exercise. It is best, though, to set a goal for yourself. Otherwise, you won’t know if you’ve accomplished enough and when it is time to quit.
Try to exercise for at least 12 minutes. Keep your energy level moderate to high-intensity. You’ll know you’ve reached your target level of difficulty if your breathing is slightly labored. Reach your 12 minute mark at least five times per week.
Switch It Up Too
Have you heard of interval training? It is all the rage among young whipper-snappers these days.
The name pretty much sums it up. Interval training is the combination of intense and moderate activity for short bursts of time. Give it a try. Go all out for five minutes. Then, back off to a moderate level for five minutes. Then, give it all you’ve got for another five minutes. Keep this up for a half hour.
A study at the College of New Jersey found this rotation of short bursts of varying intensity burns at least 15% more calories than a steady paced workout.
Go Above and Beyond
One day a week, plan to spend some extra time at the gym. Get one 60-minute workout each week. A study at the University of Victoria in British Columbia showed an hour workout burns five times more calories than a half hour one. That’s like getting three exercises for the price of one!
When possible, take your workout and hit the road. Studies show you will work out longer and burn more calories outside. You won’t be bored by the monotonous scenery and pace because everything is constantly changing. Plus, the wind resistance will take your workout to the next level!
While 40 might be the new 20, our bodies have their own idea for this new age range. As you get older, make the necessary adjustments to your exercise routine. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference these simple changes can make.
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