When the term “middle aged” comes to mind, most people think of their 40s and 50s. There are changes in muscle formation, heart health, and more, which makes exercising a little different than it used to be. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your workouts.
Don’t start without a plan
Even if you’re suddenly hit with a workout bug and can’t wait to start getting in shape, doing so without a plan could leave you under-exercising, over-exercising, or just unsure about what workouts are best for you — plus a lack of motivation. You might not be targeting the right areas, or you could be doing workouts that are potentially harmful. Also, it’s essential to know how much recovery time you need based on the types of workouts you choose to do.
Try deep breathing and yoga techniques prior to working out
Deep breathing before a workout helps deliver more oxygen to your muscles. This gets your blood pumping and makes a workout more worthwhile. Plus, between your work life and home life, stress builds up quickly. Deep breathing can also help alleviate this stress and get you in better focus for your workout. Livestrong.com suggests spending 10 minutes at the beginning of your routine with a brisk walk while focusing on inhaling deeply through your nose, and exhaling through your mouth.
Ditch the idea of expensive workout equipment
Rather than spending a couple thousand dollars on a top of the line treadmill or elliptical, you’re better off spending time working out with just your body. Forget the fancy electronics; exercises like squat jumps and mountain climbers work various muscle groups while also getting blood pumping for a good cardio workout. Getting fit doesn’t take much money; start out small, and if you feel it’s worth investing in a bigger piece of workout equipment, make that decision later.
Invest in a pair of ankle weights
Ankle weights are extremely affordable and offer extra intensity during leg workouts. A standard leg workout becomes a more challenging one with even just a few extra pounds on your feet. Plus, ankle weights are versatile; strap them to your arms during your morning walk, and pumping your arms will help work the muscles better. The best part? You can get them for less than $10.
Pay the most attention to cardio
Once you hit middle age, the risks on your heart health become greater. Aside from getting your cholesterol checked every few years, you should also focus on working out your heart through cardio, which helps get the blood pumping and keep your heart healthy. Take a brisk walk, or even jog if you’re feeling up to it. Either of these options will give your heart a solid workout and help to prolong your quality of life.
… and incorporate your upper body while doing it
Although getting the blood flowing is the best way to help your heart, it doesn’t have to be just through a walk or jog. Try to incorporate some upper body workouts to get a few extra calories burned, such as light weights. If you belong to a gym, Shape suggests exercising with a machine that will give you a full body workout rather than just improve your cardio.
The foam roller is your friend
Foam rollers should always be utilized. Foam rollers help to reduce tension in muscles and increase the muscles’ length, giving you an all-around better workout and reducing next-day soreness. Plus, foam rolling’s pressures can help increase blood flow throughout the body, which optimizes heart and muscle health. It’s also relaxing; treat foam rolling like the therapeutic beginning and end to a successful workout.
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