In a day and age where we’re all chronically time poor and run off our feet, finding time to exercise and make health and fitness a priority is a challenge. When we do find a spare minute (or 45) to squeeze in a gym session, we want to ensure we’re getting the most out of it, but few people realise that this often involves customizing your workout according to your age group.
Steph Prem, Winter Olympian and Care Australia ambassador, shares her top tips to maximize the benefits of exercise at every age.
In your twenties
At this age your body will function well with heavier loads and recover quickly so take this opportunity to put your body to the test. Prevent plateaus by mixing it up and challenging yourself with a mix of anything from dance classes to Pilates to circuit weight training. Make sure you start putting dedicated time into Core Stability in your late 20s and 30s to set you up for later in life so you do not have any issues in your 40s and 50s.
Try: Boot camp with your friends. Training as part of a group will bring out your competitive side and push you to test your limits each week. Burpees, squats and bench dips are among the boot camp favourites that utilise several muscle groups and get your heart pumping.
In your thirties
You may notice that you don’t bounce back from a tough session in the gym as quickly as you did in your twenties so combining the more challenging sessions such as strength, cardio and core stability with stretching is essential. As your schedule gets busier, incidental exercise becomes key. Use every opportunity to get up from your desk and walk around, or park a little further from the shops to increase your daily steps.
Try: A fundraising event such as the Care Australia Walk In Her Shoes challenge. High intensity interval training (HIIT) will also rev up your metabolism and burn fat without dominating your schedule.
In your forties
Strength, core stability and stretching are your focus. If you have put in the hard yards in your 30’s this will have set you up for your 40’s beautifully. Exercise for functionality and your active lifestyle and enjoy walking and light jogging during the week to keep you motivated.
Try: Investing in a personal trainer. Now is a great time to get some extra motivation from an expert and a personalised routine you can commit to. Personal trainers will challenge you, without pushing you too far.
Ditch the intense workouts and focus on strength, flexibility and balance to ensure optimal recovery from exercises. Find an exercise that you enjoy and your body responds well to. Incorporate low impact exercises into your workouts, as they are kinder on your muscles and joints like swimming, cycling and light weights.
Try: Pilates to strengthen your core and learn to love the plank, superman and the corkscrew. If you have any shoulder or back injuries, clinical Pilates is a great way to get expert training so you know you’ve got the right moves.
Plan ahead and set your goal distance.
- 25km challenge- 5,000 steps or around 45 minutes a day for one week.
- 50km challenge- 10,000 steps or around 90 minutes a day for one week.
- 100 challenge- 20,000 steps or around three hours a day for one week.
- Or The Freestyle challenge- you decide your challenge limits!
How do you maximise the benefits of your workout? Tell us below!..