Over 40’s Fitness and Strength
Physical activity is valuable for all and for some has now become a necessity. For us older folk (like me), where maintenance of good health, independence, and certain age/lifestyle factor related disease prevention can be achieved with only a dose of Fitness and Strength. It’s time to take action and do something about it.
As we are now over 40 we should all do some form of physical activity, no matter what your age, weight, health problems or abilities. You have to make an effort. It’s never too late to start becoming physically active. Let’s get you started in helping you out with enjoying the benefits of having more energy, reducing pain in movement and other age related matters we have to deal with that are slowing you down.
It’s now time to act.
It’s unfortunate all the people round me who have chosen the easy way out and due to a lack of activity , a lack of food control and after years of self-neglect they find themselves in a position where they are lost and have nowhere to turn. All this and we have to deal with the rest of the ageing process as we tend to slow down….well only a little though, you can still do something about it.
Many improved health and well-being outcomes have been shown to occur with regular physical activity. These include helping to:
- Maintain or improve physical function and independent living;
- Build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints, reducing the risk of injuries from falls; and
- Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and some cancers.
The importance of movement
As I turned 40 and realised that I was not able to recover quicker, move as fast and lost a bit of mobility. However it’s not to the extent that some general thinking would lead you to believe. Just because you are now a little older (and much wiser) it’s a matter of just making sure that you now work out a little smarter. One on the major changes with age is the issue of mobility. That is, the ability to still perform the functions that that body is designed to do. Move pain free.
For the unlucky ones who are carrying over some old injuries from past endeavours it’s going to be little different, but not impossible. I consider myself lucky as I’m one who doesn’t carry any major injuries and have good movement with my Ankle and Hip joints ,a pain free range of motion with Thoracic mobility/stability/elevation and my Knees have survived the years of running and martial arts and intend on keeping it this way as the years add up.
My go-to movements today in addition to the type of workout I do as a Professional trainer are the 3 big ones from the HKC Kettlebell system. They are the Turkish Get up, Goblet squat and the Swings. The combination of these 3 specific Kettlebell movements allow me to be mobile , flexible, build co-ordination , strength in movement and a heart rate that burns up the calories. Before you get too excited and think just performing these movements is all it takes keep in mind the strict adherence to technique will be an expectation. The Kettlebell doesnt do favours and rewards bad form so let’s keep it safe.
Cardio as we age
Start with low impact movements. And then build up. It’s ok to push the cardio once you have built it up smartly and not gone out too hard or too soon. It should over time build up and for general fitness not take too long. I promise. You are no longer a spring chicken and should be more cautious in you approach (this is a good thing) – As part of getting on to our 40’s the ability to take on any exercise that involves impact is something that needs to be monitored diligently.
A pain free workout can certainly be performed as long as you are following proper technique and are able to use the correct resistance in delivering results. Too light will not have any effect and going too heavy too soon is recipe for disaster. The last thing you need is an injury to recover from so take my advice, learn the move and then build it up slowly. Any progress is still progress. The major moves that I use when working with my new “grown up” aged clients who have never lifted a weight or seen the inside of a gym is to establish whether they can perform what I call the pillars in movement.
These are the lifts that deliver better results and are clear time savers. When combined together results are usually no too far.
The Pillars of strength
With any given program you will need to cover the basic moves in order to get a greater return on effort. Irrespective on the type of equipment you use (Kettlebell, Dumbbell, Barbell, Sandbag or machine (as long as you are performing the following you will get stronger.
Pressing – These movers involve all overhead pressing that is barbell shoulder press, machine shoulder press. Anything involving an upward press. Whether you are sitting or standing. Just press. I get a lot of mileage with my Kettlebell pressing it delivers a safe and pain free movement pattern and for a more strenuous workout we hit the barbell and load them up. It all depends on needs and training history of mature clients. In other words press.
Pushing – These movements involve the pushing away from the body (chest). They include the classic bench press. Machine press and even dumbbell press. This one in particular is a clear favourite with most as it has generally become the one workout movement enjoyed by most. For some its complements and already comprehensive workout, for others it’s a critical strength in pushing an opponent away and for the rest it’s basically a beach muscle. It’s up to you.
Squats – One of the major movements in any effective training program should include the squat movements. It’s basically when performed properly works the entire body in utilising the legs as the main driver, the core in keeping it all stable and the upper body in holding onto the required loading placed on the body. Truly one of the king pillar movements in returning a quicker result. These can be performed with a barbell, Kettlebell, sandbag, and dumbbell. Almost anything really. As long as you know how to move. An excellent carry over exercise sports and daily life challenges.
Deadlift – One of the most dynamic movements is the humbling Deadlift. This is basically a hinge movement (fold at the hip joint) where you are required to put up the weight from the floor. Its performed best with a barbell and with a proper set up and execution is quite safe. Unfortunately it gets a bad reputation as hurting your back, when in reality this classic pulling movements will actually strengthen and sometime fix you back. Just remember everything is problematic when performed incorrectly and is always better when proper technique is use.
A great reason to hire professional fitness trainer if you are not sure.
You are never too old to move.
Far too often I hear people who tell me they are too old to do anything about it. Well I find it disappointing in a way as most of the ones who tell me this don’t have any major injuries or concerns that would prevent them from becoming healthier through a strength and fitness program. Unfortunately they are quite simply lazy, unmotivated and to some extent don’t really care.
If you have read to this point you will understand and if you haven’t, well what can I say? As we get older we see the world a little different and place value on the time spent in doing the thing we enjoy. The approach on movement, strength, fitness and health should be your priority.