Never Too Old to Exercise
The human body is not like the good wine - the older it is, the better it is. We can't expect our bodies to be the same when we are 20 or 40 or even 60 years old.
If we never exercised, never cared about our bodies, then yes, we can look and perform better with 40 than we did when we were 20...
Published: August 1, 2016.
The human body goes through great changes as it gets older. We don't see it right away, but these changes are inevitable. Metabolism gets slower, muscle regeneration is slower, skin loses softness and elasticity, joints are cracking, etc ...
You can't work out with 40 or 60, as you did when you were 20. With almost 40, I am much stronger than when I was 20 - at least 70-80% stronger and 30% heavier. Not bad :o)
But I cannot go to the gym in the morning, play basketball in the afternoon and go out at night, lie down almost in dawn, and then repeat gym/basketball/going out the next day. No way! Nor can I eat now the amounts that I have eaten back then and expect that my body would not accumulate all those calories as fat.
With age, the body's capability to recover declines, hormonal levels are different, not to mention that with age new obligations come to play ...
If you have never worked out, you should start, no matter how old are you. Just find a sport that you like and enjoy and do it - easy. Consult your doctor or physician, just to be sure.
If you feel healthy, good for you – nonetheless, go to the doctor and do few checks, for example, check your blood (blood count, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc), blood pressure, ECG, etc.
If you don't feel healthy, a health check is a must. According to the results of your testing, a good coach in consultations with your doctor will make a workout program for you – a selection of exercises, volume, and intensity of workouts, length of rest periods, maximum heart rate, proper nutrition, etc.
Note: getting enough sleep and eating balanced nutrition is the most important things one can do for one's health. There is no workout that can outrun bad nutrition - been there, tried to do that - failed, of course :)
And it is really hard to eat properly when you are tired and sleepy.
If you are going to the gym, you don't have to deadlift 2x your body weight. You can get on a good treadmill in an air-conditioned area (away from the AC unit, of course), with heart rate and other monitors connected, and do your exercise within given limits.
Or if you don't like to go to the gym, you can get a good home treadmill and train in the privacy of your home.
If you are interested in some team sport, it is harder to find what suits you – these sports usually have training sessions at fixed times, with age differences that can be huge. Coaches train the entire group at a pace usually optimized for a few of the best. This is a great thing for injuries and frustrations because 40+ years old bodies simply can't be pushed for a longer period of time as 18-20 years old bodies can. If you can find a team sport that involves only your peers, then, by all means, join the fun ...
Supplements can help in keeping pace with younger athletes, especially when they are just a part of a proper and balanced diet.
Someone might think that I underestimate 40+ trainees – no, I don't. I just train them, train with them and I am one of them. To have ego is nice, but keep that ego in check and you'll do fine :)
These are some of the reasons why I recommend going to the gym for our 'older' trainees. I go when I can, I train what I want, how I want, how much I want. And I never miss basketball or a similar game with friends and colleagues, nor do I miss the opportunity to go for a walk with my wife and kids ...
As years go by, proper nutrition becomes even more important for becoming and staying active.
At home or at the gym, cardio sessions on treadmills can be combined with push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and other exercises with or without weights into full-body workouts that will burn calories long after the workout is done. Not to mention increasing stamina, strength, muscle growth...