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Fitness versus age: how to train at 35, 45 and 55

How and how much you need to do in order to always be in shape.

We do not want to grow old, but we want to conquer Kilimanjaro and the hearts of Malibu rescuers at any age (play beach volleyball with children and grandchildren, of course, too). Each age period needs to choose the right nutrition and the type of activity. Fitness therapist Victoria Borovskaya tells what exercises to do and what foods to exclude from the diet at 35, 45, and 55 years.

35 years

What happens in the female body after 35 years? Quite profound changes: metabolism slows down; glucose tolerance is impaired, insulin resistance appears. Simply put, our subcutaneous fat is redistributed abdominal and begins to accumulate in the abdomen. That is why, up to 35 years old, women tend to increase in volume in the hips, buttocks, and chest, and after that, the hated centimeters are fixed at the waist. Due to the deficiency of male sex hormones, fat begins to be deposited on the back.

What to do?

The first thing to do is reduce sugar and salt consumption and start drinking, not tea, coffee, juices, lemonades, but plain clean water. Once you do this, four kilograms will go away by themselves in a week. Right, if you haven’t done strength training until the age of 35, then it’s time to start. It would help if you did it right: you can’t get off the couch and go to “pump up.” Most likely, problems with the hip joints are already making themselves felt, like pain in the lower back. It is essential to develop the pelvic floor muscles because these exercises aim to prevent urinary incontinence and organ prolapse. 

Training should be structured according to the principle of periodization:

  • retraction period, so that the articular-ligamentous apparatus, muscles, central nervous system adapt to the load;
  • developmental period (to improve their condition), shock period (strength, power);
  • When the body is recovering from the stress you put it before by building weights, the recovery period.

It will not be superfluous to cultivate the habit of walking from 15,000 steps a day because only non-training activity contributes to a good metabolism and the same weight loss. It is better to refuse cardio training to lose weight because, after 35 years, women are actively losing muscle mass. And if you want to walk along the beach in a bikini, and not in a pareo, the emphasis should be on clean nutrition and muscle development, and not losing weight to the state of a deflated ball.

45 years

After 45 years, you need to forget about sugar in food and drinks altogether. With age, the metabolic rate decreases, the level of sex hormones decreases, and a deficiency of thyroid hormones is added (the so-called subclinical hypothyroidism). You cannot continue to eat chocolates and rolls and hope that growth hormone (somatotropic hormone) will burn everything itself, as in 18 years.

What to do?

Stop tormenting yourself with endless diets, which, apart from breakdowns, stress, a bad mood, and even greater weight return by the boomerang effect, do nothing. Make it a rule to be active for at least 30 minutes a day and add strength training. Then you will be able to bypass the standard situation when a woman over 45 years old with proper clean nutrition and adequate physical activity cannot lose weight – it does not work just because of the provoked deficiency of various hormones, which will have to be corrected only with the help of a medical examination and a selected treatment.

Recommended workouts for this age should include exercises with a foam roller, develop and maintain the internal block (core muscles – a group of deep muscles that provide fixation of the spine), exercises to mobilize the cervical, thoracic, lumbar spine and develop its optimal flexibility. After 45 years, you also need to train large joints’ mobility, develop the muscles of the back and hips, and work with rotational movements. And do not forget about the essential thing – walk 15,000 steps a day.

55 +

After 55 years, the body’s maximum aerobic capacity decreases, the level of efficiency and endurance decreases, and the rate of recovery after training slows down. Bones become fragile, and movement slows down due to lack of mobility in the joints. And the most unpleasant thing is that muscle fibers’ function decreases and their mass and strength decrease.

What to do?

It is necessary to carry out strength training to maintain the work of skeletal muscles, increase or maintain mobility in joints, work on strength and endurance of muscles, introduce breathing and relaxation exercises, do stretching to improve flexibility, develop stability and coordination in various positions (sitting, standing, walking ).

You should not neglect aerobics, Pilates, or strength training. Still, it is highly desirable to conduct an initial fitness test to understand physical fitness and what aspect should be emphasized. Need to limit:

  • sudden changes in body position and movement;
  • strong slopes;
  • exercises with a heavy load on the articular-ligamentous apparatus;
  • racks on the head, hands;
  • bending;
  • prolonged static;
  • run;
  • group yoga, which does not consider the individual characteristics of the musculoskeletal system’s state.

Your training program should include exercises such as raises from a chair, squats against a wall, raises on socks, throwing a medicine ball, Pilates. Also, put a particular emphasis on training for women over 55 years of age on developing balance. With age, we all know-how, falls occur more often, are destructive, and after them, the body is more difficult to recover.

Super Intense Short Workouts: Effective or Not Very Effective?

Photo: Anon Krudsumlit / EyeEm / Getty

A set of exercises lasting four minutes helps to build muscle mass, maintain muscle tone and even promote rejuvenation, according to American physiologists. We figure out whether this is true.

What is “training for the lazy”?

From the very beginning, a catch awaits all lazy athletes. The authors of the course warn: you will have to study not four minutes a day, but at least 12. The effect of classes can be obtained starting with three approaches.

It is worth noting that some of these doctor’s methods, who also practice alternative medicine, are controversial by the American “Wikipedia.”

Then there are three hand exercises: lifting 90 degrees, lifting, and also circular movements. Each task must be repeated ten times, and then, without stopping, start the cycle anew. And so for four minutes. At first, it is recommended to do exercises without weights; then you can gradually add weight.

What is the use of a four-minute workout?

It is believed that such a course can motivate even the laziest to get off the couch. The authors also claim that exercise helps release nitric oxide, causing blood vessels to stretch and dilate. It helps lower blood pressure. As a result, the risk of blood clots decreases, the immune function improves, and muscle growth begins.

For many, this formula sounds motivating, but it is not easy to maintain nitric oxide in the blood.

Photo: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

How to maintain nitric oxide in the blood?

First of all, you should follow a diet and consume vegetables with a high content of nitrates (nitric acid salts): celery, beets, spinach, various types of salads, namely watercress, arugula, lettuce. Nitrates in vegetables do not harm the body but, on the contrary, help to restore nitric oxide.

However, these are unstable molecules that degrade rapidly in the bloodstream, so their levels must be maintained continuously. This can be done with antioxidants that prevent nitric oxide breakdown. The substance is found in the same vegetables and stimulated by physical activity.

According to a study supported by the Japanese government, nitric oxide production benefits can be seen after ten weeks with 30 minutes of training at least three times a week.

Photo: Andrew Tanglao / Unsplash

How much exercise do you need to stay fit?

According to the WHO recommendations, to be in good shape, a person aged 18–64 years should devote 150 minutes a week to moderate physical activity and train intensively for 75 minutes. Of course, it is necessary to allocate this time—for example, 20 minutes of brisk walking plus ten minutes of running.

In theory, if you combine intense short workouts of 12 minutes a day with other physical activity, it won’t get any worse. However, there are some subtleties here.

Expert comments

Alexandra Vanzhula,

-medical-gymnastics methodologist

“All people have different body types. This includes weight, sex, age, and even character – I mean mobility, energy, or, conversely, phlegm. Any question must be approached consciously and understand what exactly you are capable of. On the one hand, the recommendation to exercise at least a little every day sounds reasonable. On the other hand, it is not clear what results in such training will lead to different categories of people: a 20-year-old girl, a 30-year-old woman after giving birth, or a 70-year-old man. Plus, I am against regular squats for untrained people because they put a lot of stress on the knees. “

Vadim Balyuk,

-certified personal trainer and nutritionist. Specialization: recovery from injuries, preparation for stress, training of amateurs and athletes in running, hockey, and tennis. Experience in the fitness industry for over 15 years

“If a person has never done anything and any training is difficult for him in terms of strength, motivation, time or knowledge, any short activity will be more useful than nothing. What effect do short workouts have on the body? Tonic. A four-minute load activates the central nervous system, brings it into a state of readiness for reaction, attention, and action. Therefore, if a person falls asleep at the computer at the working day’s height, a short activity will bring him some benefit. More significant results should not be expected.

Building muscle mass implies stressful quality, sufficient muscle training, the correct phase of its nutrition, and subsequent recovery. The saying “Exercise, eat, sleep” accurately describes this multifactorial system. It would seem, what is not training three times a day for four minutes? No, the muscle needs quality stress. Growth requires a load that will not be maximum but close to maximum.

I note the plus of this system: the latest research on muscle growth shows a high probability of accumulation of the training effect during the day. That is if you want a gluteus maximus or biceps, like Schwarzenegger’s, but time is running out, make a couple of approaches in the morning, a couple in the afternoon, a couple in the evening. In a daily cycle, this will have a positive effect. However, in addition to sets of four minutes, you will need additional weight – weights.

Takeaway: You can train briefly and several times a day, but if you want to get more effect, don’t try to shorten the training time.

How much do you need to study? If we are talking about “quiet” goals (weight loss and increased fitness), three times a week for 60-90 minutes is enough. “

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