(ORDO NEWS) — In this article, an exercise specialist and physiologist explains what happens in our bodies at 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60, and at what age what type of physical activity is most beneficial. They also provide specific advice for each age.
The body shortens, the muscle mass shrinks, the metabolic process slows down … Age takes its toll and begins to manifest itself in the state of the body, but the way of life and, above all, physical activity, can have a great influence on the speed of the aging process.
Everyone knows that exercise is very beneficial. Thanks to her, you can control your weight, keep your mind sharp, stay energetic and be in good shape.
With age, the amount of physical activity should not be reduced: they will help maintain vitality and good health.
In this article, Katja Borodulin, Associate Professor and Exercise Specialist at the University of Helsinki, and Jarmo Heiskanen, a physiologist, explain what happens in our bodies at different times in our lives and what type of physical activity will be especially beneficial.
20 years: peak vitality
At the age of twenty, a person is at the peak of his physical form. If you do not suffer from chronic diseases and lead a relatively healthy lifestyle, then you can easily remain in great shape: your metabolism is normal, your muscles work perfectly, you quickly recover from exercise.
If during this period you sit on the couch, then it will be easier to get in shape than at 50.
Endurance is developing very well. If you, for example, are fond of jogging or other sports that require endurance, then at 20 you can improve your results.
As the body is still developing in some aspects, lifestyle will play a special role in what physical characteristics you develop. At 20, you are laying the foundation for the decades to come.
For example, if you regularly engage in some kind of sport at the age of 20, the movements will remain in muscle memory. This sport will be easy for you at a later age, even if you take breaks. Sport has a positive effect on the brain too. For example, a good level of endurance can increase the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning. People who are engaged in intense mental work – for example, students – should play sports in nature: this will help relieve stress and invigorate.
Tip: Assess your endurance level. You have a good level of endurance if you can easily jog five kilometers.
30 years old: keep fit
A 30-year-old can train in the same way as a 20-year-old, but age begins to remind of itself: metabolism begins to slow down, muscle mass begins to decline, and mobility becomes worse. Aerobic endurance also gradually begins to decline.
Age-related changes are still small, and physical activity can slow down the deterioration of various characteristics. At the age of 30, it will be useful to conduct various workouts – both for muscles and endurance, as well as develop speed and maximum strength. Intense training can be continued and recovery is quick.
The everyday life of a 30-year-old is often exhausting. Many are pursuing a career or have children. Getting in good shape helps you cope with overload. In women, hormonal changes and pregnancy often occur during this period.
If hard work or caring for young children takes all of your energy, you shouldn’t exercise too much. Exercising without interruption or excessive exertion is harmful to the body.
Tip: Make quick movements to develop maximum strength and speed. For example, run a hundred steps, play ball games, or do some quick strength training in the gym. Do not forget about mobility training – do stretching or gymnastics.
40 years old: need to check your health
At the age of 40, the first age-related changes usually appear. Metabolism and hormones slow down more than before, and therefore extra pounds are accumulated more easily.
The aging of the body begins to manifest itself in the work of the musculoskeletal system. The body begins to shorten and the bone mass begins to shrink – especially in women.
40-year-olds suffer from sports injuries more easily than younger people. For example, the Achilles tendon can break more easily during ball games than before. The body’s ability to recover is also slowed down. Therefore, warm-up and cool-down at this age is especially important.
Many people begin to change their lifestyle during these years: they begin to exercise more purposefully, change their diet or reduce alcohol consumption. A varied sport will be beneficial. It is necessary to train not only for endurance and muscle strengthening, but also for coordination of movements and dexterity.
Now it will be useful to conduct a medical examination, to find out the indicators of blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, since at this age they usually begin to rise. With the help of a well-built lifestyle, you can prevent diseases that may develop later.
Tip: develop dexterity. If, for example, you enjoy jogging, jump from time to time, run down the slopes, climb back up and cross-step.
50 years: joining the gym is no longer worth postponing
At 50, the structure of the body changes. Muscle and bone mass is shrinking even faster than before, which may even cause your weight to drop. However, there is more fat in the body. If you eat the same way as before and move less, you will gain weight easily. Usually many people get better at the waist.
At the age of about 50, the muscles become significantly weaker. Due to aging, the activity and structure of muscle cells weaken, tissue elasticity decreases. Reaction and dexterity are slowed down, which is associated with a slowdown in the passage of nerve impulses.
Muscle strength decreases faster in women than in men. Menopause affects hormone function and associated muscle strength.
During this period, the risk of developing osteoporosis also increases.
According to many studies, you should start at the gym at least 55 years old. Twice a week is a great option. Light twisting or strengthening exercises in the gym and in racquet games and exercising on uneven surfaces will help your spine. It’s better to work on balance regularly.
Exercise will help you cope well with changes in the body. The blood flow will increase, which will help to cope, for example, with hot flashes.
Tip: Test your ability to maintain balance. Standing on one leg, bend the other leg in front of you. You should be able to stand on both legs alternately for 60 seconds.
60: Strengthen the muscles in your thighs, remember to rest
A 60-year-old may well be as physically fit as when he was young.
If you exercise, eat healthy foods, and don’t smoke, age-related changes may not show up in your body.
Maintaining muscle strength is a top priority at 60. It is especially important to keep your thigh muscles in good condition, because balance becomes more difficult with age. The tighter your hips and legs, the easier it is for you to maintain balance, so it’s worth looking to unlock hip flexors and get your hips and legs into shape. It is also necessary to train the mobility of the upper body: for example, raise your arms through the sides up.
Muscle strength, speed, and balance are best developed in the gym, but any kind of exercise will do. At this age, sports are no longer as easy as they used to be. Stamina can remain at a good level, but speed often drops.
After 60 years, various illnesses usually worsen. Lifestyle and physical activity will help you fight ailments, but you shouldn’t forget about important medications either. In the case of serious illnesses, the accumulated muscle strength and endurance will be a big plus. However, decreased visual acuity can increase the risk of falling.
Getting enough rest is important. Many 60-year-olds sleep less well than they did when they were younger, as structural changes occur in the brain that disrupt sleep. A poor night’s sleep can be compensated for by daytime rest. The load on the brain is also important: it is useful to learn languages or solve Sudoku. People who exercise at least in moderation have a thicker cerebral cortex than those who exercise little.
Tip: Check your thigh muscles. Get up from a chair without using your hands, you can press your hands to your chest. Your thigh muscles are in good shape if you can safely repeat this movement ten times in about 20 seconds.
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