Over 40 Exercise Advice

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See a doctor before beginning any fitness program!



Our exercise advice covers a lot of topics:


Getting Started

Safety

Jogging & Other Cardiovascular Exercises

General Exercises

  • A list of exercises and their purposes so you can create your own fitness plan
  • Full body exercises (on this page, below)

Just Move

Here's your number one piece of exercise advice, no matter what your age:

Just move!


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Exercise is primarily about movement.

Nowadays people focus on muscle building. It is true that if you want to compete in The World's Strongest Man, you're going to have to pump iron several hours a week (and eat the right foods and probably take dangerous steroids).

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If that's what you want, there are plenty of web sites that will help you if you have the right genetics (or take steroids).

But for health, what you want is movement.

When we think of health, we often think cardiovascular health. When we think cardiovascular, we think of aerobic exercises like jogging and biking.

Jogging and biking are just short bursts of intense movements for those that don't move throughout the day.

I live in a Christian community. Our kids not only go to school, they participate in the upkeep of the community. They cut grass, trim hedges, repair buildings, and raise horses, cows, sheep, and chickens. Most of them also play a lot of soccer.

Pretty much all of them can run 2 miles in under 15 minutes, even though almost none of them run on purpose. Some, of course, can run a lot faster. One 13-year-old ran a 12-minute 2 mile the first time I had him jog, even though I had warned him in advance not to run his hardest.

A couple years later, without continuing to train, he ran a half marathon with me ... well, not with me. He ran 1:52 on two weeks training, finishing 12 minutes ahead of my 2:04, the product of 4 years of jogging.

I'm not making that up.

The U.S. Government has even named their exercise ad campaign " Just Move."

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You can cut down on your need for jogging or other forms of exercise by incorporating movement throughout your day. Here's some excellent ideas for how to do that.

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Safety Exercise Advice

If you're over 40, you need exercise advice that you never knew you needed.

If you're reading our site, then you need help with motivation and finding time. But everyone over 40 needs to know how to prevent injury.

Did you know, for example, that one of the most likely sports to send a fit, athletic 40-year-old to the chiropractor is softball?

Why?

It's because unlike 20-year-olds, you are not soft and supple. You have to stay warmed up in order to be safe.

At bat, softball involves sitting on the bench, then, when it's your turn, suddenly twisting your back, hips, and knees with all the force you can muster to hit the ball. The ball's not heavy, so your muscles jerk you to a stop when you're at the complete limit of your ability to twist.

It's no different in the field, where you stand around, perhaps exercising only your jaw muscles with "hey, batter, hey" (why do we do that???), and then you suddenly sprint at full speed, usually instantly twisting toward some direction you were not originally facing, then jerk to a stop, bending when we do, to stop the ball. We then rise suddenly, probably twisting towards home plate or first base as we do, and we jerk our arms as hard as possible in the unnatural shoulder movement we call throwing.

They ought to just park an ambulance next to every old-timers game.

Arm Yourself Against Injury

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If you are over 40, and especially if you work in an office, do these 5 all around body-saving exercises at least twice a week in your spare moments. Don't worry, you'll love it. I never make you do boring workouts. This web site is for those who are unmotivated.

  • Stretching is a good thing. It keeps your muscles supple so that the fibers don't tear easily. We'll tell you which one is especially important to stretch for your age.
  • Strength exercises are important as well. Strong muscles improve balance and provide joint stability. They are also the number one preventative measure for lower back pain.
  • And hit our body-saving exercises page I mentioned above. They hit the problems common to the over-40 crowd.

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Full Body Exercises Are Best

Exercises that work many muscle groups at once will help you most. They increase your metabolism, are better cardiovascular exercises, control your appetite, and produce hormones that tell your body that you need to get stronger and fitter.

If you expect to have well-defined 16" to 18" arms and a 47" chest, then you're going to have to specialize. You can't do many all-around body exercises; you'll need to hit your biceps from all angles with specialist exercises like preacher curls and define your chest with butterflies.

But, if that's your goal, this is the wrong web site.

Entire body exercises send a motivational message to your whole body. They're miracle motivators.

But they will only motivate you if you take it easy.

What makes any athlete want to quit working is lactic acid. Your blood lactic acid level is what makes you feel like you can't go one more step. It's what makes an MMA wrestler give up and take a beating rather than raise his arm one more time.

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All around body exercises make lots of lactic acid, but they make lots of good hormones, too.

The answer is just to keep it easy. Do what you can. You will improve. Eventually ten times the amount of effort will feel just as easy.

Let the miracle of muscle and endurance growth happen to you. You can't make it happen by overdoing it. You can only create injuries by overdoing it.

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Unless, that is, you're already a motivated 5K runner belting out 7-minute miles who wants to step up to the marathon. You're going to have to suffer to get that 3:15 marathon you want. But again, if that's you, you're reading the wrong web site. (Of course, I have some tips for you, too, that I've culled over the years.)

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All fitness, exercise, or diet programs should be undertaken under the advice of a doctor. This site makes no claims to be providing medical or any other professional advice. See our legal notice.