Whatever your age, the benefits of physical activity are endless. From weight loss to more energy, staying active is crucial to achieving your best health. Cardio workouts, intended to get your heart rate up can help you maintain your heart health or reduce further damage from heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, 30 minutes 5 times a day of moderate to vigorous exercise should be a good goal. Exercise, however, is easier said than done. And the kinds of exercise that may be enjoyable to one age group may not be ideal for another. Here’s how you should tackle working out for each age group.
Your 20s are a great time to experiment with all sorts of different cardio workouts to find out which is the best fit for you. Are you into intense workouts with loud music to motivate? Try Soulcycle! More into shaking it to a beat? Zumba is a great option. There are all sorts of fitness crazes that can match your personality, and with services like Classpass and FitReserve, it’s easy to start trying out new fitness classes.
By your 30s, you’ve either established workout routines or are still stuck in an exercise rut. But it’s not too late to start! Although by your 30s, your metabolism may be slowing down, now is the time to really establish or maintain a workout routine to reap the benefits in your later years. Since your 30s can be a hectic time, try incorporating healthy fitness habits seamlessly – take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from your desired location, and set up that standing desk once and for all. Try incorporating some more weight-training with your cardio workouts as you enter your 30s as it’ll help keep unwanted pounds off.
Blame it on the hormones. By the time you’ve reached your 40s, gaining weight is easier and losing pounds is more difficult. This is where a combination of cardio and strength training will really pay off. It’s essential to burn off visceral fat that has the tendency to build up in the abdomen at this time as this fat has been linked to a greater likelihood of heart attacks. It’s also essential to take care of muscles and remember to stretch before and after a workout to bounce back sooner, relieve joint stress, and continue exercising.
60s and on
From age 60 and on, may come increasing health problems or simply sensitivity in all parts of your body. Although you may not be able to run a 5K on a whim like you did in your 20s, know that working out is still possible with some simple adapting. Swimming or stationary cycling are safe alternatives to more intense workouts that you might’ve enjoyed in your earlier years. During this time, it’s vital to build up your balance to avoid falls that may take longer at your age to bounce back from. Whatever your age, your body will thank you for making the effort to work out and keep your heart pumping.
Yumhee Park is a former content producer for HealthCentral.com.