Forty and Fitter!

It may be a medical scare, a look in the mirror and a feeling of despair or the desire of a divorcee to remarry that changes an attitude, but whatever the reason, the eagerness of middle-aged individuals to fitten up and get into shape is greater than ever.

Gyms across England are experiencing a surge in clients in their fifties, with those over age 65 and over retirement age being the most frequent attendees.  Regular exercise reduces the risk of muscle loss, heart disease, memory decline and a plethora of other medical issues and the increase in the number of elderly gym customers, speaks volumes about the desire to stay fit and healthy as one ages.  The surprising fact is that not only are more people over the age of 40 signing up for the gym, but they are also taking on more serious physical activities such as triathlons, marathons and bike races.

Another driving force discovered in a study undertaken by the University of Chicago on 3,000 men and women, showed that the age of a person has no indication on their health status and overall wellbeing.  Rather, mobility and psychological health are key factors in determining mortality.  Adults over the age of 40 undergo hormonal changes, as well as changes in muscle flexibility and suppleness.  The maximal intake of oxygen, which is required for sports performance, also decreases, making it harder for an older body to perform than a younger one.

It is very important to warm up correctly and start off slowly rather than jumping into a rigorous exercise routine. Building core stability in order to improve flexibility as well as incorporating strength-building and resistance training is a good overall starter.  Once you have established a good exercise schedule, make sure you incorporate enough recovery time in order to prevent injury.  Also, ensure that you have a medical check-up with your practitioner before starting any exercise routine.

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