Growing old can be hard!

While the process of ageing isn’t one that you can avoid or overcome, there are ways that can help increase life expectancy by limiting the occurrence and progression of specific conditions that develop as you near your 40s.

As we grow old, our body starts to lose vitamins and minerals, consequently, making our bones weaker and prone to injuries. Our skin begins to lose its natural elasticity and starts sagging, our strength decline and health begin to deteriorate. However, we can make the necessary choice between leading a disease-stricken old-age or a healthy one.

 And, the choice is simple – we can choose to exercise!

Yes, exercising can not only help you feel (and of course, look!) better, it can decelerate the onset and progression of some of the common health conditions like coronary diseases, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, general body aches, etc.

Here are five exercises you should start doing as soon as you touch your 40s. Start with once a week and stay healthy and happy!

Cardiovascular workouts

Regime: 3 to 4 times a week

Statistics reveal the staggering rise in the number of coronary heart incidences among 40- to 59-year-olds. Undoubtedly, exercise is the key to ward of cardiovascular diseases. Cardiovascular workouts are a great way to keep yourself and your heart in good shape.

These workouts strengthen the heart muscles by enabling the heart to pump more blood. These cardiovascular workouts involve brisk walking, running, rowing, swimming, dancing and the like. To gain the maximum benefit out of these, one needs to exercise 3-4 times in a week, at 80% of their maximum heart rate for at least 30 minutes or more. The key to effective cardio workouts is that these should feel effortful. If you are barely breaking a sweat, you need to push yourself harder!

High impact activities

Regime: 1 to 2 times a week

The National Osteoporosis Foundation reveals that approximately 1 in every two women in their 50s suffers from bone injuries due to osteoporosis. Yes, osteoporosis is a condition that causes the bones to turn brittle, and thus, more prone to fractures and injuries. While optimal calcium intake is something that can help supplement the depletion of the bones, high-impact activities such as weight-bearing exercises can also contribute to strengthening the bones. Dancing, light jogging, racquet sports and jumping jacks are some great high-impact workouts that can help keep the bones healthy.

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Strength training

Regime: 2 to 3 times a week

As you age, the chances of developing arthritis too increase. Chronic joint pain, stiffness and muscle aches are common among adults of all ages, especially those who are overweight. Strength training is a proven way to decrease not only the onset of arthritis but also the pains associated with it. All you need to do is practise squats or try deadlifts or overhead presses to strengthen the joints and muscles.

Yoga

Regime: At least once a week

Depression, especially among women nearing their menopause, is a common health concern for people between ages 45 and 64. Though several exercises have shown to help stave off depression and anxiety, yoga has been found to be the most beneficial in regulating mood and reducing stress. Yoga increases the mood-regulating hormones in the body that the body becomes deficient in during depression. Also, yoga offers an all-around body exercise, with many yoga asanas providing the added benefits of high-impact, strength and cardiovascular workouts rolled into one!

Core Strengthening

Regime: 3 times a week

Backaches are a common occurrence for people between the ages of 30 to 40. As one grows older, these worsen and become commonplace. Core strengthening workouts such as holding a plant for around 90 seconds has shown proven benefits in warding off these pains by toning and strengthening the core muscles of the body. As the muscles of the midsection and spine become stronger with these workouts, they become better able to support the lower back and hence reduce the onset of back pains.

These exercises can help you age gracefully, looking and feeling much younger than your actual age. Try incorporating these in your daily schedule and see them make the magic!

Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. You should consult your physician before beginning a new nutritional or fitness program.

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