When it comes to an exercise program where do you start? If you are already exercising are you doing the right exercises for you, and yes we do have to think about our age when we exercise?
Now I am not one to let my age stop me from most things, however, I do know I can’t jump around like I used to and I can’t (and don’t what to) press 65-pound dumb bells anymore. Remember, more important than age, just like everyone’s nutrition needs are different than any ones else so are ones exercising needs.
There are lots of things to take into consideration when deciding what type of exercise to do, like your goals, your limitations, and the type of exercise. It seems like every day there are new franchises going up, Boxing, Crossfit, Orange Theory, Hip Hop, Zumba, and then there are too many to count, types of yoga classes. So what exercise should you do? First I will show you how I evaluate an exercise program and then I will talk about the different exercise programs.
Here are some of the things I look at when evaluating my clients before designing an exercise program for them. I think of my program as holistic because I look at the whole body before designing a program. Think about these questions before you start doing any exercise program.
- I find out if they have any injuries or pain, knees, hips, back, shoulders?
If you have any injuries or pain and join one of the group classes above you could be in trouble. In most group classes everyone does the same thing. For example, if you have a bad shoulder (or bad posture) you probably shouldn’t put your arm over your head while loaded (which means with any weight) this can cause more pain and bigger problems. In a group setting, they don’t know about your problems. What you should do is work with a Personal Trainer even if it’s for a short time so they can design a custom exercise program for you. They can also help you decide what classes or program might be right for you.
- What imbalances do they have?
I look for things like, is one quad or hamstring tighter than the other, is one hip more rotated, what is their range of motion at all joints, do they have a posture problem. If you know you have any of these problems they should be addressed before you start any exercise program.
- How is their nutrition, what do they eat?
Did you know that if you eat too much sugar or junk food you are more likely to get an injury and it will take you longer to recover? Well, it’s true! As we get older it already takes longer to recover from our workouts, add bad nutrition and you might be looking at a 3 to 5 day recovery period.
- What is their stress load?
The more stress you have in your life (internal and/or external, your body doesn’t know the difference) the less intense your exercise program should be. A Yale study involving undergraduate students demonstrates how people with chronic stress take longer to recuperate from one high-impact exercise session. Stress levels were assessed using a psychological tool. An hour after the workout using heavy leg weights, the students with the lowest stress levels had regained 60 percent of their leg strength, whereas the high-stress students had regained only 38 percent. You can read more at, 10 ways stress affects your workouts. For example, if your stress level is 8 out of 10 you should be doing something like Tai Chi, Qigong, or maybe a gentle yoga class.
- What are their goals?
Think about your goals, do you want to walk a 12 min. mile, have nicer arms, or maybe lose weight? Then ask what kind of exercise or class do I need to do to reach these goals? Where can I go to do the exercises, what days and times can I go? Make sure you have a plan.
Have you ever thought about those questions before starting an exercise program? How hard should you be working?
Here are some of the types of exercise programs out there and who should be doing them.
- Dance – Zumba, Hip Hop (my favorite cardio workout), Bollywood, and Salsa. Anyone can dance, although some of the classes can be pretty fast. They repeat movement to make it easier to catch on. The good thing is you can use smaller movements to use less energy. Go at your own pace.
- Orange Theory or HIT (high-intensity training) class – if you are competitive you will like this class. The idea is by sustaining a target zone heart rate you are increasing your metabolism. The result is extra calorie burn and increased metabolism. Each participant will wear a heart-rate monitor that synced up to one of several TVs lining the wall, and you’re expected to monitor your own output throughout the class. If you have any type of injury, high stress, or eat bad food this is not the class for you.
- Crossfit – CrossFit is performing “functional movements that are constantly varied at high intensity.” CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. The CrossFit program is designed to elicit as broad an adaptation response as possible. CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of ten recognized fitness domains. In my opinion, you need to find a good coach that works with woman over 50. There are lots of injuries related to Crossfit and overtraining. Read about an incredible, over 50, Crossfiter at http://mysideof50.com/?s=crossfit.
- Cyclebar – CycleBar gives people the option to track their performance, although it’s not required most people do. If you ask me it is very competitive. When I took my first class I was expecting a dark room with a big screen and the instructor taking me on a journey, maybe to Ireland. This is the kind of cycling class I like. Anyone, any age one can do this class because you can go at your own pace. Don’t get caught up in trying to keep up with everyone else unless you have been cycling for awhile.
- Barre class – The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements using light handheld weights. Mats are also used for targeted core work. Barre work is safe for most people if you listen to your body but, don’t think you are going to get “long and lean” from any class without addressing your nutrition. In my opinion, they do way too many reps, which can cause overuse injuries. If you want nice arms then using heavier weight and eat good food, I’m just saying!!!
- Boxing (Title Nine) – This class starts with a 10-15 minute warm-up, which included some stretching and then plenty of cardio. It can include some jogging, jumping jacks, side stepping, high knees, skips, and more. The basic structure of the regular boxing class includes eight sets of three minutes of boxing, with one minute “active rest” (burpees, pushups, squats, planks, and more), I don’t call that rest, in between. One of our clients, that’s 72 does group training with us and one day a week and does one day at Title Nine Boxing. Her trainer (over 60) went to one of her classes with her. She reported that yes she is in great shape but was not strong enough to hold some of the moves and most of the time she had bad form and no one corrected her. They will push you from the start, so I wouldn’t recommend this class to over 50 gals unless you are already in very good shape.
To sum this up, there are people out there that are over 70 doing all of these exercises. There are several clients in my studio over 70 that are doing some of these classes. So don’t let your age stop you! Do answer the questions above to determine with classes to take and how hard you should work. Do start with a qualified Personal Trainer (https://chekinstitute.com/) to evaluate you before you began.
I would love to know if you think about the questions above before exercising and what kind of exercise class you take. Thanks for reading!
First seen on My Side Of 50.