Welcome back! In case you missed the earlier posts this month, we are focusing on the different generations of females and their health and fitness needs.
But first: Why do I have to move?
As we age, we lose muscle mass and, after 50, you can lose up to half a pound of muscle mass annually. Stronger muscles help keep the body mobile and protect against falls. Strength training also helps battle osteoporosis and bone decay. As we discussed in the Go Love Yourself series, strength training also makes you smarter, so if you’re worried about brain cells uhhh… aging out… flex your muscles to flex your brain.
It’s an interesting time for Boomers, as JAMA Internal Medicine recently revealed that Boomers are far less fit than their parents were at the same age and are more likely to have diabetes or high blood pressure. Today just 35 percent of Boomers exercise regularly and 52 percent have no routine, which is quite a downturn. In 1968, less than 24 percent of American adults exercised regularly, but by 1987, that figure had risen to 69 percent. Cholesterol levels fell, and so did blood pressure. Deaths from heart disease plummeted 48 percent. And, in large part due to Boomer’s fitness society, the average life expectancy jumped from 69.7 years for those born in 1960 to 75.4 for those born in 1990.
So what happened? One of the oft-cited causes is that Boomers held strong to an exercise regimen doing the same thing over and over. This led to joint breakdowns (and replacements), in addition to boredom. Another reason, according Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, is that Boomers think they’re more active than they are. A new study found that people overestimate the amount of exercise they do by almost an hour a week, while underestimating the amount of time they spend sitting by almost two hours a week. That’s a huge swing, so if you’re reading this thinking, Oh, that’s me, La Jolla Sports Club is here to help.
Workout Tips for Baby Boomers
- If this is your first time working out, or you haven’t trained in a while, consult your doctor before getting started
- La Jolla Sports Club Personal Trainers
- Warm up, warm up, warm up – your joints will show their appreciation with more flexibility and mobility; a cold body is susceptible to injury
- Listen to your body
- Yes, you will have more aches than your younger self, but severe pain is a warning sign, so don’t try to power through it
- Check your ego at the door–just because our younger selves could do something doesn’t mean we should (or could)
- Cardio – Anything that gets your whole body moving and blood pumping.
- At least 30mins every day
- Brisk walking
- Elliptical (great for low-impact movements)
- Swimming (the best low-impact exercise)
- Biking / cycling
- At least 30mins every day
- Strength training – As we get older, muscles shrink and our fat content increases. Combat the fat by building lean muscle and boosting metabolism.
- Aim for 2-3x per week, giving your muscles at least 24hrs rest in between workouts for recovery; see a Personal Trainer for help
- 5-10mins cardio before working out is good–more than that and you’re zapping energy needed for muscles and bones
- Flexibility – As our connective tissues become more rigid, we become more rigid, causing less mobility and stability.
- Stretching for as little as 5-10mins each day will help keep you limber and safer from falls
- Channel your inner-Gumby with our stretch classes here at LJSC
- Balance training – Work this into your daily routine for a long, healthy life.
- This ACE Fitness article has a few good moves, but be sure to check Pinterest, etc to switch up your balance routine and keep your body guessing
Have you gotten fit post-retirement or after the kids flew the coop? If so, what steps did you take? Any suggestions for fellow-Boomers out there? Leave a comment below!
OK, that should be enough to get you moving safely! Again, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your La Jolla Sports Club staff.
Have a great rest of the week / end!
// Your La Jolla Sports Club team