Resistance Training – Age-Defying Workout Formula

Been visiting the gym more frequently since you turned 40? Have your excessive physical activities been draining you lately? How to know when is it enough for you to stop?

Most of us cannot decipher our bodily needs and continue to engage in strenuous workouts in an attempt to make us stronger. However, often, most of us ask the question, “when is it enough for our body to stop exercising?”

Ideally you should stop when your workout starts building bone and muscle strength, reverses the signs of aging and makes your heart and lungs vigorous.

The best time to call it a day depends upon your age group. As we age, our body requires more physical exertion to keep up with every day activities. According to 2008 Physical Activity Guideline for Americans, people above their forties should engage in a minimum of 2.5 hours of moderately intense exercises. Also working out for 3 days in a week helps in reducing health risks related to heart, depression and arthritis.  In the 3-day workout, you should dedicate two days to strength training.

Formula That Helps You Calculate Workout Required By Your Body

While most of us struggle with chalking out an age-specific plan for our workout routines, here’s a timeless simple formula that can help you know what your ideal exercise plan would look like.

 

Age Break Up Of Exercise
40 40% resistance, 60% aerobic
50 50% resistance, 50% aerobic
60 60% resistance, 40% aerobic
70 70% resistance, 30% aerobic

Whilst each one of us has a different body, this general guideline helps in dividing the workout between resistance and aerobic exercises. The body starts losing its mineral density and muscle mass after 40 years of age at a rate of one percent. Therefore, in order to make up for the loss, it is important to engage in more resistance exercises as we age.

Resistance Exercise Explained

Any exercise that targets your muscles using an opposing force or weight is called resistance training. Since resistance causes muscles to contract, it gives them added power to cope up with the opposing force. The process ensures the development of ligaments and tendons strengthening your bones. There are a variety of resistance exercises such as straight leg raises, planks, side plants, wall shin raises and medicine ball exercises.

Types of Resistance Exercises

Also referred to as strength or weight training, resistance training can be classified into three main types.

  • Bodyweight strength training – By using your body’s own weight, you cause your muscles to contract. Squatting, push-ups and pull-ups make ideal bodyweight training exercises.
  • Weighted Equipment – Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls can increase the impact on your muscles leading to contractions and muscle build-up. Considered as the most effective way to improve your muscle strength, weight training employs secondary muscles causing the muscles to strengthen more than in other resistance training alternatives.
  • Machines – Abundantly present in gyms, weight machines cause movements that help in contracting muscles. Although not the most effective way of toning muscles, it is a safer method for beginners.

Health Benefits

Following are the health benefits of resistance training.

  • Improved balance and flexibility makes it easy for you to move as you age.
  • Stronger muscles prevent joint injuries.
  • Helps slow down cognitive recession in older adults.
  • Enhanced stamina leading to improved, focused everyday performances.
  • A healthy self-esteem and sense of wellbeing, making you confident and happy
  • Quality sleep at night elevating your mood.