Fitness Over 40
Whether we like to admit it or not, as we get older, there are certain activities that we would probably do well to avoid. What was possible and even enjoyable in our 20s may actually serve to be a problem or even a health threat as we approach the calmer waters of middle age. This doesn’t mean that we give up on the concept of fitness, but rather adopt different approaches to keeping up our appearance and endurance over time.
Squats and deadlifts are two of the more popular exercise regimens that are in use today; even though they produce direct pressure on the spine, they have been demonstrated to help prevent osteoporosis. Unfortunately, these procedures become undesirable as we age, since psychological changes begin to occur that make conjunctive tissues more vulnerable to injury. In many cases, injuries take longer to heal in our 40s and 50s than they did in our teens and 20s. The healing process may also be less complete than when we were younger.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to the squats and deadlifts for those of us over 40, with fitness equipment manufacturers developing machines that mimic the squat while reducing the risks associated with it. They are called leg presses and are available in a number of variants.
Of course leg press exercises may not be as effective or efficient as a barbell setup since it does not involve stabilizer muscles, also known as the core muscles, however 80% of a benefit is certainly better than none at all, and a 10% risk definitely falls within acceptable parameters. Refrain from doing squats and use a bench press around once or twice a week to accentuate other leg exercises.
Regarding the use of a bench press, it is important to maintain good form and proper technique since incorrect technique may also lead to injury. If you have any sort of back pain, refrain from using the leg press, and always consult a physician if you are over the age of 45.
Solutions For Advanced Years
Make no mistake, fitness is appropriate and recommended for any age. It is important to remember, however, that as we age our bodies do change, and what may have worked wonders when we were younger may not be effective anymore, and in fact may actually be dangerous to your health.
Proper education and guidance will allow you to remain on a fitness course and regimen that will allow you to remain in good health and enjoying life for many years to come. If in doubt as to what sort of exercises you should be employing, consult with your physician and fitness professional to design an exercise routine that works for your unique needs.
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