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6 Tips for Keeping Fit as You Age

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Use it or lose it is the only mantra you need to know when it comes to keeping fit well into your senior years, is the message Medical Daily wants you to remember. But, because the demands and limitations of your body change over the years, it’s also important to pay attention to the kinds of exercises that are best for your age.

Here are six tips for keeping fit as the years go by:

1. Teens and 20s — This is when you need to establish your workout habits. It’s also a time when you can go for it when it comes to challenging yourself with a combination of aerobics and strength training.

2. Going into your 30s and 40s — Now is the time to look at high-intensity interval training (HIIT), especially if you have a sedentary job. In fact, a study at Mayo Clinic showed that HIIT works better for aging muscles. Start now and it will be easier to keep going as you age. Invest some time in “core” exercises like pilates and planking, and your back will thank you, too.

3. In your 50s and 60s — Try dancing or briskly walking your way to fitness during these years. Tai chi and water aerobics are good for improving flexibility.

4. Your 70s and beyond — Now is the time to just keep moving, no matter your choice of exercise. If you’ve kept an exercise routine in your earlier years, you can keep right on going. You might also try cycling or adding a walking program.

5. If you’re in your 80s and older — If you’ve come this far you have much to gain from strength training from, improved walking ability and relief from joint pain, to better blood sugar control and improved brain health.

6. No matter your age, your top priority should be to sit less and move more. The bottom line is, whether you’re 16 or 66 — or any number below or above that — sitting for prolonged periods of time can indeed be deadly. One study showed that even those who exercised heavily when they were not at the office experienced a significantly increased risk of death when seated for eight hours a day.

Also remember that peak muscle mass occurs, on average, sometime during your early 40s. After this, your muscle mass will begin to gradually decline, eventually leading to changes in your mobility, strength and ability to live independently.

Losing muscle mass even has implications beyond physical function, as loss of muscle mass can also lead to an overall decline in metabolic function. Many are not aware that maintaining muscle mass plays a role in metabolic and hormone function, playing a role in your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

This means that without intervention, you can easily progress into a health crisis characterized not only by reduced strength but also by accelerated aging and increased risk of chronic diseases. So, sit less, move more and enjoy all your years as time goes by!