I remember the exact moment I realized my body started to fall apart. OK, that statement might be too harsh but at the of 30 I couldn’t do certain things I did back when I was 23, which is the age when we all feel invincible and we think it’s going to last forever. Well, guess what: it’s not. As you reach 40, you are going to have to accept the fact that your hair is starting to migrate from your scalp to your back, or that you’ve gradually lost the ability to break down dairy products. It’s even worse if you’re a bookworm, like me, which means you will put on a few (or not so few) excess pounds. While you can’t do anything to stop your hair from becoming gray, or losing it altogether, there is something you can do regarding your overall physical shape and health.
Seeing as I begin every kind of research by reading the appropriate literature, I’ve come across a book called “Exercising over 40 for Dummies“, by a small group of authors, which offers some useful and insightful information about, you’ve guessed, how people over the age 40 can get in shape and what exercises they should perform. You might think that there’s not much to it, you just go out there and jog or lift weights. You’d be wrong.
The thing is, if you are of certain age, you might be slightly overweight, which might put additional strain on your joints during exercise, so running is usually out of the question. Or your weight is fine, but your knees are not what they used to be, so traditional exercises might cause additional damage as opposed to helping you, which is why you might consider investing into exercise equipment such as an elliptical trainer, stationary bike or a rowing machine.
The book strongly recommends introducing exercise equipment into your over 40 workout regimes. It makes the case for helping to reduce strain on the body and to maintain interest. One type of machine they focus on is the elliptical trainer which is ideally suited to people of all ages and physical abilities. If like me you aren’t even sure what an elliptical trainer is, there are some great online resources – Elliptical Machine Advice.com is one I used for an in-depth overview on ellipticals including reviews and general workout information.
What makes elliptical trainers and similar equipment ideal for people over the age of 40 is the fact that they provide you with a low-impact workout which reduces strain and stress on your joints, tendons, hips, and back. Also, they are excellent at simulating the natural motion of the human body during exercise. In addition to that, they offer a full body workout, instead of focusing on a single muscle group. You can still target specific muscles with an elliptical trainer, whether it’s your upper or lower body. If your primary concern is losing all of that excess weight, you can one of the pre-programmed exercise routines, which, couples with the data gathered by the heart rate monitor, inform you when you are in the fat-burning zone, which will help you achieve the desired results more quickly.
Of course, I’ve started this by recommending a book, which you should read by all means, because it offers some great tips, but now is the time to get off the couch and do something about it. The book certainly got my attention and did provide some useful tips and general information – probably best suited to absolute beginners. The biggest takeaway for me was an introduction to the elliptical trainer. I hadn’t even realized that these existed! If like me you are a bit behind the times with the latest fitness trends the book “Exercising over 40 for Dummies” could be a good read.