I decided to write this article today because I know that the challenges that one faces when starting a workout program are different depending on your age. Now don’t for a minute think that I’m going to excuse you from tackling a challenge just because you’re no longer below the age of 25. Some of the fittest people I know are well past the 50 mark and going strong, heck Tony Horton was 45 when he created P90X. So let’s talk about what you can do to take a step in the right direction and start yielding the benefits of a fitter healthier you.
You still have a long way to go. Keep in mind that if you are 40ish, then statistically you still have more than half of your active life left. So decide to make the most out of those 40 years by becoming as fit, and active as you possibly can. When you workout and get in better shape your quality of life is significantly better, as you have the energy necessary to do the fun things in life that you love doing. So keep that in mind if you start to think you’re too old to get into shape.
Pick a workout program that will fit you. There are so many different things you can do to become more physically active there is literally no excuse for not finding something you’ll enjoy. I love P90X, because it’s such a great mix of different workouts and it hits the whole body very evenly. But you might prefer something like Hip Hop Abs, where there is more dance music and less pumping iron. It really doesn’t matter what you choose to do, as long as you enjoy it and you get moving.
In order to see great results, you have to push yourself and really work hard. Just because you might be a little older it doesn’t mean you can’t push yourself. One thing I’ve been using in my Insanity workouts is a Heart Rate Monitor. If you are starting a workout program for the first time after quite a while of inactivity, then it’s a very good idea to be able to keep an eye on your heart rate. This will give you an idea of when you can push yourself and when to back off. Especially if you are working out to a DVD type of home workout program like P90X, you have to learn to pace yourself in the beginning. The people on the video that are doing these workouts are in excellent condition and have done these workouts for months in preparation for shooting the video. Even someone that is in relatively good condition shouldn’t try to match these folks at first. So take it easy in the first couple of weeks until you get a feel for how much you can do, but then start pushing yourself. Working out hard is your goal.
Know your limits. If you are like me, then you might find that you develop some joint pain when starting a new program. My knees tend to give me trouble when I’m doing higher impact exercises. So I have to modify some days. I adjust the moves to reduce the pounding on my knees. The lunges, squats etc. that usually go along with those moves still works my legs and I still get a great workout in, but with less pain in my knees. There are days when my knees feel good and I can do all the moves as intended, so I do. This is something you just have to be smart about and do what you are comfortable doing. I also have trouble with my shoulders, but just like the knees, I just make sure that moves that involve heavy strain on the shoulder are done with more control and less resistance. Remember, an injury will put you on the sidelines and that is the last thing you want. Better to modify the moves than to over do it and have to stop exercising all together while you heal.
Just Do It. I know I borrowed that from Nike, but it’s so true. The number one thing is to just get up and engage. Don’t sit there one more day, or put it off until Monday because you want to start at the beginning of the weak. Get going. Decide, Commit and Succeed. That’s the Beachbody tagline and it couldn’t be more appropriate. Don’t let anything stop you from taking full advantage of the next and possibly best 40 or more years of your life.