Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Weight Loss After 40: 4 Basic Exercises For People Over Forty

You may be putting off that over 40 exercise program because you are nervous. You worry that you could get hurt doing aerobics or jogging. Maybe you have been to the gym, but were intimidated by all of the other people who were in far better shape than you. Perhaps you find strenuous activity too uncomfortable. If you let these things intimidate you, you are risking your health and life. However, there are easier steps you can take that will get you started on the path to fitness.

Walking is one of the simplest exercises, but it can have a profound positive effect. An ideal workout elevates your heartbeat for at least 30 minutes. When you start walking, do not worry about how far you walk or how fast. As long as you walk for 30 minutes, you are doing everything right. After your first week, set a distance goal that is slightly further and try to cross that distance in the same amount of time. As time passes, you will increase in strength and speed. Gradually, you will be able to achieve a light jog.

Riding a bike is a simple alternative to walking that is easier on the joints and you can do in a group. Your bike does not need to be expensive, just comfortable. You can also try a stationary bike but may prefer the scenery of a real bike. Also, many people are using recumbent cross training machines which are essentially cycling machines that train your upper body as well.

Do not worry if you are not ready for a jog or a bike ride. It is very important that you start at a level that is comfortable for you. If you begin with too much intensity, you are more likely to lose motivation, quit, or injure yourself. If you want to start very slowly, there are simple exercises you can do throughout your day to prepare yourself for increased activity.

You can continue your over 40 exercise program even if you are sitting at a desk or on a couch. Simple leg lifts can help build your leg muscles and prepare you for more activity. You can add ankle weights to increase resistance and tone muscle. Using small two to five pound weights while performing light arm curls will strengthen your biceps. Each of these activities should adequately prepare your body for a brisk walk or light aerobics.

Your local pool may offer water aerobics or aquatic classes. These exercises are easy on your joints and prepare you for a more intense workout. Water resistance makes simple movements twice as effective. Also, you can use foam dumbbells and aqua belts to increase resistance even further.

A pedometer is great tool for anyone beginning to focus on fitness over 40. Wear the pedometer everyday for a week to see your normal level of activity. Note the times when you are most sedentary. Make a goal to increase your activity during those periods. For example, if you are inactive at work then try to avoid the elevator, park a little bit further from the building, and walk around the block for your lunch break.

You should not be intimidated. Walking, biking, or simple sitting exercises are very easy ways to begin an over 40 exercise program at your pace. You should never let worry keep you from a longer, healthier life.

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