Exercise at any age is possible and necessary. The proper exercise routine will give you the best chance for aging well, and aging gracefully. Exercise is not just for the young. I have read studies that show that even those who are over 90 years old will still benefit from exercising. It just has to be low weight, low intensity and low impact exercising
As you age though, your exercise and nutritional needs change. You can’t exercise and eat the same way when you are 60 as you did when you were 20. If you did, then you would injure yourself and gain a lot of weight.
As you age you need less calories to maintain your body. You will loose muscle mass as well. That is why it is important to continue with low key weight lifting and watch what you eat the older you get. Strength training as you age will also maintain your balance. It will prevent your balance from getting worse as you age. Strength training will also prevent osteo-porosis. Bones become more dense as a reaction to stress put on them. Weight lifting is a great way to put stress on those thinning bones to prevent them from loosing even more bone mass, and help them maintain bone density.
As you get older, your body is not as well equipped to take the punishment of heavy, or extreme, weight lifting. The heavier the weights, the more stress on your joints. Maybe your shoulders could have handled bench pressing 250 pounds when you were in your twenties, but if you are in your 50’s or older (or younger), then heavy weight lifting can put too much stress on your joints and muscles and can cause injuries.
Let me clarify that some stress on your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles is a good thing. Some stress will maintain or increase bone density. Some stress will cause the muscles, tendons, ligaments, muscles and other connective tissues to become stronger and more stable. Too much stress on those joints, soft tissues and connective tissues will cause them to break down and eventually lead to injury, damage and osteo-arthritis.
When you were in your 20’s, your body would recover a lot quicker from injuries and workouts than it does as you get older. Your body will accumulate much more wear and tear in it as you get older, from injuries and different repetitive stresses put upon it over the years. This adds up to your body not being able to take as much punishment when you are middle aged or beyond.
If you are in pain or haven’t worked out in over a year, then the right exercise routine for you will be one that is easy on your body, is low impact, works your functional muscle groups, works your balance, includes stretching and aerobic activity. This type of exercise routine will allow you to keep exercising as you get older. Continual and consistent exercise will allow you to age slower, feel and look younger, and have less aches and pains.
Slowing down the aging process so that you look and feel younger, and reducing aches and pains, through consistent exercise is the Pain Free way.
Here is an article that further discusses how your body’s needs for exercise and nutrition change over the years: