Exercise in middle-age
At what age-generally speaking- at what age should a person switch emphasis from less weight training to cardio?
I'm seventy-nine and been training with weights since I was twenty. I didn't put any emphasis on cardio until I was forty, and even now it takes up only 20 minutes of my normally 90 minute, twice or thrice weekly workout.
However, there is a tendency when we're younger, in my case under forty, to perhaps take risks - or rather do fool hardy things - such a quarter-squatting and dead lifting weights which can play havoc with ones spinal cartilage later on.
When young, the emphasis is on 'building up' and looking good. Later, the emphasis is on maintaining fitness so one can simply get on with life and remain relatively fit and healthy.
Oh, and don't forget those stretches and yoga-type exercises to remain relatively supple.
My advice? Don't give up weight training, moderate it.
Alastar, your question is not gender specific, so I feel like I can speak for women of a certain age. Please indulge me: Most women start their weight training at an early age by helping their mom’s carry heavy bags of groceries into the house. All this is in preparation for future groceries, maxing out at 20+ lbs/bag. Unfortunately, all are stuffed into paper bags meant to carry only bathroom tissue and Kleenex. The distance from cart to car is manageable. The challenge comes when unloading the car and getting all into the kitchen. The inevitable happens when both arms are wrapped tightly around our bounty…..the paper bag tears and several cans hit the concrete running to make their great get-a-way. Thus, begins the first level of cardio training. I prefer to call it the 20 yard dash. Can the cans be retrieved before rolling out into the street to meet a gruesome death? Ahh….The things we women will endure to save a 69 cent can of green beans is just short of miraculous.
Frisky husbands and time brings a little bundle of joy. God only knows how they gain weight because things are coming out of both ends faster than formula or food is being put in. Yes, it is considered to be an enigma that runs against all medical science. Suddenly, cute and cuddly is weighing in at a whopping 20 pounds that insists on riding mommy’s hip. Twenty pounds, 8 hours a day = 160 pounds. Yes, we do it all: squats, bench pressing, and dead lifts.
Then, cute and cuddly learns to walk and then run. This is where the cardio training takes up most of one's day. We learn to be fast as lightening while speaking in a non-threating way: “NO! Do Not flush the puppy down the toilet!”
But, you don’t hear us women calling our female friend at the end of the day; “Hey, Judy. What a day at the gym! I pressed 160 pounds, did 100 squats with a 20 pound belt! Yea, just now having a cool brewski and going to run a couple of miles after dinner.”
I am not one to brag. But, I am 85 years old and don’t look a day over 100. You want a REAL workout? Chase a four year old around for a day. You don’t need a membership to a gym. You need a membership to a child care center. :-)
Written for sh*ts and giggles,
Ho lo! You are indeed a very clever and funny lady- and I love it! Your right, DJ, I was thinking of men with that question on reflection. The first time I changed a babies diaper by myself I told her mother and auntie- damn, you gals do work hard!
Loved your response, DJ, and you're right--we women do it all; we just don't chart it or brag about it. Blessings!
Men, understandable, tend to be more into weight training than women; however, I think a healthy balance throughout one's life would be best. For example, cardio 3x weekly and weight training 2x weekly. I think the body always needs a day or two of rest between workouts. The training is actually more effective when rest is observed.
I had started doing some weight training after being hospitalized for severe dehydration back in 2011 (age 59). This was done carefully under the supervision of physical therapists. The goal was to overcome, or at least lessen, my condition of osteoporosis (weight training is THE exercise to do to reverse osteoporosis). I enjoyed the 45-minute workouts twice weekly, but this included 15 minutes of cardio at the beginning of each session. About 20 minutes was weight training (upper and lower body), and 10 minutes was water therapy exercise (another form of weight training because the water has resistance).
Today (age 63) my exercise includes bicycling, gardening, housekeeping, and lifting my grandson, who currently weighs a little over 10 pounds. I also bathe three Pit bull mixes (one is part Mastiff, a big dog) about every 10 days or so. In my townhome that I rent from my daughter, I run up and down the stairs probably about 5 or 6 times a day easily (I keep forgetting what sewing materials I want downstairs or upstairs, depending on where I'm working).
So, there's no definite right or wrong answer to this question. A good deal of it has to do with one's persuasions and goals. Whatever you do, please allow a day or two for the body to rest between workouts.
P.S. Weight training is not recommended for children, as over developed muscles tend to affect body height, which isn't fully developed until later teens. Kids in gymnastics especially have to be careful.
I love water therapy exercises. it offers resistance while cushioning the joints and make easier to move. I had back surgery, so there was only one option I could take, which was water exercises. I started to take these classes and now also I am taking. Now I am absolutely fine. I have not got any problem.
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