Many of us want to stay in shape as we age, but once the natural fitness of our early 20s wears off, it can be hard to know where to start.
But the key is to know what forms of fitness best suit your body’s capabilities at different stages in life.
Experts at Circuit Society, a London-based fitness brand, spoke to FEMAIL about the best exercise to do in each decade, from HIIT in your ‘performance’ decades in your 20s and 30s to cycling and Pilates in your 60s and 70s ‘ers.
“The key to maintaining a high level of fitness over a long period of time is to listen to your body,” explained Kris Pace of the Circuit Society. ‘Your body changes as you get older, and so must your training.
Experts at Circuit Society, a London-based fitness brand, spoke to FEMAIL about the best exercise to do in each decade, from HIIT in your ‘performance’ decades in your 20s and 30s to cycling and Pilates in your 60s and 70s ‘s (stock image )
‘This doesn’t mean you can’t apply yourself in the same way, it just means you have to adapt to the changes you see and feel in your body.
‘Low-impact training – taking the pressure off your joints and bones – will benefit you both in the short and long term. Your back and knees need to be taken care of, whether you’re 18 or 78.’
‘Do your research, be informed and take your time when you want to tackle a new way of exercising. Keeping your routine consistent is what will give you long-term results, both physically and mentally—and never forget the adage “you can’t out-work a bad diet.”
Here’s a look at the exercises you should be doing at any age…
If you are in your… 20s-30s
Types of training: HIIT, Crossfit,
Types of exercises: Compound strength training exercises such as Dumbbell Thrusters, Kettle Bell Swings, Deadlifts. Interval cardio such as treadmill sprints and boxing
For most people these will be the ‘Performance’ decades.
Whether people train for specific sports, fitness competitions, mental well-being or just to feel good on holidays, these years are likely to be the ones where we train at the highest intensity,
Some form of HIIT training would benefit us greatly during these years.
Higher intensity cardio and strength training will develop strong heart and lungs and build the muscle mass that will benefit us so much in later decades.
If you are in your… 40s-50s
Types of training: Lower impact HIIT, structured strength training programs
Types of exercises: Airbike and Ski-Erg cardio intervals.
Most people will be able to continue HIIT into these decades, but for most of us these decades will be our ‘maintenance’ years, aiming to ensure that we maintain the strength, fitness and mobility that we built up in previous years.
Keeping your mind sharp and clear is also a massive reason why people continue to train during these years, especially as they tend to be the years when you are at the sharp/decision-making end of your career.
We may be looking for lower impact forms of cardio, such as Airbike or Ski-Erg, which allow us to maintain the intensity of our cardio training without the impact of running or the like.
Strength training will remain essential as we aim to maintain our bone density and muscle mass as we age.
The 40s and 50s are your ‘maintenance years’ and people will build on the results of how much exercise they do in their early years (stock image)
If you are in your… 60s-70s
Types of training: Cycling, Incline walking or jogging, TRX, Pilates, Yoga,
Types of exercises: TRX Squats, BW Plank
We will inevitably slow down as we get older, but that really doesn’t mean we have to stop exercising.
How we train will depend on what, if any, physical limitations we have. These are the years when we may have to ‘adjust’ our training.
For most, this will mean a significant reduction in impact training and a gradual reduction in high-intensity cardio, and for most of us, it will involve working around any physical ailments or injuries we may have.
We are likely to be more focused on our overall health rather than our performance.
TRX and suspension training can help us perform exercises that we may struggle with, Pilates and Yoga can help us maintain our mobility and strength, and low-impact strength training will be as important as ever to maintain muscle and bone density .