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How To Exercise According To Your Age

Want to stay strong and flexible well into your later years? It's all about switching up your routine, says Vogue's Lauren Murdoch-Smith.

How To Exercise According To Your Age

By Lauren Murdoch-Smith, Vogue



20s: Anything goes

"You are at your physical peak - strong and fast with rapid recovery," says Lara Milward, co-founder of the south London outdoor training programme Blitz Fitness. NHS guidelines state that a healthy adult aged between 19 and 64 should do a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week, plus two to three strength sessions. She continues, "In your twenties you should lay down good eating and exercise habits for life, and enjoy many and varied training experiences." Lee Mullins, founder of the Workshop Gymnasium in Knightsbridge, agrees. This is the time to "create lean muscle and strength, which will make it easier to retain as you age", he says. Consider spinning, running and boxing.



30s: Flex appeal

Stretching is crucial in this decade, so introduce yoga or Pilates. "At this stage of your life, choose a dynamic form of yoga such as Vinyasa or Jivamukti," says Mullins. "These challenging styles will improve your cardiovascular system as well as your flexibility. Yoga is also a great reliever of stress, which inevitably increases in your thirties."



40s-50s: Power up

"In your forties, HIIT training is a time-efficient way to reduce body fat and improve hormonal health - you can get a workout done in 20 minutes," explains Mullins. Milward adds, "In your forties and fifties you start to see changes in sex hormones and muscle mass, and some decrease in cardiovascular function. It is thought that in your forties you may lose half a pound of muscle a year, increasing to a pound in your fifties, so weightlifting and body weights are highly beneficial." So think about switching your spin class for kettlebells.



60s: Stay in the flow

"In your sixties, the focus should be on maintaining strength, flexibility and balance to remain functionally active as you age," Milward explains. You should weight-train more often than a younger adult to maintain muscle, and increase exercise that helps with balance and flexibility, such as Pilates, dance and yoga. Swimming is also an excellent way to train, using the resistance of the water to work your cardiovascular system."



70s+: The next move

"Low impact, low-intensity training is the perfect exercise in your seventies," says Mullins. "I'm a huge fan of t'ai chi for joint health and balance, which are two of the main causes of injury in the elderly, and brisk walking is an easy, underrated form of low-intensity cardio exercise." Milward adds, "If you've always been a runner, there's no reason why you can't run well into your nineties and beyond - the stronger your muscles are for longer, the less discomfort you will feel in your back and knees. Regular exercise is making you bullet-proof against ageing."
How To Exercise According To Your Age

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