How Exercise Changes in Our 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s!
We all know exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, but the type and focus of our workouts can change as we move through different stages of life. In our twenties, our fitness goals may be centered on pushing our limits, looking good, and building healthy habits. As we progress into our thirties, forties, and fifties, new priorities arise, and our exercise routines can adapt accordingly.
In our twenties, we often have a youthful energy and desire to push our bodies to the limit. This was a time in my life when I was training Karate 10 to 12 hours a week. Some twenty-somethings are signing up for intense workout classes, hitting the gym regularly, or participating in team sports, the focus is on challenging ourselves physically. Building muscle definition, increasing endurance, and maintaining a healthy weight are common goals during this period. Many young adults also use exercise as a way to manage stress and maintain mental well-being.
In our thirties, life can take a different turn for women who become mothers. Pregnancy and childbirth bring significant changes to the body, and exercise takes on a new purpose – recovery. After the baby arrives, many moms navigate the world of postpartum exercise, with a keen focus on rebuilding strength, improving core stability, and regaining pre-pregnancy fitness levels. Personally, I found low-impact exercises like Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi were often a choice which provided gentle yet effective ways to regain strength and improve mindfulness.
Our forties are often associated with the beginning of middle age, and exercise goals might shift towards building muscle and maintaining strength. This is a crucial time to counteract muscle loss that naturally occurs with age and maintain a healthy body composition. I dove into exercises like weightlifting, strength training, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) as a common choice for working out in my forties. By incorporating strength-building exercises into our routine, we are not only preventing muscle loss but also improving bone density and preserving overall health.
As I entered my fifties, maintaining mental and physical agility. became a top priority. This is a time when many of us are experiencing hormonal changes and a natural decline in muscle mass and bone density. Exercise takes on a more holistic approach, with a focus on increasing mobility and flexibility, improving balance, and promoting cardiovascular health. Activities like reformer Pilates, yoga, tai chi, swimming, and brisk walking become popular choices as they provide a low-impact yet effective ways to stay fit and reduce the risk of common age-related ailments such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.
It's important to remember that everyone's fitness journey is unique, and these are just general trends that one might experience during different stages of life. Listening to our bodies and consulting with healthcare professionals or fitness coach can help us tailor our exercise routine to our specific needs.
I recently talked to my doctor about my health now that I’ve entered menopause. Having a family history of heart conditions, and changing hormone levels can affect cardiovascular health so I felt it was best to do a full health check.
As a fitness coach, and teacher I also recommend my clients have regular checkups with their doctors.
After running a series of test, changing my diet and exercise routine slightly to accommodate changing hormone levels, I was happy with the overall results of my health and wellness. I walk every day for 30 to 45 minutes, strength train twice per week and work on mobility routinely.
Regardless of age, exercise remains an integral part of maintaining overall health and well-being. While the focus and intensity may evolve throughout our twenties, thirties, forties, and fifties, the fundamental goal of staying fit and healthy remains constant.
So, no matter what stage of life you are in, find an exercise routine that works for you and commit to it. Your future self will thank you.