It’s ‘never too late’ for fitness

By Bari Auerbach….
Too busy, too old, too tired, too out of shape to walk in a gym…There are all too many reasons why many people give up on trying to lead a more active lifestyle promoting greater health and longevity. But the philosophy “it’s never too late for fitness” is all too true and just about anyone can ”Just do it!”

Never Too Late: Exercise plans that incorporate weight training and cardiovascular activities can help men and women of all ages get stronger and live longer. People who routinely exercise can reduce body fat, build muscle mass, strengthen bones, improve endurance for daily lifestyle activities and reduce their risk for heart disease.

You Don’t Have to Get Too Muscular: Many women are hesitant to start weight training programs because they’re afraid of becoming too bulky – but according to The American College of Sports Medicine, women generally have too much estrogen in their bodies to build large muscles.

The average woman who incorporates weight training into her fitness plan at least twice a week can gain almost two pounds of muscle and lose 3.5 pounds of fat within two months. Beyond boosting confidence, weight training can also boost a woman’s metabolic rate, making it possible to burn more calories throughout the day – even when resting.

Too Tired for Cardio? Timing is everything when it comes to engaging in cardiovascular exercises that can actually make you feel more energized by helping to improve oxygen consumption by the body and making the heart and lungs stronger. An optimal time to do cardio is before you may be too tired from a long day at work – or after you’ve recharged with a nutritious meal or snack.

The best kind of cardio to do depends on what won’t be so unappealing that you’ll avoid it completely. According to The National Osteoporosis Foundation, women can especially benefit from cardio exercises that help build bone density such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, elliptical or treadmill training, jumping rope, playing tennis, dancing and hiking.

Not Too Old: Improved physical capabilities of today’s aging population have brought about the belief that exercise is the only real “fountain of youth” serving to shatter agerelated stereotypes that used to define a person‘ s ability to engage in exercise.

A study of healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 72 participating in a standard 12-week resistance program showed significant improvement in the strength of seniors can be achieved with weight training; and that improvements in muscular strength may be the best way to reduce or prevent the incidence of injury. Enhanced strength and endurance gained from weight training and cardiovascular exercises can also make daily lifestyle activities easier and less tiring.

Not Too Good to be True: The International Osteoporosis Foundation emphasizes that people who exercise can build and maintain bone density, slow down the process that leads to osteoporosis and improve balance, strength and agility.

The American Heart Association also highly recommends exercising for weight loss, increased longevity and reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes and certain types of cancer. According to The Mayo Clinic, improved mental health is yet another benefit of exercise, as it helps ward off depression by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.

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