Simple Exercises For People Over 40
A lot changes in our body happens when we hit the big 4-0, and during this time our mind may still refuse to accept those changes. According to the surgeon general’s office, when women hits the ripe age of 40 their bone density is at risk, while the testosterone level of the male populace drops by one percent every year. Moreover, men and women in their 40’s suffer from loss of muscle mass or sarcopenia, losing as much as 30% lost over 2 decades, with more than 35% of adults reportedly suffers from this.
It is during this age that suffering from high blood pressure and cholesterol shooting up can significantly impact ones chances of having a heart attack when reaching the age of 70. To make matter even more complicated, people in their 40s can experience back pains, shoulder pain, pain in their knees, lost cartilage due to years of joint overuse and even painful posture from decades of sitting. And they say, life begins at 40 huh?
So before you reach the big 4-0 or already in the fourth decade of your life, relax, there is a silver lining. While it will not totally cure or eradicate all the symptoms that come as you age, there is something that may help you – exercise. Strength coaches and those engage in mobility for older people have several exercises that people over the age of 40 must be doing especially for people who sit longer hours staring at their computers. Here are two simple exercises which can help you.
People nowadays sit more as compared to our older generation, with most of them leaning forward towards a PC, and over time, the body takes on that shape. This makes the muscle become short in the anterior (front) chain of the body while in the posterior side it becomes long. As a result, the back portion of your body weakens and can no longer pull your shoulders back, expand your chest or even keep one’s head in the right position. These cumulative effects worsen on people over the age of 40. To counter this, experts suggest an easy exercise – external rotation. For just a minute a day, this seemingly easy exercise helps your posterior side, gives shoulder mobility and better posture. To do this, lie flat facing the ceiling with your feet flat while your knees are bent. Spread your arms up to the side at a 45 degree angle forming a “Y” shape, palms facing up. Slowly twist your arms until your thumbs are on the floor. Hold this position for half a minute and repeat.
As we focus more on our work, we tend to be sitting on our chairs longer, affecting our Thoracic spine. Our thoracic spine or mid-back seems to “turns off” while our lower back “turns on.” The joints that supposedly to be stiff and strong become loose due to our near-constant seated posture, while joints that are expected to be mobile suddenly become stiff, like our mid-back. This can be painful, since your lower back and upper back has to do more work. The extra job that the upper back has to do, results to pain in the neck and shoulder. Remember your lower back is designed to support you, not the other way around. To help you with this problem, grab your yoga mat and get into the traditional pushup position. Your hands must be directly below your shoulders. Make sure that your shoulders and body forms a straight line from head to foot. Drop a knee (left) to the ground and bring the other foot up close to your shoulder, flat on the mat. Your left hand must be firmly planted to the ground, while you slowly lift your right hand towards the ceiling, twist your torso until your arms and torso forms a letter “T.” Hold for about 10 seconds and return to your original position. Do this on the other side and repeat three times.
Reaching the age of 40 may have some effects on our body, but do not let this stop or slow you down. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, eat right and exercise regularly, after all life begins at 40.