Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why Train Smarter, Not Harder or Longer

While most people want to train harder and longer to lose weight and get in shape when they getting older, personal trainer and fitness expert Carey Yang advises that one should train smarter, not necessarily harder or longer to get the results.

Yang is the owner and master personal trainer at Beyond Fitness Solutions, LLC -- a leading in-home personal training and weight-loss management company serving and helping clients in Morris County, Sussex County, Passaic County, Essex County and Somerset County areas in New Jersey.

Just because you've hit the 40's, 50's, 60's or older stage of your life, it doesn't mean you automatically need to hang up your athletic drive and take up pool aerobics. Of course, there is nothing wrong with turning to pool aerobics for fitness, but if you've been a competitive athlete, it's only natural to want to keep pushing yourself beyond the basics.

As we age, there is a gradual, and inevitable, decline in physical fitness ability. It doesn't have to be dramatic or sudden, but it will happen. If you can be prepared for it, and adjust both your physical fitness routine and your attitude, you may find that you can still compete at a high level. 

If you still strive for peak performance and enjoy pushing yourself, you can still make the most of your workouts. To do so safely and comfortably, take a look at at the following tips.

1. Maintain Your Strength
Building and maintaining muscle strength is the best way to protect your joints from injury. Aging joints are more prone to arthritis and degenerative changes, but strong muscles, tendons and ligaments can take the pressure off the joints. Strong muscles will absorb more shock and are far more resilient to stress. Resistance exercise also helps prevent osteoporosis and bone loss, reduce lower-back pain, improve insulin resistance and glucose metabolism and reduce blood pressure. Building more strength is one of the best ways to lower body fat levels and maintain fitness with age. If you don't like weight training, you can still get full body strength building with yoga, and basic bodyweight routines. 

2. Change your exercise routine
Avoid doing the same exercise routine day after day. By varying your exercise, you will help reduce the risk of overuse injuries, tendinitis, and joint pain. You will also reduce the specific muscle fatigue that comes from using the same muscles and movement patterns day after day.

3. Change Your Exercise Intensity
Rather than sticking with the same 30-45 minutes of steady cardiovascular exercise day after day, mix it up with some easy, long, slow exercise sessions, and then some shorter, more intense workouts, and even a few high intensity efforts of 30-60 seconds. The variety will challenge your cardiovascular system in new ways, and help you gain and maintain fitness improvements through the years. But do keep in mind that your hard efforts will most likely not be the same as in the past, and try to avoid competing with the youngsters. It's a set-up for injury.

4. Pay Attention To Your Body
Aging athletes may not like the idea of slowing down and listening to the voice that says not to overdo it, but it's critical that you accept that you can't push yourself to the same extent as the 20-year old you. This is where the power of wisdom should emerge. If your muscles are screaming at you to back off and something feels a bit off, you should listen to your body and back off. Pay attention to that voice of wisdom. It may help you avoid a muscle strain or worse. Many injuries occur when an athlete is fatigued, and this is even more likely with an older athlete.

5. Warm Up Longer and More Fully
Older athletes need to give their bodies a bit of extra time to warm up the muscles, joints and boost the blood flow.

6. Work On Your Balance
Balance and proprioception decrease with age, so spending time working specifically on this aspect of your sport can help you perform better, react more quickly and avoid injuries from missteps and falls. The easiest balance exercise is to stand on one foot. Make it harder by adding a movement, such as a half-squat or leg lift, and make it very challenging by closing your eyes. Do these exercises several times a week to work your nervous system along with your muscular system.  

7. Take More Rest Days
Yep, it's true, the older you are, the longer it will take to recover from your workouts. So take a bit more down time for every hard training day you have. It's especially important for any hard strength training workouts, or and hard interval training days. Again, listen to your body and if you need two days off, take it.

Learn more the bodyweight-based fat-burning exercise program:
http://tinyurl.com/bwburnworkout

About C. Carey Yang and Beyond Fitness Solutions, LLC
C. Carey Yang, Your Dream Body WorkoutXpert (TM), is a certified personal trainer and fitness boot camp instructor based in Morris County, New Jersey. He provides in-home personal fitness training, backyard boot camp, wellness and lifestyle coaching, and fitness and weight-management seminar. He specializes in helping busy, working professionals who want safe, effective workouts with maximum results in minimum time. Yang is the creator of the 6-Step Dream Body Blueprint (TM) Body Transformation System.

To learn more about lifestyle and wellness coaching, personal fitness training and nutritional counseling and to sign up for a free monthly e-zine, receive free fitness and fat loss e-books, and schedule a complimentary consultation, visit http://www.BeyondFitnessSolutions.com.

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