There May Be Snow On The Roof, But There's Still A Fire In The Hearth
"You are only as old as you feel," is an often quoted truism amongst those of us who are nearing, have reached or passed by the half century mark. In order to feel young(er) you have to act young(er).
Exercise, good nutrition and staying active in our lives will go a long way towards making us feel and look younger than our actual years. This feeling spills over into everything we do.
We follow younger pursuits and hangout with more active people.
A large part of the self esteem that comes from feeling good is a strict, two-part workout program.
Strength training and cardiovascular exercise should comprise the majority of our regimen. Sports activities are good pursuits as well.
Some of us are self disciplined enough to have set up a home gym where we conduct our resistance training.
Cardio is be performed by running, sports walking or jumping around in front of the television following some fitness guru on the tube.
For most of us, however, the camaraderie of the health club in more conducive to exercising on a regular basis.
The aerobics classes and cardio machines are more appealing than a brisk run in the country. A spotter for your heavier lifts is more readily available.
As well as a complete array of exercise equipment, free weights and the companionship of fellow enthusiasts, most fitness clubs are open long hours to accommodate a wide variety of schedules. Some of them are even operated 24/7.
As one ages, we may find it easier on our joints, tendons and ligaments to use weight loaded machines instead of free weights.
There is less stress on these areas that are so critical to our wellbeing and there is less chance of an athletic injury.
Injury avoidance is paramount for older bodybuilders (anyone who works out is a bodybuilder in some form or another). It takes us longer to recover from pulled muscles, strains and hyper-extended joints.
Fifty-plus bodybuilding is much the same as some twenty-something pumping iron. We should warm up a lot more and exercise some judgment on how much weight we use.
We are less inclined to keep trying to raise our maximum lifts as we are to stay fit.
With more maintenance in mind than pure bodybuilding, our approach to pumping iron is a lot different than it was a couple of decades earlier.
We still need to tear down tissue in order to make it harder, but we do this through muscle fatigue and by performing the exercise in different ways.
We should change our program around much more often that we did as an up-and-coming younger bodybuilder.
Changing the exercise often or performing them in a different manner keeps the muscles shocked and prevents stagnation in our conditioning.
Most of us who have been weight training for decades have a plethora of exercises stored away in our memory banks.
It is a good idea to create three or four different routines for each muscle group and then set up a schedule of switching these around throughout our training year. Changing every two or three months is a good idea.
Our changing metabolic processes and reduced hormone production may necessitate some dietary supplementation.
Protein, digestive-aiding amino acids and energy increasing assistance is more important at the half century mark and beyond.
Testosterone, the most significant anabolic steroid produced by our bodies, is no longer produced as it was a few decades back, but increased production can be stimulated by natural means.
Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about this.
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My pick of the bunch is The Truth About Abs - a one stop guide to getting rock hard abs.
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