Our bodies and metabolism change as we age and sometimes that means we have to change our physical activity levels too. When you are over 30, it becomes even more important to incorporate strength training and cardio into your life, losing bone and muscle mass can spell disaster down the road!
The goal is to move for at least 30 minutes a day and to incorporate 3 cardio and strength workouts per week. How you spend your daily 30 minutes in motion is up to you. You can walk, dance, run, rake the lawn, shovel the driveway -- whatever you want.
While this workout plan won't be for everyone, we all have different needs and fitness levels, it will provide a good foundation for getting started.
This cardio workout is based on HIIT-style training so it is easy to adjust according to your exercise preferences. In order to keep things interesting, you can mix and match the movements for your intervals. Challenge yourself, the goal is to get your heart rate up and to burn as many calories as possible in a short amount of time.
Do 20 seconds of each round with 10 seconds of rest in between each one. Repeat the round sequence 2-3 times. You can increase the amount of rounds or change out the exercises to tailor the workout to your needs.
Round 1: Burpees
- Jump down into a standard plank position with hands below your shoulders.
- Jump your feet in toward your hands and explode up to complete one repetition.
- Keep it up for the entire 20-second burst.
- To modify this movement, walk your feet in toward your hands as opposed to jumping them in.
Round 2: Jumping Jacks
- You know the drill! Jump both feet out as your bring your arms up above head.
- Focus on exploding on the jump portion of the exercise to increase the cardio burn.
Round 3: Plank Jacks
- Start in the standard plank position with your back straight, head and neck neutral, and hands under your shoulders.
- Jump your feet out wider than hip width and then jump them back into the center.
- To modify, bring each foot out to the wide position one at a time and bring them back in one at a time.
- This works your core while getting your heart pumping.
Round 4: Run
- Go for an all out sprint for 20 seconds.
Round 5: Jump Squats
- Start in a squat position with your feet pointed at 45-degree angles at a hip-width stance.
- Sit back into a squat and explode up for one repetition.
- Modify this exercise by eliminating the jump.
Strength training becomes even more important the older we get as bone and muscle mass starts to decline. Aim to complete three rounds of 12 repetitions of each exercise. If you choose to use weights for your training, make sure that your muscles are fatigued by the 12th rep. You should not be able to lift any more after that final rep. If you aren't fatigued or are fatigued before the last rep, adjust your weight accordingly.
Use a barbell, dumbbells, or your own bodyweight.
- Remember to keep your shoulders back and down and your knees tracking outward as you sit back into the position.
- If you’re using a barbell, make sure that it is centered on your upper back.
Squats incorporate all of the muscles in the body, especially the butt and legs.
Deadlifts can be completed with a barbell or dumbbells.
- Keep your head and neck in neutral alignment throughout the movement and hinge at the hips.
- Lower the bar or dumbbells down your legs and stop when your hamstrings feel taut.
- Use your glute muscles to help raise back up.
- Keep the bar or dumbbells close to you throughout the movement.
This move targets your hamstrings and backside.
The press will wake your shoulders up! Use a barbell or two dumbbells for this exercise.
- Keep the weights at about chin height and raise them above your head.
- Push your head slightly forward as you straighten your arms above head in full extension.
- Slowly lower back down for one repetition.
As with most of the other movements, you can use either dumbbells or a barbell.
- Start in your hip hinge position with your back, head, and neck in neutral alignment.
- Pull the bar or dumbbells up to about chest height and squeeze the upper back at the top of the movement.
- Lower back down for one repetition.
This move works the upper back muscles, which helps facilitates better posture as it “pulls back” rounded shoulders by strengthening those muscles.
This exercise works the chest muscles by pressing the weight in front of the body.
- Keep your wrists straight and locked in throughout the movement.
- Lower either the dumbbells or barbell down to your chest until your elbows hit 90-degree angles.
- Push back up from there for one repetition.
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