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Guidelines for Safe Exercise in Middle Age

A study published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in March 2009 concluded that those over 50 to are engaged in vigorous physical activity can live for 2.3 times longer than men who live the life of a couch potato, and 1.1 years longer than those who engage in moderate exercises.

The study also revealed that exercise at a high intensity for 10 years , between the 50-60 years of age can increase the lifespan of those who have been sedentary for a while in comparison to people who regularly engage in high-intensity physical exercise. If you’ve never done any exercise before, you have plenty of the chance to add years to your lifespan. The length of life that comes from starting exercise is similar to the increase in life expectancy due to stopping smoking cigarettes.

How does exercise increase life Expectancy?

Everyone knows that exercising regularly is beneficial to us. But do we know the benefits? Here are a few of the reasons why you should start moving today to live a more joyful longer, healthier life:

Lower risk from Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

The American Heart Association (AHA) issued a statement in 2003 which identified the link between increased exercise levels and a decrease in the chance of CAD as well as a decrease in symptoms for those suffering from heart disease. It reveals that regular exercise can have positive impacts on insulin resistance, blood pressure sugar intolerance, obesity, and cholesterol levels. All of these are potential risk factors to Atherosclerosis which is the most common reason for CAD. To gain these benefits, the study suggests 30-minutes of moderately intense workout at least on the majority of weeks.

Aids in reducing the Body Fat Percentage, thereby reducing the risk for Obesity or Type 2 Diabetes

Studies published in the NHS National Library for Health in July 2006 shows that exercising improves blood sugar control as well as reduces the body fat percentage of people suffering from type 2 Diabetes. In 2006, the American Diabetes Association released a statement in 2006 that outlined studies showing that exercising for just 150 minutes each week reduces the chance for impaired insulin intolerance transforming to Type 2 Diabetes by 58 percent.

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More Bone Density, and a Lower risk of developing osteoporosis

The use of weights, like walking, running, and exercises that use weights can all help to lower the chance of developing osteoporosis. The greater demands of these kinds of exercises increase bone density, and also strengthens joints, ligaments, and tendons.

Cardiovascular Health

Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2 max) or the VO2 Max, is an recognized method to determine the amount of oxygen that a person can consume in a minute of work. It shows the heart’s performance and capability. With age comes a decrease in the amount of blood that is pumped out by the heart decreases and our bodies are less efficient in using the oxygenated blood being circulated around it. Based on the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) the two elements result in an average of 5 to 15 percent reduction in VO2 max each 10 years after the age of 25-30. However the ACSM further states that regular exercise in the cardiovascular system allows older people to experience the same 10-30 percent increase in VO2 max as younger counterparts. Whatever your age, regular exercise in the cardiovascular department will enhance your lung and heart function. While the most effective outcomes can be obtained by working at higher intensity however, the VO2 max can be improved by regular low or moderate intensity exercises.

Power and Strength

Training can slow down the effects of age-related strength and loss of power. The most effective way to approach it is to ‘use the strength or you’ll lose it’. Your body is an intelligent and powerful machine. It will adjust to the obstacles you put for it by working out. If you do not exercise your muscles often, your body will believe that they’re not needed as your muscle mass will squander away in your youth. To stay healthy, you must workout regularly.

Strong Posture

The highest peak in bone mass happens in our 30s, and it begins to diminish around 35 to 40 years old. Alongside hormonal and diet changes exercising can decrease the loss of bone. Women are especially vulnerable to a higher rate of loss of bone following menopausal transition, as the cessation of oestrogen production slows down your absorption of calcium. One consequence of a weakening bones structure can be a slumped or rounded shoulders, as well as a the forward position of the head which is called Kyphosis. Kyphosis limits a person’s length of breath as well as their general range of motion. Training your back and core muscles can help improve your posture and help you stand straight and tall.


Training allows us to use our joints and muscles throughout the full range of movements. If you do not exercise in this range of motion, you’ll lose it and get stiff. Yoga or Pilates are excellent methods of exercise for maintaining or improving your flexibility.

Lower Risk of Falls

Exercise reduces the chance of falling through improving postural control, strengthening the back, leg and core muscles, increasing balance, and strengthening core stability overall. Regular exercise helps maintain the flexibility and strength which can help us keep our feet clear of potential dangers.

Manage Your Arthritis

As per Arthritis Care, a registered arthritis charity, exercising can reduce discomfort, keep mobility intact as well as boost energy and help keep joints healthy. Arthritis Care offers an online exercise and Arthritis booklet’ to make sure that you’re exercising in a manner that relieves your symptoms and not create more discomfort.

Guidelines for Exercise in a safe and secure manner. Exercise at Middle Age

Health Check

If you’re new to exercising or are concerned about your health, it is recommended to make the appointment of the GP in order to conduct an MOT in order to make sure you’re physically fit for exercise.

Calculating Your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)

The MHR is a reference number that represents the safe upper limit with respect to the age. As we age the MHR drops by about 1 beat every year, from the initial 202 beats per min. To determine your MHR, subtract your age and 220. If you’re 40 years old, your MHR is 180. old, your MHR will be 180. Be aware that this is only an upper limit guideline and not your heart rate. It is recommended to exercise in a way that tests you , but one that you feel you can maintain throughout your exercise.

Heating Up and cooling down

As we age, it takes longer in our body to get warm to be ready for exercise. joints require a bit more time to get well-lubricated. Warming up should take about 5 to 10 minutes and include the muscles you’re planning to work. Based on your fitness level walking at a fast pace or jog that is gentle will increase the heart rate and help warm your muscles. The muscles should be stretched for between 10 and 15 seconds, slowly ease in each. For cooling down, gradually slow down your exercise over 5-10 minutes, and then slowly stretch out your muscles that you’ve utilized. This can help lessen muscle soreness after exercise.


Make sure to maintain a regular breathing rhythm during exercise to avoid placing unnecessary stress upon your heart. Do not breathe in and strain your muscles when exerting your body.

Gradual Progression

Do not try to boost your levels of activity from moderate to high intensity in the course of a single night. Examine your current fitness by assessing your current level of activity you currently engage in; and then increase the intensity, frequency , and duration of your exercises gradually in time. Limit yourself to one change at one period of. For instance, if you had been working out for 30 minutes, two times each week at a moderate pace You could then add an additional session in the week. You should maintain the same intensity and duration of your exercise routine. Once you are satisfied that your body has adjusted to the additional load, you can intensify or increase the duration of your exercise.

Exercise Plan to Get You started

The workout below consists of core and cardiovascular exercises. It’s designed to increase the aerobic capacity of your body, strengthening your core stability and strengthening your posture.

Cardiovascular Exercise

The NHS suggests incorporating an hour of moderate exercise five times a week. The types of exercises they recommend are walking, gardening as well as swimming. These are all great methods to start increasing your levels of activity and improve the function of your heart and lungs. But the most important thing to keep making health improvement is gradually increasing the intensity of these workouts to the point that you feel physically challenged i.e. increase your speed and strength in swimming. When you feel more confident, it’s time to visit your local leisure center for teams and clubs that you could join.
Workouts to strengthen the core to strengthen the postural muscles


This exercise targets the muscles in your legs the bum, core and thighs.

Start position:

Place your feet about hip-distance from each other, placing your hands on your hips, and your shoulders back.


Lean forwards in the hips, then push your bum out, keep the back in a straight position. Sit back and relax like you’re lowering yourself onto the floor in a chair. Make sure that your knees are in front of your toes. Your feet should be flat on the ground and the weight of your body should be evenly distributed across the feet. When you are in the squat, your hips should be more than the knees. Return to the starting position and do 1 – 2 repetitions.


Make use of your abdominal muscles to keep your posture throughout your exercise.

Bungee Row

This workout targets your upper back as well as your core muscles. It requires tubing or an Bungee.

Start position:

The tubing should be wrapped around an object that is immovable. Grab an end with both hands and take a split-stance (one foot ahead one of the other) in front of the point of origin to the tubing. Keep your arms towards the front at shoulder height and then return to the position till the band has been taught.


Pull the tubing in by moving your elbows forward until they are vertically and horizontally at a level to your shoulder. Press your shoulder blades into each other before returning to your starting position. Do two sets of 15 reps.

Notes: Make use of your abdominal muscles to keep your posture throughout the exercise.


This workout strengthens your muscles in your core.

Start position:

Start with your knees and hands with your hands just below your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Maintain your back straight and employ your tummy muscles to keep your posture.


Then lift your right knee and left hand about 1cm off the floor. Take a moment to stretch your left leg and right arm to ensure they’re aligned with your body. Return to your starting position and repeat with your left arm and the right leg. Repeat 1-2 sets of 15 repetitions.


This workout will strengthen the core and bum.

Start position:

Lay on your back, with your knees bent with your feet placed flat on the ground with your hips spaced. Release your hands to your sides. Intensify your tummy muscles.


Keep your back straight and Keep your back straight and raise your body from the ground until you are in a straight line running through your hips, shoulders and knees. Keep your bum in place to the highest point of the exercise, then let it go as it lowers your body to the floor. Make sure you touch the floor but do not to push your weight on the floor. Repeat the 1 to 2 sets at a time for 15 reps.


Utilize your tummy and bum muscles to make sure that your back remains straight. This should be felt in your tummy as well as your bum, not your lower back.

Pelvic Floor Exercises

Pelvic floor muscles help support the uterus bladder, bowels, as well as other pelvic organs.

They are the muscles are used in order to stop flow of urine while you wee and to manage your bladder. As we age, the pelvic floor muscles become weaker. This is particularly the case for mothers who have had babies.

Start position:

Place your body on your back with your knees bent, and your feet laid flat on the floor.


Engage the muscles in your pelvic floor and then let them relax. Do this 10 times. Be sure to breathe, and make sure that your abdominals, buttocks and thighs are in a relaxed state. Relax for 30 seconds after doing 5 exercises of 15 reps. Do this exercise six times per day to maximize effectiveness.


As you gain control over your pelvic floor muscles, make sure you hold each contraction slightly longer. It is essential to practice steady and slow contractions, as well as shorter, fast ones.

Maximise Your Life Expectancy

The BMJ study revealed that the mortality rate dropped by half for those who exercised to a “high” level from an average level. To get these results the participants had to sustain the same level of fitness for a period of 10 years. The “high-level” of physical activity needed by the test subjects was identified as being:

3 hours per week of sports activities or heavy gardening

Regularly taking part in hard exercise or playing competitive sports.

While the definitions of these guidelines was left to the individuals participating of the experiment, it’s important to note that moderate physical activity was defined as taking a walk or cycling to exercise for fun. So, if you wish to prolong your life, you need to sweat at least 3 hours per week. It could be divided by 30 minutes sports activities over the course of six days during the work week. Being involved in a sport instead of just being active, is vital as it’s an athletic activity that requires you to be better and achieve greater results. This kind of motivation can be not present when we take part in sports as a pastime for social interaction or for personal reasons.

If you’re fit and well and are ready to discover your sporting edge, here are some suggestions of sporting clubs and teams that are suitable for all ages:

Martial arts

When you’re not sure, the idea to join a club or team intimidating, don’t give up consider one of the sports like tennis which is played by two players. You can also encourage your friends and family members to join you. As you build confidence, you could be more willing to consider joining the club. Perhaps there’s an exercise ladder at work that you could be a part of. Joining the team or club will encourage you to regularly exercise in a high-intensity.

Although they are not considered to be an exercise, intense fitness classes can have a similar positive effect on motivation. The effect of ensuring you are exercising often. Additionally, exercising in a group setting can force you to be competitive with others If you don’t do better.
There’s no moment like the Present

To live a healthier and longer life , start exercising now. The fact that you’re in middle age does not mean that you’ve fallen off the mark. Begin slowly and gradually increase the amount of exercise you do over time The health benefits are immense. You could live forever… Okay but there are some extra years left to go and your 50th birthday is going to be a lot more satisfying should you decide to work to get through them.