In the past, the belief amongst adults over the age of 40 was that they were too old to start an exercise regimen. This has been proven false as scientific research continues to improve and understand more about how the human body works.

Have you ever thought about the benefits of exercising or why you should exercise? As a fitness expert, I can tell you from firsthand experience that exercise should be among one of your top priorities, especially as you age, if your quality of living and health are important to you. Fitness is the key to improvement in all areas of life, from energy level to flexibility to balance to self-esteem to mental health to reducing risk factors such as heart disease and diabetes. Have I sparked your interest yet?

One common concern that I hear from new clients is that they are experiencing a significant decrease in energy level as compared to when they were younger. This is common especially with adults over 40 who are sedentary and lack nutrients in their diets. Low energy can be easily corrected by working out as little as two times each week. It has been scientifically proven that immediately following thirty minutes of exercise, the central nervous system releases increased levels of endorphins. The benefit is that it helps reduce stress, pain and increase energy levels. Over time, working out will not only increase the body’s own energy stores but also positively affect how you feel throughout the day.

Flexibility and balance are two of the biggest areas in which all adults need to better themselves, no matter what their age. Flexibility affects the body including the easing of common aches and pains and the reduction of risk of injury. Tightness in some muscle regions can cause other muscles to have pain or even pull bones out of place, which often leads to pains in different areas of the body. A perfect example of this is that chronic lower back pain is mainly due to tightness in the hamstrings and stretching this muscle only twice a week can help reduce most signs of lumbar back pain.

Improving flexibility also benefits balance. Improving balance significantly reduces the chances of falling and being injured. For example, one of my clients called the other day to tell me how happy she was that we had been working on improving her balance. She went on to tell me that, while at a friend’s house, she hadn’t noticed a wet spot on the kitchen floor. The next thing she knew, she was sliding all over the place. If it hadn’t been for our balance training, she would have fallen down and possibly broken a bone, or worse. She was relieved and ecstatic that she didn’t fall. I can also recall a time when a client was walking down a sidewalk when she stepped into a hole and almost fell but was able to regain her balance seconds before falling into oncoming traffic. It’s little things like this that can occur every day that sometimes go unnoticed. This is why it’s important to be proactive now.

Did you know that physical activity is one of the leading prescribed forms of treatment to reduce risk factors of heart disease, diabetes and most forms of cancers? It has been found that people who stay active and perform physical activities at least twice a week have a significantly reduced chance of being affected by one of the above ailments. When you exercise, you heart has to supply more blood to your muscles and organs. This creates a chain reaction in your body that makes your lungs inhale more oxygen and increases white blood cells. This chain reaction helps regenerate cells keeping the body feeling younger and battling all forms of free radicals.

You ultimately determine your own destiny when it comes to your health. Hiring a well qualified personal trainer would be optimal for best results, letting their knowledge and experience guide you through each workout, keeping your workouts challenging, yet knowing how far to push you to get the greatest results in the least amount of time, which is what we all want at the end of the day. You only have one life, so be sure that you’re making the most of it and enjoying each day to the fullest.

By Mike Tojdowski Health and Fitness Specialist