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More than 40 years? Drop the excuses and start a physical activity

More than 40 years? Drop the excuses and start a physical activity

You may have heard the phrase "sooner rather than later." The famous popular saying applies to many situations, including healthy living. If you are over 40 and you think it is too late to start exercising, or maybe your body is already weak enough to withstand the load of exercise, it is time to rethink the subject.

Physiologist Raul Santo de Oliveira explains that health only has to thank you when you start practicing a physical exercise, even if you never practiced anything. He explains that, at this stage of life, bone and muscle mass loss is common for both men and women.

For men, they occur because of the reduction in hormone levels, especially testosterone, and for women, this is very common in climacteric and menopause - a phase where the levels of female hormones are reduced in the woman's body, which causes a series of changes, such as bone loss. Raul Santo adds that opportunistic and chronic-degenerative diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high bad cholesterol (LDL), and even osteoporosis are common at this stage, after 40 years of age. Cardiac arrhythmia usually worsens. which, he points out, is also a consequence of lifelong habits since childhood.

Exercise and longevity

Exercise performance

Of course, these losses impair athletic performance, but this should not be a concern. "There is no problem if there is loss of performance, because the goal is complete physical, mental and social well-being," says the physiologist.

Opting for an active life - with the correct guidance of a professional - brings improvement and strengthening of all cardiorespiratory equipment (including heart and lungs), muscle strengthening, improved motor coordination, better flexibility and better control of body composition, cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure.

Robson de Bem, a physiatrist, also remembers that the practice of physical exercises has the power to prevent cancer and arthrosic processes. In addition, there is progress in all of the adjacent factors, which means that stress, depression and anxiety will go a long way, as there will be improvement in mood and social interaction.

Exams Needed

To start practicing an activity, it is always important to seek a professional. "The individual has to have a fitness condition to perform the exercise, so he should seek a doctor at first, regardless of the exercise", advises Raul Santo.

Exercises after 40 years - Getty Images

This doctor will perform a clinical evaluation, which will state whether or not you are fit for the chosen exercise. The general practitioner will perform tests, such as blood glucose, blood count, cholesterol levels, etc. If a disease is detected, the clinician may refer you to a specialized doctor.

After this evaluation, it is necessary to make the so-called ergospirometric test. It consists of a laboratory test - on a treadmill or exercise bike - where the exercise load will be gradually increased. Here, the physiological reactions will be observed according to the intensity of the activity, such as heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen consumption, until reaching the maximum oxygen consumption that this individual endured.

Aerobic or anaerobic?

After testing your fitness, it's time to move. This is the main parameter when it comes to setting the limits of a person's workout. The recommended one is a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, which should provide pleasure. Although you have a preference for a specific activity, says the physiologist, it is not advisable to restrict yourself to it alone. For example, if you like to hike, you should have it as your main modality, but also add others, alternating between water sports, group sports, weight exercises etc.

The basis of the exercises at this stage of life should be aerobic, since the body may not be able to withstand a heavier load. But how to differentiate an aerobic activity from an anaerobic? Contrary to common sense, a walk, for example, is not necessarily aerobic, just as an exercise with weights has no obligation to be anaerobic.

"What determines is not the modality, but the intensity applied in relation to heart rate, "explains the physiologist Raul. Thus, a light walk is an aerobic exercise - and uses the aerobic metabolism, that is, demand oxygen to obtain energy -, since an intense race can be considered anaerobic - using anaerobic metabolism, a process that does not require oxygen to obtain energy to carry out the exercise. The ideal, then, is not to seek only one modality, but several, so that various physical valences are worked out.

The walk is one of the most democratic, but still requires a physical fitness test. In the case of running, the joints and spine should be up to date. Swimming is a more introspective training, which does not require great social interactions. For collectives, it is worth paying attention in football or volleyball, but always taking care of the joints and the possible impacts of the sport.

Beware of injuries

To avoid injury, it is very important to respect body limits, wear correct clothes and accessories, eat properly, do not overdo the load of exercise and never forget to warm up and stretch. When such care is not taken, it is common for joint and spine injuries to occur - and this will be reflected in the quality of life. Therefore, the recommendations of the doctor and physical education professional must be respected.

Thinking about the many benefits of physical activity, even more so after the age of 40, it is difficult to make excuses. How about starting yours today?


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