Though it may be hard to admit, many things change as you get older, including how your body responds to exercise. After age 50, common fitness rules — focus on cardio, stretch every few days and take off one day between weight-training workouts — may now result in fatigue, joint pain and even injuries. Follow these rules instead.
Rule No. 1: Burn fat with interval training. Moderate aerobic exercise that helped you fight fat in your younger years may not be enough to offset a slowing metabolism. Instead, try interval training — doing spurts of high-intensity cardio throughout your exercise routine. This helps burn more calories and belly fat.
Rule No 2: Take more time off between workouts. If you’re still quite sore a couple of days after a weight-training workout, your body is telling you to take more time to recover before jumping back into your routine.
Rule No 3: Stretch more. As you get older, ligaments, tendons and muscles become less flexible, which can lead to injuries and falls. To maintain your range of motion, stretch all the major muscles in your body two to three times per week, ideally after exercising, when muscles are warm.
Rule No. 4: Always warm up. Before starting a workout, do light cardio like lunges and jumping jacks. Or do dynamic stretches like leg swings and shoulder circles. Warming up increases circulation, raises heart rate and temperature, and preps muscles for movement.