Jennifer Lopez says she now works out harder and smarter. TNS
Gulf Today Report
Getting a perfectly toned body is never easy, and the odds of achieving it are even slimmer as you grow older and middle age beckons.
But developing a well-sculpted figure is still achievable if you work out the right way — just look at Jennifer Lopez, 51.
Although clearly blessed with good genes, the singer and movie star still has to work out to maintain her enviable physique, and has revealed that as she gets older, her trick is to workout “harder and smarter” than she used to.
The mother-of-two told InStyle Magazine: “I’m in the best shape of my life. In my 20s and 30s I used to workout, but not like I do now.
“It’s not that I workout more; I just workout harder and smarter. And it doesn’t take me as long as it did in the past.”
Personal trainer Henry Myers says that as we age, our metabolism begins to slow, so exercise is a great way to give it a boost and help avoid illness-related weight gain.
“Whatever your goal or motivation — whether you want to look like J.Lo or just boost your health — exercise simply improves quality of life,” he stresses.
“As we age, high impact moves can prove a little too gruelling at times, so substitute some of the more plyometric (jump training) and explosive exercises with lower impact alternatives: as long as you keep your rep count high and apply good effort, you’ll still reap the rewards of the high intensity workouts and continue to burn calories even after you finish.”
This goes for other types of exercise too, he says — walking, cycling or rowing can be much friendlier on the joints, while still taxing the cardiovascular and muscular system.
“The key is to make sure that whatever you’re doing makes you feel good,” says Alastair Crew, David Lloyd master trainer.
“Our advice would be to ensure that you’re enjoying a variety and, without getting too technical, ensuring the ‘primal movement’ patterns are covered. These are: Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge/Bend, Twist, Gate and Lunge.”
But Myers can’t stress the importance of an exercise like HIIT (high impact interval training) enough, as he explains that some form of high impact moves can help maintain and improve bone health and strength.
“Our physicality tends to peak in our early 30s, so once you’re (older than that) it’s really important to look after your body and do what you can to either maintain the good health you’re in, improve your overall health, or slow the inescapable decline as we reach older age,” he says.
“HIIT workouts are great — they can prove the most effective and time-efficient way of training. HIIT can boost your metabolism, burn high calories and fat in a short time, can be fun and done with minimal equipment (even just your own bodyweight) in any place, at any time. Just 20-30 mins, three to four times a week would prove incredibly effective.”
Myers points out that the benefits of exercise go way beyond the physical and can help relieve stress, reduce cognitive decline, and tremendously improve mental fitness.
Myers’ exercise plan for middle age
Always consult your doctor before starting a new type of exercise if you’re not used to it, but if you’re already active, consider trying this simple exercise plan.
Time: 20-30 minutes of high intensity exercise or 30-40 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (as long as you elevate your heart rate above resting rate).
Type: HIIT, resistance training, walking or running.
Tally: Three times a week, avoiding having three days off in a row.
It can be particularly tricky for women, who are fed a Victoria’s Secret narrative of beauty from a young age which presents a slim and toned physique as the ultimate goal, exacerbating anxieties about becoming 'too muscly.'
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