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Generational Fitness – Working Out Throughout the Ages

It’s never too late to start anything, especially eating well and working out. The type of exercise you participate in will vary depending on your capabilities, but some exercises are better suited for certain age groups. Get your entire family involved with a workout schedule that fits each person’s needs.

CHILDREN
With all the video games, TV, Snapchat, Instagram and more, children are more distracted than ever. It’s important to educate younger children about the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle. Now is the time to show them that you can continue to be active as you move through life. Children learn by example, so take this as an opportunity to spend time together.

It’s important to properly warm-up before exercising. This should include about five to ten minutes of cardiovascular exercises, like jumping jacks and running in place, with some moderate stretching. Now is not the time to add weight into the equation, so simply move through exercises that only require body weight. Have your kiddos set goals up on the fridge, and track their progress as they reach them. For instance, have them complete 30 sit-ups a night for a week or accumulate 3 miles of running/walking each week for a month. Setting goals will keep children entertained and on task.

TEENAGERS
Most teenagers will begin finding themselves in activities about which they are passionate, whether that’s sports, theatre, choir or the arts. Wherever they are in life, now is the perfect time to begin focusing on muscle building and narrowing exercises down to the ones they really love. If you love running, sign yourself and your teenager up for a 5k. If your teen is interested in yoga, sign up for classes together. Most schools have weightlifting classes and clubs that can be scheduled into your teenager’s school day.

YOUNG ADULT
The early 20s are a time filled with stress and busy schedules. From college classes to potentially juggling a handful of part-time jobs, trying to squeeze a workout in seems impossible. Luckily, body weight movements don’t require a gym membership and can be performed while watching TV or listening to a podcast. Cycle through 5 push-ups, 10 air squats and 15 sit-ups while watching a half hour show, and you’ll squeeze in a pretty difficult workout in no time.

“As we move through life, the most important rule is to just move.”

Or, take your textbook to the gym and read while you log steps on the treadmill. Working out doesn’t have to be goal oriented; it can simply be to just move. Your 20s is the time when those flexible and mobile muscles need to be continuously worked to avoid future injuries.

ADULT
There are many factors to consider with exercise as we move into adulthood. Stress is a big factor. Diet is another. Pre and post pregnancy is a larger topic worthy of its own article. Each adult is going to have a different workout routine. By now you’ve likely figured out what you like to do. Maybe you’re not a runner, but you like shorter workouts with higher intensity. In that case, try a month membership at a local kickboxing studio. Or, if you’re working a highstress job, yoga and Pilates could help you in ways beyond physical fitness.

SENIORS
You’re never too old to try something new. If you consider yourself “too old” to try yoga or CrossFit, think again! Now is the perfect time to start a workout program you’ve always wanted to try. Just note that the coaches, instructors and teachers should be willing (and able) to provide you with modifications to meet your needs.

As we move through life, the most important rule is to move. Bend and reach, march in place, go for walks, or compete in your first triathlon if you feel like it. Whatever it is, just get out there and go!

Kelly Brown is a writer, marketer and egg-eater. Her writing has been published across Michigan and the US. When she isn’t writing, she instructs at barre classes.

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