Many people believe the best age for working out matters. Some think that exercise is better when we’re younger. After all, we’re more physically fit. Yet, others are sure that working out is crucial as we grow older.
There’s some truth to both ideas. And, there’s some truth to other beliefs and theories. In reality, the ideal age for working out depends on what you prioritize. I’ve already explained why timing matters. Also, your age can be as important as what you eat.
So, let’s see what’s the truth.
The best age for working out is as soon as someone is able to
Now, let’s get something out of the way. Working out is always a great idea. Its health benefits don’t diminish with age. That’s why Nemours KidsHealth recommends fitness in the teen years.
During our teen years, we should get at least an hour a day of moderate physical activity. And, that activity should mostly be aerobic. That’s why swimming, soccer, and other sports are so popular among teens.
If you’re a parent, it’s important to give teens control over their fitness. They should be able to choose activities and schedules. That way, it’s easier for them to feel motivated.
But, you should wait a little before hitting the gym
That said, Times of India warns against hitting the gym before the 18th birthday. That might sound counterproductive. After all, strength training is still important for teens. So, the gym has become a popular choice for many teens.
The issue is our bodies’ development. During our teen years, our hormone levels go wild. And, our muscles and brains are still developing. That means two things:
- It may be easier to injure our muscles with heavy machinery.
- It could be harder to follow the instructions correctly.
Working out requires discipline and concentration. Those features can be rare in teens. Thus, they tend to hamper their productivity.
So, what’s the best age for working out?
In this LinkedIn Post, fitness expert, Sandeep Tambe, explains the best age for working out. According to him, you’re better off around 18 years of age. That’s because our bodies are usually near the end of their development phase.
We’re physically healthier. Plus, we lack many responsibilities of being an adult. That means more free time to dedicate to our fitness attempts. In other words, we can achieve our goals more effectively.
Does that mean you’re out of luck?
But, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance if you’re older. It’s easier for older people to feel discouraged. Aches and injury concerns are more common as we grow older. However, physical activity becomes more important with age.
Sure, you might not get the same results. Yet, your body needs exercise to remain healthy. Therefore, you shouldn’t avoid the gym because you’re “past your prime.” Instead, that’s precisely the reason why you should do it.
How you should work out through the ages
Then, working out is crucial for all ages. The issue lies in how we do it and our goals. US News has a great breakdown of working out at different ages. So, let’s summarize it.
- Our 20s are ideal for building our fitness base. We’re healthier and more active. So, that’s the time to build muscle and bone density.
- Our 30s should begin with a strong foundation. During this stage, it’s best to diversify our fitness program. That includes adding activities like swimming or cycling. In other words, you should integrate exercise as a lighter activity.
- Our 40s are all about preserving our results. You shouldn’t try to gain muscle—but maintain your physique.
- Our 50s are about heart and core health. Aerobic activity and yoga are ideal for keeping a healthy heart and posture.
- Our 60s should focus on preventing physical conditions. So, keep workouts light to maintain your body’s strength.
- Finally, our 70s are ideal for maintaining our strength and flexibility. Almost everything after our 50s is about maintenance.
The holistic takeaway
The best age for working out is whenever you decide to start. That said, some stages lend themselves to different goals. And, you should keep that in mind while planning a fitness program.
But, the main goal is to start working out. Don’t worry about being “past your prime.” You can always improve your body and mind. You might just need a bit of help.
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