Fitness Has No Age
There are some things that change as you get older. The traits you desire in a partner, for example, and your idea of what constitutes a night out. But the fundamentals of fitness stay the same no matter how many birthday cakes you’ve consumed.
What happens to your body as you age?
Gradual decline in oestrogen, progesterone and growth hormone, especially after menopause.
Muscle mass declines
Bone density declines
Recovery time increases
Every decade has a cumulative effect on our hormonal health, and we will feel it if we’re not taking care of ourselves So, what do we have to watch for and do?
The golden years of a body that can handle consecutive nights out and many Hiit classes with equal ease, all while juggling late night revision or working long hours.
This is the decade in which you’re most likely to be in your peak physical condition; your reaction times are at their fastest, you can build muscle quicker, and recover from tough sessions faster. You’re also developing your musculoskeletal strength. This is also the time to add in strength training and impact because bone density peaks in your twenties to early thirties, undertaking weight-bearing activity (where your bones are supporting your weight) like running, football, netball or a strength program, can maximise your bone health for life.
While any weight-bearing aerobic exercise is good for your bones, joining a team can help you in ways that extend beyond the physiological benefits of running and jumping. That feeling of belonging has been shown to reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as improving your body image – something women in their twenties are more likely to be struggling with than older women. I was for one struggling with my own image in my 20s but looking back at pictures I long to look like that again. Youth is wasted on the young and we all want that to obtain a fountain of youth to quote some famous youth sayings.
But while this is a great time to fall in love with exercise, over exercising is common among women of this age group. For many of the 20-something can see issues with amenorrhea (loss of periods), this is also the time our food intake becomes less or just not optimal quality. This paired with too much exercises and lack of sleep can cause issues. So maybe instead of all those high-intensity exercises build in some strength and conditioning sessions too, even better if in a group setting. Just find something you love, if not a group class try rock climbing, dancing (without the alcohol), swimming, skiing, water sports. In your 20’s the world is your oyster so go and grab it!
The goal is to build a relationship with exercise that becomes like brushing your teeth – something you incorporate into your days without even thinking about it.