Time to Shape up: Tips for Reviving Your Workout

      October 11, 2008 08:45

      With fall coming around, people are starting to feel like getting in shape. Many people avoid exercise during summer because of the heat, but in autumn their bodies urge them to start working out again. But before you hit the gym, you should consult with an exercise expert.

      A trainer can check your body fat rate and physical fundamentals such as heart and lung capacity, flexibility, endurance and strength, and then recommend a workout that's right for you.

      ◆ Teenagers: Avoid muscular exercises

      As long as their bodies are healthy, most forms of exercise are fine for teenagers. However teens are in a growth phase so muscular exercises such as weight lifting should be avoided. Lighter workouts such as push-ups or horizontal bar training are okay. Exercises to strengthen the endurance of the heart and lungs are particularly recommended for teenagers, such as running, swimming and jump rope. Group sports like basketball and soccer are also good as players aren't so easily bored.

      ◆ 20s and 30s: Experiment to find your workout

      People entering their 20s and 30s are prone to weight gain because their lifestyles begin to change. Aerobic exercises such as jogging and swimming are recommended. Sports dancing, fencing, and other active sports are also suitable. But when people who have never exercised suddenly begin they are prone to injuries. It's important to gradually adjust the degree and intensity of your workout. Another good idea is to experiment with several different exercises and activities to find one you like.

      ◆ 40s and 50s: Get a check up first

      People in their 40s and 50s tend to work more and have more chronic diseases than others. Before starting an exercise regimen they should get a check up at a hospital, public health center or clinic. For those who have never exercised before, moderate swimming or cycling two or three times a week is a good way to avoid damaging joints. Take a rest after each day of exercise. People in this age group should do stretching moves from time to time together with exercises to reduce weight, but always making sure not to push it too hard.

      ◆ Seniors: Exercise daily, but just a little at a time

      A lack of physical activity allows the muscles to shrink and the body to become stiff. Seniors should try to stay active even indoors. Rather than infrequent but heavy workouts, exercise every day but just a little bit at a time. Free gymnastics, cycling on a machine, swimming and walking are recommended. "Aging people should exercise steadily to prevent and cure senile arthritis which makes the shoulders and knees cold," said Son Su-min, a rehab expert at Eulji University Hospital.

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