While I don’t fit into this category (yet), I was curious to see what our experts said on this topic. I was surprised to see that one argued against reducing intensity, but I think we had different ideas of the term. I think he saw the positive results of cardio workouts (which I agree are important to maintain heart health as we age) and argued against reducing intensity. I look at from an arthritis perspective, where impact has to be reduced, because the joint cushioning we have in our 20s and 30s just isn’t there anymore (in my case, it hasn’t been for a while).
One could argue that neither one of us is wrong (certainly he’s more qualified than I am, medically), but I don’t think I’ll be doing step aerobics into my 80s for a cardio workout. I think I’ll follow Anna’s advice and try to find lower impact activities that still challenge me as I age.
How to adapt your workout as you age
As you get older, it’s easy to let your exercise regimen slip away. Schedules get more complicated with work, spouses and children. Bodies don’t respond as well to high-intensity workouts or longer bouts of activity. But it’s important to stay active for the long run — for a variety of reasons.
As we age, the goal of our activity may shift from weight-loss or general health to more specific goals. Injury and even death from falls is an unfortunate trend for older adults — as adults approach their 70s, they need to consider how to improve their balance and reduce their chances of falling.