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What Kind of Exercise Should I Do If I’m Over 40?

People often ask this question at the clinic and the answer is “it depends.” On how old you are, your fitness level, and most importantly, your goals. Your program needs to be specific to your particular goals. There are no "one-size-fits-all" exercise programs. I do have some thoughts about what types of exercises are available to those over 40 in Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter.

Over 40?

If you're over 40 your exercise goals differ than when you were in your 20’s. You might have less time devoted to exercise than when you were younger, yet you recognize that the importance is greater. You want to get the best return on your time and effort investment. These are some basic guidelines that I follow for my own exercise routine. It may or may not work for you, depending on your circumstances.


Use both resistance and HIIT training in your program. HIIT training stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. Over the past several years, it became the gold-standard recommendation for exercise for those over 40, and for those interested in modifying or maintaining a leaner body composition. There are several ways to structure a HIIT style of workout, but the thing they all include short bursts of intense activity followed by a period of rest or recovery. Resistance training includes weight-lifting and is important for maintaining muscle strength and bone health.


One formula is called a Tabata workout. The Tabata formula is 20 seconds of full-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Do this for 8 rounds which adds up to a total of a 4 minute program. Sounds easy, right? Try it before answering that question, you'll be surprised. The nice thing about this formula is that it doesn’t matter what your 20 seconds of exercise is. Running 20 seconds followed by 10 of walking? No problem. Stairs? Sure. How about burpees? Go for it. Almost any exercise can be incorporated in the HIIT formula.

Where Can I Go Locally to Exercise?

Journey333 Fitness: What is Journey333? It's a gym I just recently discovered here in North Palm Beach that incorporates these principles. Here's how owner Lianne Deitch describes it:

Here you’ll find a workout approach centered around the idea that “one-size-fits-all" does not apply to exercise. Each 45-minute class is a fun, interval-based training designed for maximum fat burning. The exercises vary with each workout and include resistance, calisthenic, stability, mobility and cardiovascular training. All the while, multiple coaches help you monitor your heart rate and adjust your individual pace, intensity, weight, and form to customize your results and prioritize your safety.

The most important thing is to just get started. Resistant exercises and HIIT style workouts should be challenging, but not scary. But once start you won’t look back because you will be too busy doing the stuff you want to do and feeling great doing it. If you have any questions about getting started or if this type of exercise is safe for you, give us a call and we can schedule a consultation.