Science / Trending

To Live Longer, Do These Exercises at Your Age – 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60

When it comes to health and wellness, one size does not fit all. That’s the reason for that pesky reminder to “consult your doctor” before beginning any diet and exercise program. Although every person is different individually, research has been able to determine which exercises are most beneficial for you at different ages.

In your 20s, it’s important to develop cardiovascular fitness. Why? Because research says that those who can run on a treadmill consistently in their 20s have 50 percent lower risk of death, and 40 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease. To take advantage of these benefits, people in their 20s should try doing cardio five days a week, for a minimum of 30 minutes. A walk or light jog will be sufficient to set you up for good health for the rest of your life.

Researchers also recommend yoga, since people in their 20s are displaying higher than average rates of stress.

Anyone who has ever turned 30 has noticed the gradual slowdown of your body’s metabolism. The way to combat this change is through interval training. Interval training focuses on bursts of intense exercise followed by less intense exercise. For example, you would run as fast as you possibly can for 4 minutes, and then have four minutes of fast walking or slow running. When you alternate between high intensity exercises and lower intensity ones, then your body will continue to burn calories for 10 to 12 hours after your workout ends. This helps your body combat that metabolic slowdown that adds about two pounds to your weight each year after you turn 30.

Since turning 30 also marks the decade when you begin to lose muscle, it’s also important to integrate lifting into your routine. The goal is to lift enough weight that you can only do 8 to 12 reps in each set.

In your 40s, it’s all about keeping your body moving. Scientists have concluded that telemores, which are stretches of DNA that protect our genetic data, are the key to aging. In theory, the stronger and longer the telemores are, the more likely your DNA will be able to withstand cell division, which is why we age and get diseases. A study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that the more active people are in their 40s, the less likely their telemores are to decline. In short, exercise keeps your cells healthy. Experts say people in their 40s should focus on weight training, cardio training, and other vigorous activity.

For people in their 50s, weight-bearing activities are crucial. That’s why weight-lifting is recommended for women, to increase bone density. Experts recommend 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercises every day. What are weight-bearing exercises? Those that force you to be on your feet, giving your legs a strong workout. The best activities you can do are tennis, dancing, jumping, skipping and running.

By your 60s and 70s, your exercise needs have changed again. Now doctors recommend a real focus on weight-training. This time it is less about bone density and more about giving your brain a good lift. When women who are in their 60s and 70s lift weights two times a week, they have fewer white spots on their brain, which are associated with cognitive decline. Men and women should aim for two workouts a week that engage their entire body, emphasizing 10 reps for each muscle group.

Gardening and walking are good ways for people in their 70s and beyond. They key is to move steadily for about 30 minutes a day to keep your body in tip top shape.


  1. 50 Something says:

    Really informative article with stuff I never knew. thanks

  2. Maureen Donnelly says:

    Weights are a must for women over age 30

  3. paulie g. says:

    I hate cardio. just thought I’d share.

  4. Apples says:

    Excellent suggestions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *