Life Wellbeing This is the best exercise for every age group
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This is the best exercise for every age group

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We’ve all been told before – keeping fit is an important part of any healthy lifestyle.

Whether you’re a yoga devotee or marathon runner, moving a little bit every day is essential for not only our bodies but also our minds, at any age.

Turning 60 or even 70 is no excuse to stop exercising – it might just be time to take a different tack.

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We spoke to physiotherapist and fitness professional Lisa Westlake about the perfect movement for different life stages, keeping in mind that age is just a number and what suits you best may be something completely different.

Ms Westlake is a long-term ambassador for the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic, which for the past 19 years has encouraged men, women and children of all ages to walk or run for breast cancer research.

In our 20s

Run while you're young – and injury-free. Photo: Getty
Run while you’re young – and injury-free. Photo: Getty

“When we’re in our 20s we feel fit and infallible,” says Ms Westlake.

“It’s a great time to really maximise fitness with a mix of cardiovascular, strength and core training.

“One of the big things for 20-year-olds is they tend to be very busy with uni, work and social life, so one of the biggest issues can be fitting exercise in.

“But when you’re fit and injury free it’s really time to go for it, especially because in our early 20s we’re still at the time when we can build bone density.”

Try this exercise: Running and strength training

In our 30s and 40s

“For many women these are the childbearing years, when they have to make significant changes to look after their body while they’re pregnant and young mothers,” says Ms Westlake.

“This is a really important time to incorporate pelvic floor exercises (pregnant or not) and to really hone in on core strengthening.

“During pregnancy I recommend low impact exercise.

“For men and women, the 30s and 40s can be major career years. This means they may be busy at work and spending hours at the desk in poor posture.

“To prioritise keeping fit and to counter-act poor posture, they really need to find an exercise they enjoy and that fits in with their lives.”

Try this exercise: Yoga and cycling

In our 50s and 60s

Pilates is low impact and great for the all-important pelvic floor. Photo: Getty
Pilates is low impact and great for the all-important pelvic floor. Photo: Getty

“For women, menopause means oestrogen drops and we are more prone to injury,” says Ms Westlake.

“We may also suffer postural problems, pelvic floor problems.

“For men at this age, it’s really important with life so busy (and having a bit more money now) to continue to prioritise weight management.

“It’s also important to exercise at this age to prevent conditions such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.

“In their 40s, men are much more prone to suffering heart attacks, but in their 50s, women catch up to them.

“This is also a good time to think about your balance and incorporate exercises that challenge you, such as single leg squats.”

Try this exercise: Fit ball, swimming and Pilates

In our 70s

“As we get older it’s really important to keep moving.

“Finding exercises that are enjoyable yet less stressful on the joints are best, so aqua exercise is fantastic for this demographic.”

Try this exercise: Aqua exercise, strengthening and stretching


The New Daily is a media partner of the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic, which takes place in 100 locations around Australia on Sunday May 8, raising money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation to help fund breast cancer research.

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