Encourage a sizzling summer of activity in your organization by sharing these insights from Vitality.

Exercise ideas for your plan members whether they’re young or young at heart

July 18, 2022

For business owners, plan administrators, and sponsors

Exercise is a cornerstone of the Manulife Vitality group benefits program and a great way for people to improve their mental and physical health.

Is that a creak in your step? Does your back ache and you’re not sure why? Whether we like it or not, our bodies deteriorate with time. The good news is there’s a way to help those creaks and aches: exercise!

Staying active can add years to your life. A combination of cardio, strength and balance training can help maintain muscle tone and make everyday tasks easier. Plus, with regular exercise, you’ll likely have more energy, confidence and it will help you cope better with the daily stresses of life.

Help your plan members take the time each day to make exercise a “must” and they can enjoy the benefits of a fit, healthy body whether they’re young or young at heart.

20s

  • At this age, your energy levels are higher and you generally have more free time. Use it to explore different exercise types and see what you enjoy.
  • Experiment with what intensity of exercise shows the best results on your body. 
  • Create a strong foundation for cardiovascular fitness and strength training by increasing your muscle and bone mass.
  • Learn correct exercise techniques and work on your mobility. This will help prevent injuries and develop good muscle memory and movement patterns.

30s

  • A decrease in muscle mass as we get older can add to extra weight gain, as your metabolism slows down.
  • High-intensity interval training is very effective to burn calories in a short time. Lengthen your rest periods when you’re unfit and shorten them as you get fitter.
  • If you do 15 to 20 reps with a weight and feel like you can do more, the intensity is too light.
  • Make exercise part of your daily routine if you can’t fit a full workout in your day. Take the stairs, park your car further away from the shops, engage in active play with your kids or fit a few 10-minute workouts into your day. 

40s

  • Weight-training should be done at least three times a week as it becomes more important in preventing the onset of osteoporosis. Do 8 to 12 reps of multi-muscle exercises.
  • The risk of injury is higher in this age group, so make sure you have good form – even if it takes you longer. Allow adequate recovery between sessions.
  • Keep up cardiovascular training for 20 to 60 minutes per session, three times a week at a moderate to vigorous intensity.
  • Endorphins get released during exercise that can help with feelings of depression, anxiety and sadness.

50s

  • Increase your cardio workouts to 20 to 40-minute sessions four to six times a week. Do this at an intensity where you can still answer a short question, but not chat.
  • Add stretches, as well as balance, core strengthening exercises and some weight training sessions to combat the loss of muscle mass as you get older.
  • You can still do some impact activities, like running, but remember that you’ll need more recovery time after those sessions than you did before. This is crucial to help you avoid injury.
  • Exercise can also improve your concentration and quality of sleep.

60s

  • Do 4 to 6 sessions a week of exercises like walking, cycling, stair-climbing, hiking or swimming.
  • Use free weights, elastic bands, body weight or machines for strength-training.
  • Daily balance and core strengthening exercises will help reduce the risk of falling and improve your gait and posture.
  • Stretch regularly to maintain sufficient joint space and flexibility, which can help reduce the wear and tear inside your joints.
  • Exercise is also beneficial for better brain function and can help prevent memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia.

The Vitality Group Inc., in association with The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, provides the Manulife Vitality Group Benefits program. Vitality is a trademark of Vitality Group International, Inc., and is used by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its affiliates under license. Manulife, Manulife & Stylized M Design, and Stylized M Design are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, and are used by it, The Vitality Group Inc. and its affiliates under license. PO Box 2580, STN B Montreal QC H3B 5C6.

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