Exercise is arguably the most important lever we have to improve health and longevity.
Any exercise is better than none, and the best exercise is the one you will do consistently.
But once you’ve embedded exercised into your regular routine, you can step it up a notch and start optimizing your protocol.
The first type of exercise that should serve as the foundation for your program is cardio/aerobic exercise.
Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart, your brain, and improves your VO₂ max. It is well-known that people with the highest VO₂ max live longer.
Running, swimming, and cycling are all good forms of aerobic exercise. I recommend doing aerobic exercise at least 5 days per week, for at least 30 minutes per session. It’s even better to go up to 45–60 minutes per day if you can.
You can go relatively low and slow in terms of intensity on most days, but dial it up 1–2 days per week, getting your heart rate up to 80%+ of your max (max heart rate is typically calculated as 220 minus your age). Your workouts can be on the shorter side on your high-intensity days.
The next type of exercise to include in your routine is resistance training. Resistance training strengthens and builds your muscles and helps prevent against muscle loss as you age.
Everyone should be doing resistance training, but it becomes especially important after you turn 40.
Get in the gym or do some form of strength training (e.g. body weight exercises at home) at least 2 times per week. Unless you’re a bodybuilder, basic strength training exercise will work just fine to tone and build your muscles. If you have questions, consult a trainer at your gym or find a good routine online from a trustworthy source.
The most important part of any exercise routine is avoiding injury, so pick a routine that is manageable for you, especially when first starting out.
The next type of exercise to include is flexibility training. This can be as simple as a daily stretching session to loosen your muscles. I stretch for 30+ minutes every morning, which primes my body for the day ahead. If you enjoy yoga or another similar…