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It’s been three years since Wilson had any exercise. Now he is hitting the gym. This travel agent says he was too busy with work, family and so on, but now he has time. Wilson is aware that he has crossed 30 and needs to stay fit. He has been told by his trainer at KJK Fitness Gym in Madipakkam, Chennai, that he must take it slowly.

Many people who live sedentary lives and don’t get much physical activity have a late realization when they start putting on weight after 30. They become ambitious and start placing unrealistic demands on themselves. And these can have repercussions.

The recent deaths of Kannada star Puneeth Rajkumar following a workout at the gym and fitness enthusiast Andhra Pradesh IT Minister Goutham Reddy has once again brought this issue up. Though Rajkumar stayed fit and sported a slim figure, his age just wasn’t cooperating with the sculpted look he wanted for his body.

Venkatesh, a trainer at a gym in Royapettah, says that the first thing that middle-aged newbies ask for is rapid reduction of weight. But after 35 years of age, a man’s testosterone levels dip and he gets tired quicker than before. A strenuous workout is not recommended for such a person.

Venkatesh, a trainer at a gym in Royapettah, says that the first thing that middle-aged newbies ask for is rapid reduction of weight. But after 35 years of age, a man’s testosterone levels dip and he gets tired quicker than before. A strenuous workout is not recommended for such a person.

Venkatesh also warns against training without professional help. For instance, one needs adequate rest between cardio sessions but people who work out on their own overdo it, he adds.

For newcomers or those who are doing weight training after a long gap, the heart rate ramps up to cope up with demand for oxygen. This boosts blood pressure and further increases heart rate. If the blood pressure shoots up, then it can lead to cardiac arrest, he says. Rajkumar, though a regular at the gym, may have pushed himself too hard, he adds.

Venkatesh also stresses on not exceeding the time spent in weight training. He said doing more can be counterproductive and harm the body. He says diet is as important, if not more, than just weight training. Eating right and having the correct quantities at the prescribed time is more important, he adds. Only then will the body cooperate, he says.

“Cardio is good for health. But those who are above 40 have weaker muscles. They should not do intense training since there is a danger of muscle tear. I recommend less cardio for those who are above 40. Even squats should be minimal,” says Lokesh, a trainer at Nanganallur.

Venkatesh says that the mind and the body should be in sync while training. If the mind is stressed and pre-occupied, that too can lead to an increase in blood pressure. He asks those who do exercises to listen to the body. Eyes fluttering, pain in the left side of the body, sudden sweating, increase in body temperature are all telltale signs of distress in the body. The person doing the exercise should immediately stop and rest and even ask for professional help. He recommends that one should stop training if there is any discomfort.

Discipline and regularity are more important than strenuous workout, says Lokesh, a gym trainer for more than 10 years in Nanganallur. After a certain age, care should be taken while doing squats, cardio and deadlifts, he says.

“Cardio is good for health. But those who are above 40 have weaker muscles. They should not do intense training since there is a danger of muscle tear. I recommend less cardio for those who are above 40. Even squats should be minimal,” he adds.

Those who suffer from depression, high blood pressure and diabetes and those who do not eat healthy should keep away from lifting weights. (Photo: Pixahive)

Much care should be taken for doing deadlifts, he says. “This should be done only under the supervision of professional trainers. Initially, deadlifts look easy. But they should be avoided by those who are older. Mental wellbeing, cooperation by the body and proper food are important. If these are not balanced, then those who are older run risks if they are doing deadlifts,” he says.

Those who are suffering from depression, high blood pressure and diabetes and those who are not eating healthy should keep away from lifting weights, he says.

If the exercise is balanced with work, food and sleep, then things can work well even for late beginners, says Vijaykumar, a trainer in Taramani. He cautions against taking tips from YouTube videos for training. “Many want quick results and trust YouTube videos more than the professional advice of trainers. Some feel that if they work out less one day, they should make up for it the next day. That is not the correct procedure. Every day, the workout should only be for a certain period of time,” he says. “A person at any age can do exercises. Food and sleep are highly important. If a person is mentally stressed and hasn’t had good sleep, then a workout will likely hamper blood circulation.”

Vijaykumar says an 87-year-old man has competed for Mr Tamil Nadu and has challenged far younger men. He can serve as an example of all, he adds.


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