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Cindy Boggs Cindy Boggs

Cindy Boggs is an American Council on Exercise-certified fitness professional, corporate wellness presenter and author of the award winning book, CindySays … "You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World." Her web site is

If we were to take snapshots of an active person's exercise habits spanning a lifetime, it would reveal a moving picture of how the body must continually realign its focus. Even those who do everything right in terms of health will eventually need to yell, "Cut!" and readjust for the sake of their body. 

Each decade comes equipped with its unique gifts as well as challenges and the wise will follow the natural direction of their body.  

Here are some of the training recommendations as they pertain to the 20s, 30s, 40s and so on.  

20s — Make Your Mark and have the time of your life 

This is your time to leave it all on the field. Work out every day if you desire. … Your body won't punish you. Build strength, establish your bone density, lengthen your stride, win some medals, make everyone envious and don't look back. Sports, bodybuilding, marathons, you call the shots. 

30s — You're an adult now 

You have a job and undoubtedly a few added responsibilities. Perhaps there is a baby in the picture and whether you're the mom or the dad, you've packed on some added baby weight to deal with. You need energy. I repeat. …You need energy. You're sleep deprived at the same time you're trying to establish a career, and now you have back pain and it's ticking you off. You're still young and durable, so combine strength and cardio in a high-intensity training session. Get 'r done!

40s — What do you mean I'm losing muscle?!?

Good news—you're successful enough to have a company wellness director. Bad news — you're greeted with an inner office message explaining how your metabolism is slowing down and stealing the last of the muscle you built in your 30s. Strength training suddenly sprints to the top of your to-do list, trumping everything. No more messing around — this is your last opportunity to be the athlete you used to be. Carve out a little more personal time and re-prioritize. Give up some cardio miles, and hit the weights like never before. Hire that personal trainer to get the most out of the time you have. Decide to work both hard and smart.   

50s — Lifestyle rears its ugly head 

Like it or not, annual physicals, health screenings and worksite wellness programs are there for a reason. High blood-pressure, menopause, insomnia, high cholesterol, stress and joint pain love to enter the picture at this time. Unhealthy lifestyle choices that you thought would never catch up with you, such as smoking, sadly do. Exercise has to be thoughtful and sensitive to your distinct needs and capabilities. You may not tolerate the high intensity any longer, and your joint pain isn't going away anymore. You also need your rest each night. In terms of physical activity, cross-training can help you avoid overuse injury. Try blending in less repetitive movement such as yoga. Paying more attention to range of motion with active stretches and foam rolling is a must. Finding fun in fitness also is important to minimize burnout and boredom. This also lowers your chance of injury, which is a victory in itself. 

60s+ — Daily activity 

The focus switches from personal bests to living longer and staying disease-free. The heart must be kept active so cardio and strength are always a good course. However, balance begins to wane during this decade, especially if you've been inactive for a while, so an emphasis on stability will put you ahead of the game. This is achieved though specific exercises that activate the core. The gift of the 60+ is that you probably have a little more time to call your own, which makes this a prime time for incorporating professional advice from a personal trainer. He or she can design a program that is right for you, taking into consideration what you've been challenged by and inspired by each decade of your life. This is no time to give up, as there is no finish line when it comes to activating the body. It is merely a time to refuel and reframe your fitness for the future. 

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