Even at 75 you can still run a marathon! Yep, it is true, no matter what your age you can still be fit and healthy. Of course, there is a caveat to that. You have to take care of your body to achieve this success. And no, you do not have to run a marathon!
What do I mean by taking care of your body? Well, I mean, don't let yourself get overweight and out of shape. If you do simple things like taking a walk, for at least 30 minutes a day, you too could run a marathon, if that is your desire.
You see, we have the wrong idea about being fit. We think we have to spend hours and hours in a gym or at a specialized exercise class or with a personal trainer (although I do recommend that you hire one if you are just getting started or have not used weights before or have been not working out for awhile).
Staying fit is not rocket science. Just moving your body for 30 minutes a day can do a body wonders by helping to keep your weight down, working the heart, and keeping diabetes (and other life threatening diseases) at bay.
Getting up from the couch, away from the computer or the kitchen, or whatever for 30 minutes could possibly save your life. Even if you do some physical activity during your day, it is essential that you perform the activity at a level to make your heart work harder than usual. This is typically referred to as your target heart rate.
So just how to do you figure out your target heart rate zone? Start with your age (45 let's say) and subtract this number from 220.
220 - 45 = 175
Next, multiply this number by 60% for your lowest target heart rate and by 80% for your highest target hear rate.
175 x.60 = 105 (lowest target heart rate)
175 x.80 =140 (highest target heart rate)
What this means is that the target heart rate for this person should be no lower than 105 beats per minute, and no higher than 140 beats per minute for at least 10 minutes of the training session.
Using a heart rate monitor can help you stay in your target heart rate zone. However, if you're not ready to invest in a heart monitor right away, you can still keep tabs on your heart rate by stopping periodically during your run and taking your pulse for 10 seconds. Using the target heart rates from our earlier example, your pulse should be between 17 and 23 beats for the 10-second period. You'd then multiply this by 6 (6 x 10 = 60 seconds) to get the number of beats per minute. The trouble with this method is that you have to stop and quickly find your pulse. For me, this was a problem - I couldn't find my pulse fast enough.
Another less accurate, but still popular, method to measure your workout intensity is the 'talk test'. If you can carry on a conversation with your walking partner without gasping or feeling out of breath - you're likely exercising at a good intensity for your ability. If you can't do this, you are probably training too hard and need to slow down.
But no matter what your age, you can stay fit or get fit if it has been awhile since you have done any activity to raise your heart rate. Some suggestions are, of course, walking, running, jogging, bicycling, swimming, etc. You get the idea. Of course, please have a physical before starting any new physical activity.