Focus on Fitness — It's Never Too Late!
Health Benefits of Exercise for Middle-Aged AdultsAngie Lewis, Writer
Roofing is a physically demanding job, as well as one of the most dangerous. Between carrying bundles of shingles, climbing up and down ladders, bending and squatting, and walking around on rooftops, fitness and endurance are crucial to the health and safety of workers.
As a contractor, even though you may or may not be doing the most grueling parts of the work, your diet and exercise — or lack thereof — can play a huge role in your roofing business. After all, you can’t exactly do business if you keel over from a heart attack caused by eating junk food or not exercising regularly.
“Physical activity is key to maintaining health and well-being,” according to Health.gov. “Getting active can improve fitness and reduce stress, reduce risk for many chronic diseases, and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.”
In honor of National Fitness Month (May), we did a little digging and discovered some great news. It’s never too late for couch potatoes — even those in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond — to reap the health benefits of regular exercise.
“Research shows that becoming fit in middle age will give you more years of good health — and the most effective exercise for a middle-aged body can be easier and faster than you might think,” according to a New York Times article.
The key is something scientists call HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. The process consists of a 3x3 interval workout, which begins by using a heart rate monitor to determine your target heart rate. Then, you start a moderate 3-minute warmup, such as riding a bike or walking on a treadmill. Next, you quicken your pace and push yourself to a “discomfort” zone for 3 minutes (to the point that you can’t sing while doing the exercise), followed by returning to a moderate pace and checking your heart rate to see if you’re in your target zone.
Repeat the process (sprint and recovery) four times, with a goal of trying to beat your previous heart rate number each round. Finally, finish with an easy 3-minute cooldown. By the end, you will have done a 30-minute workout, with only 12 minutes of hard exercise, which is more beneficial to your body than pushing yourself for an hour on the treadmill.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health blog, “Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK found that sedentary adults ages 40 to 80 who increased their physical activity level to 150 minutes a week were 24% less likely to die during the study period than those who remained inactive.”
In the article, Dr. I-Min Lee, a researcher at Harvard says, “...Previous studies have found that starting to exercise can help inactive people improve blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and inflammation, and reduce belly fat.”
Additionally, research supports that adults who do moderate to vigorous exercise in their middle-aged years are also statistically less likely to show signs of brain damage over their next 25 years.
“Brisk walking, running and biking in midlife may be linked to better brain health in later life,” states a Neurology journal study cited in Science Focus Magazine. “The results show that physical activity may have a protective effect on the brain.”
This means regular moderate to vigorous exercise could reduce the risk of developing brain-related conditions such as dementia. Proof that increased activity is good for your body and your mind!
Hit the Clubs
Not sure how to get started or want to mix up your workouts? Hate running on a treadmill to nowhere in a gym? Don’t sweat it! There are lots of interactive ways to get in your weekly cardio, including club sports.
From baseball, softball, flag football, soccer, volleyball, golf and bowling, to kickball, pickleball, disc golf, cornhole, shuffleboard, darts and horseshoes, there’s a sport for everyone, regardless of athletic ability.
And while moderate to vigorous exercise is what’s recommended for optimal health benefits, the overall — and easily attainable — goal is to get moving... MORE!
To find a club sports league near you, search websites such as your local parks and recreation department and YMCA. You can also check Meetup.com or Google club sports leagues in your area. Some cities even have dedicated sport and social clubs.
No matter which type of workout you prefer, it’s important to dress comfortably and hydrate throughout. And why not rep the roofing industry (*cough* and your favorite manufacturer) while you’re at it?!
Check out some of the awesome Asphalt Life gear that can help you on your health journey:
- No bicycle is actually required for the 20 oz. Asphalt Life bike bottle! While you can put it in your bike’s bottle holder, it’s also the perfect size to grab on the go, such as when you’re heading to the gym or one of your club sports games.
- You don’t have to go farther than your own backyard with the Asphalt Life cornhole boards and bags set. It may not be vigorous exercise, but it does get you off the couch for a while and in a vertical position!
- Take your dog for a walk or jog with the Asphalt Life pet collar and Asphalt Life pet leash. It’s a great way to bond with your fur baby and it will help to keep him or her healthy too!
- In addition to sunscreen, protect your face from UV rays with the Live, Roof, Play patch cap. The breathable mesh back will help keep you cool, while the bill can help keep the sun out of your eyes while you play sports or take a run in the fresh air.
For even more Asphalt Life and Atlas products, log into your PRO+ account and click on the Pro Shop icon.