The Best Exercise Program for Each Decade of Your Life

We all know being physically active is beneficial, even if we don’t heed the advice. Yet we may not always be clear about the best way to stay active as we age. Not all exercise programs are fit for all people.

Where someone is in their lifespan influences their best exercise program, and knowing what the right program is can help ensure the benefits are maximized.

Change as You Age

“As we age, we can do forms of the same exercise routine, but it should be adjusted depending on what our bodies need for that decade in our life,” explains Jennifer Scherer, medical exercise specialist, certified personal trainer, and owner of Fredericksburg Fitness Studio.

“A high-impact jumping working in your 30s may not affect your joints like it would in your 60s. However, that does not mean someone in their 60’s can’t do high-intensity workouts.”

Regular Physical Activity

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Not only does it help prevent health problems, but it will help keep people more mobile and able to do daily activities as they age.

The CDC recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise (i.e., brisk walking) and two days per week of strength training.

Scherer explains that most workouts can be scaled up or down depending on the individual. A 20-year-old and a 70-year-old can do the same workout as long as modifications and adjustments are made to fit the individual’s needs for that session.

Going to a personal trainer is helpful because the fitness professional can take the guesswork out of the workout and ensure you are getting an appropriately challenging workout for your age and ability. Going to a general workout group class or working out alone in a gym limits the personalization of the exercise and can lead to injury if the workout is not done correctly.

Here Is the Best Exercise Program for Each Decade of Life:


The 20s and 30s

Include high impact, high-intensity interval training, strength training, core, flexibility, and stretching. Additionally, add in low impact, slow, steady state, yoga, and Pilates. Those in this age group who are healthy enough and don’t have co-morbidities should be able to do anything they want regarding fitness.

The 40s-50s

Work on a plan that includes high-intensity, low-impact, strength training, core, flexibility, and stretching. High impact can be done by those in this age group, provided they don’t have joint pain or other issues that would prevent them from doing so. At this age it is moving is important and should be a priority.

The 60s-70s

This age group is ideal for focusing on low impact, low-moderate intensity, depending on the individual. Include walking, daily movement, strength training, stretching, and core exercises. The intensity levels are dependent on the individual.

“We need to remember that not all exercise programs are fitting for every age span,” added Scherer. “It’s important to be mindful of how our bodies change as we age and give them the appropriate level of challenge in a workout for that season of life.”


More From A Dime Saved:


Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.