8 Best Cardio Workouts For Men In Their 40s
Heart disease remains a top killer of men in the U.S., claiming up to 325,000 lives each year, with men over 40 being most susceptible. Research has proven that the best way to defend against this is by improving one’s cardiovascular health.
The American Heart Association recommends that men undertake 150 minutes of semi-vigorous cardiovascular exercise every week to lessen their chances of heart disease. Here are some of the best cardio workouts for men in their 40s.
The Track Routine
A simple and very effective workout, running laps around the local track is one of the best ways to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. Popular with marathoners, elite milers, and just about everyone else, sprinting or jogging on the track greatly boosts your cardiovascular system while improving your endurance and stamina.
However, if you are over 40, it’s best not to go overboard and work your heart muscles too much. You can start with a 10-minute warm-up and stretching exercise, then do 6-8 quarter mile laps with a 1-minute rest after each interval. Slowly increase the number of laps till you get to 20.
The Track Routine 2.0
A variation on the previous workout, this routine is not for the faint of heart. This workout requires you to sprint around the track in a progression of ever-increasing, high-intensity intervals with a 90-second rest in between.
You start with one lap (i.e. 400 meters), and progressively increase it by half laps (200 meters) after each interval. Repeat this until you get to 4 laps (1600 meters). Don’t try to make it to 1600 on your first go; it might take you a few weeks to get there.
Usually called “hill repeats” by running enthusiasts, this exercise is a great way of giving your heart muscles a thorough workout.
You need to find a hill that is at least a quarter-mile in length, sprint to the top, jog back down, then rest for 60 seconds.
Repeat this at least four times on your first day and gradually work up to eight. Once you are through, be sure to do a 5-10-minute jog to cool down.
Kettlebell Swings and Burpees
As we age, our body finds it increasingly difficult to maintain flexibility. As such, it is important that you undertake workouts that force your body to move through different planes. A great way of doing this is by swinging kettlebells and performing burpees (squat thrusts), which is less stressful on the body than other strength training moves.
Burpees burn a lot of calories, improve the conditioning of the body, and speed up the heart rate while providing a strenuous workout for your arms, chest, legs and abs.
Kettlebell swings are highly efficient workouts and focus on strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, lower back, and abs. They both burn fat while reducing the possibility of heart attack by increasing oxygen flow and improving the heart’s pumping ability.
Now known as the new golf, cycling is an exciting group activity that can double as a great cardiovascular workout. Your endurance and effectiveness as a rider is defined by the ability of your heart to efficiently disperse blood (and thus oxygen) throughout the body.
Cycling is great for the joints, helps to build leg strength, gives your heart a proper workout and improves your endurance and stamina; however, you should ensure that you get a decent bike that is correctly aligned with your anatomy. For this exercise, you should do a 60-minute ride with at least ten 30-second sprints liberally sprinkled in.
The Stair-Climbing Routine
Also called the ladder workout by coaches and trainers, climbing stairs or an inclined plane is an effective cardiovascular workout.
Climbing a flight of steps will not only build your stamina and strengthen your lower body, it can also improve bone density, protect one from high blood pressure, and get your heart pumping vigorously, thus strengthening the heart muscles. It also improves the strength of the hamstring, quad and glute muscles.
Begin with a 5-minute warm-up exercise, then do a set of fast sprints (at least 30 seconds) up and down the incline. Vary the routine by alternatively increasing your speed or degree of incline.
Almost as strenuous as hardcore jogging, swimming is an effective way of working all the muscles in your body. It also trains the body and heart to use oxygen more efficiently, improves lung capacity, develops cardio-respiratory fitness, and burns calories, without putting too much strain on the joints. To make it challenging and exciting, consider doing laps in a series of increasing timed intervals.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises not only reduce stress and the effects of aging, but are also an effective way to get your heart pumping vigorously when warming up for exercises.
Before starting your daily workout, take 10 minutes to focus on inhaling and exhaling deeply. When inhaling, ensure that your chest is filled to bursting, hold for a second or two, then exhale as slowly as you can.
To keep in shape and protect against cardiovascular disease, men in their 40s and above need an effective and safe cardio schedule. Consider the above eight workouts to keep you healthy as you move into middle age.