Alas a majority of people over 40 are not very physically fit. Most believe that exercise at their age is too hard, too unsafe, or that it’s just too late for them to get started. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Just a small increase in your current activity level can result in considerable improvements in overall health and fitness; not to mention the quality of your life. In fact , as you get older, the less physical activity you do the greater your chances of having serious health issues and dying at a younger age. The fitter you are as you age the greater the benefit to your overall health and longevity.
Fitness for the over 40’s is important because research has shown that people who do not exercise are more at risk for heart disease. In fact, not exercising ranks right up there with smoking, high blood pressure and bad cholesterol as a major cause of heart disease. Going for a walk every day or even 3-4 times a week will significantly decrease your chances of heart disease. The important thing is that you get moving and do some form of exercise. It doesn’t have to be a workout that lasts for hours either. Studies have shown how many exercise frequency is more important than how long you exercise.
Once we reach 40 and the years roll forward, we must not only stay fit but be smarter in how we attend to our health. No matter what you have done previously, you can improve the chance for longevity and quality of life by getting physically active and getting in control of your body. So once you have read this get up and get moving. You’ll be so proud of yourself a few months down the line, and you may even find that you enjoy your chosen activity. I hold up my hands and admit that I love weight training, but in this blog I’ve already admitted that. I train with guys at least 15 years younger than me, and it really motivates me. It’s great!
As you spend time with others your age, you may have noticed that you all have something very important in common. You are not as young as you used to be. So do as I do, find exercise partners who are younger than you. Show them what us ‘oldies’ are capable of.
However, you may have noticed that some men and women over 50 are more youthful than others. And once you reached the ripe old age of 40 you remember back to your youth when 40 something’s really were old people with old ways. Well now you are 40 doesn’t it seem that 40 year olds today are far younger in every way then back in those days.
Perhaps you are suffering from high cholesterol, heart attacks, arthritis, obesity, neurological disorders, and a general lack of energy. You yearn for the energy and health you experienced in your 30s. So take my word of warning, nothing can stop the natural progression of time, but you can control how your body ages by focusing on getting active over 40.
Please take this warning, when a sedentary person ages, they put themselves at high risk for age-related illnesses, loss of independence, and early death. Most people begin to lose muscle mass after their 30s and sedentary people lose about 2% of their muscle strength every year. This muscle loss has many dangerous affects such as weight gain, lethargy, and unusual strain on the heart.
On the other hand, people who practice getting active over 40 are still capable of improving their muscle mass, bone density, mental processes, and overall health. If you make fitness a priority in your life, you will regain the stamina, strength, agility, health, and overall happiness you had in your younger days.
If you want to spend your later years independent, free to live life to the fullest, then now is the time for prevention. It is never too late to start.
A good exercise plan includes cardio, weight training, and flexibility training. Cardio workouts increase your blood flow, which strengthens your cardiovascular system and burns calories. Weight Training greatly builds muscle and taxes your bones to make them denser. Flexibility exercises put focus on stretching and balance.
Just as everyone’s exercise needs vary, so do nutritional needs. Your recommended calorie intake, along with protein, fat, carbohydrate, and fibre needs, will vary according to your individual body, fitness goals, and level of activity.
It is also important that you reduce the areas of stress that cause a lack of motivation, poor nutrition, and generally promote poor health.
The hardest thing about getting fit when you’re older, is sticking with it.
1. Check with your doctor. If you’ve been inactive for a long time, you need to get medical clearance.
2. Be honest about your fitness level. Important things to know in midlife are blood pressure, resting heart rate, body-fat percentage and weight.
3. Start slowly and build up gradually. When you start exercising at 40, try not to expect results overnight; slow and steady always wins the race.
4. Schedule exercise like you would a meeting. Health is important, so make it a priority.
5. Be consistent and make it fun. When exercise is enjoyable, it doesn’t seem like a chore and so you’ll stick to your routine longer. Try weightlifting or boxing or even dance classes, or sign up for an adventure hike.
So being fit and over 40 is like the fountain of youth. We all know that exercise is good for us, but the hard part for a lot of people is actually getting into that mindset and doing some sort of exercise program. We can come up with all the excuses in the world why not to exercise but the fact remains that following some sort of exercise program as we age can slow down that process and allow us to live longer and healthier lives. So join the fitness over 40 crowd and see how much younger you can feel
I, implore you to just get active, even just a short run or a brisk walk or some sport.
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