7 Best Ways to Successfully Get Fit After 40
‘I am too old to get fit.’ ‘I’ll never be the same fit me I used to be in my 20s.’ Well, indeed, you’re not 25 anymore, but you’re still alive and as long as you’re still breathing, you can be fit. And actually, exercise is more essential when you’re over 40; it is no longer about the aesthetics (well, it can be if you still care that much), it is more about how you feel both mentally and physically. There’s so much information out there on what you should and shouldn’t be doing to keep fit, especially as a woman dealing with hormonal fluctuations and slowed down metabolism. But the truth is, to maintain strength and health, you don’t necessarily need to drain yourself with intense and strenuous exercises that will leave you exhausted. That is why I have
compiled a few things you need to be doing to keep fit and feel rejuvenated in your 40s:
Change your mindset
Get rid of the mentality that you can’t get fit after 40 because it’s 100% not true!
People today value being healthy and in shape at any age and you shouldn’t allow age to stop. The secret here is not to compare yourself now and your younger years. It is normal for your body to have declined physical performance, and the key is to embrace and accept it at every stage.
As long as you breathe, you have the opportunity to try new things, challenge yourself by exercising, and discover more about yourself because you’re more.
Get to know your body
What body type are you?
Knowing your body type will help you to understand your nutritional and exercise needs, which is essential for planning your long-term health and fitness strategy. Even though most people are a combination of two body types, it is still very important to get to know where you majorly lie.
See your physician! I know you don’t want to hear this and maybe deem it unnecessary, but an evaluation and approval from your physician is paramount.
It is advisable that you ease into exercising by starting slow with exercises like walking, low impact running, or cycling for 30-40 minutes five times a week. Don’t worry about starting slow because once your body gets used to it, it will be easier to add intensity as you go.
Consistency trumps intensity any day of the week! I know just intense exercising once a week seems like the easier way out, but trust me no results will be achieved through this method. Having achievable goals and a consistent schedule, on the other hand, means results.
Consistency means that you fall in love with the journey.
Be Intentional with Your Diet
As Dr. Mark Hyman said, “you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet”. Healthy eating seems to be a habit that many people are embracing, making the possibilities endless. Whether you want to lose weight or to stay in shape, your diet should be your number priority because it will make or kill your goals. Do not go for traditional restrictive diets because those do more harm than good to your body. if possible, see a nutritionist to help you create a nonrestrictive balanced diet.
Learn to fuel your body with healthy food!
Incorporate Strength Training
Now that you have developed a consistent exercising schedule and healthy eating habits, it’s time to incorporate weight lifting. Research shows that as we age, the muscle mass in our bodies decreases by approximately 3-5% after the age of 30. Strength training is essential to help create and restore your muscle mass and increase cardiovascular endurance. Do not overdo it; just like with aerobics, start slow with moderation.
Listen to your body
Everything I mentioned above is important for you to start and stay fit in your 40s, but the most important one of all is listening to your body. It becomes increasingly important for you to avoid training mistakes and overexertion. Learn to read your body as you get used to exercising and eating habits, and stay away from movements that are hurting you.
Take a rest if need be!
In the end, your fitness journey is the best investment you’ll ever make on yourself. It is an individualized journey that will need only you to make it happen. Go ahead and perform your best to achieve your most desired goals, because life truly starts at 40!