Don't let your fitness slide after 40. 4 tips to help you.
Why is it so easy to put on weight and lose your fitness now that you are over 40? This blog takes a good look at fitness over 40 and what that actually means. The challenges that you face in wanting to be fit and healthy are unique to you but so commonly shared amongst others.
So, you are over 40. With age, metabolism naturally slows after 40 and declines by approximately 5% every decade after that. Similarly, muscle mass losses range from 3-8% each decade if left unchecked. You may be able to identify with that morning stiffness feeling after a particularly exerting day or simply requiring more time to recover from physical activities compared to the past.
The reality is that compared to life when you were younger, it isn’t just your priorities, but also the time afforded to you, that has in many cases, radically changed. Your daily life may see you caring for others, whether that is raising a family with young children or caring for elderly loved ones. You just don’t have the luxury of time or freedom that you once had. School holidays are a perfect example whereby your time is dominated by family commitments which then sees personal moments of self-care put on hold or permanently shelved.
Pressures and responsibilities of work and the layers of stress that entails. Add a dash of insomnia or unhealthy eating habits into the mix, and the last thing on your mind will be exercise. But it’s not all doom and gloom, I would like to quickly add. Your physical destiny is very much in your own hands. It can just feel that much harder to get it going.
I’ve always likened fitness to DIY – sometimes the very thought of starting is enough to put you off, but as soon as that paint brush hits the wall and you start to see the colours, you fall in love with it. Here are 4 tips to help you.
1. Have a plan.
Just by starting something is a step in the right direction, but in order to create long-standing and good healthy habits that will truly last, it’s great to have an idea as to what you would like to work towards. That plan can take many forms. It could be to lose a bit of weight, attend a set number of training sessions per week at the gym or even complete a 5K at your local park run. It will give your activity a purpose, and you’ll have something to aim for.
2. Find something you love to do
Fitness has to be fun. You have to enjoy it. If you hate running, for example, this might sound obvious, but don’t run! (Even if you think it might be good for you). If it’s tennis that floats your boat, try joining a local club and going to their socials. Find something that you will have a passion for (it can be anything that gets you moving). It also doesn’t have to be intense or hard. If you enjoy walking, try arranging regular walks with a friend. As you adapt to your strolls you could try walking at a brisker pace for part of the way as your fitness builds. If it’s enjoyable you are more likely to stick to it. Consistency with your activities is key. Do something that you will look forward to. Not dread.
3. Get some support
Unless you’re the type of person who likes to work solo, it’s harder on your own. Enlist a friend or family member who shares the same goals and desire to get fit as you. Along with good conversation, it will help you be accountable and actually show up. Doing something on your own can feel scary. For example, walking into a commercial gym can leave you feeling intimidated and wanting to head back out the very same door before you even begin. It can feel so daunting as everyone seems to know what they are doing. Also, many are training in a world of their own and it’s easy for you to feel a little isolated and lost.
Having support and encouragement alongside you can make a massive difference. This is where hiring the right Personal Trainer can really transform your progression. You will have a fitness program tailored to you, support on hand and that accountability factor to spur you on.
4. Don’t let physical factors stop you
With increasing age there is a higher chance that a medical factor could be preventing you from starting to exercise. Previous injuries, operations or current aches and pains can be reason enough and leave you afraid to push yourself. It's a common fear that having conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are reasons enough not to exercise, but in many cases, the opposite is true.
A good chat with your doctor can allay your fears and give you the clearance you need to start. At the beginning of any fitness journey, it’s always important to start slowly and carefully progress and with the right planning the sky is the limit. This is where having the right support can really help you exercise safely and with confidence.
There are so many factors that can get in your way of exercise after 40, I have mentioned just a few. Taking some measured steps now, no matter how small, can be simply no less than transformational. Finding some time for your self-care will not just benefit you physically, but will overspill positively into other areas of your well-being. Ingraining solid healthy habits and routines that you can take into your older years and stay strong.
A client of mine recently said to me that he wanted to start exercising ‘to stay younger for longer’. Next year he will be 50 and is more determined than ever. I can’t wait to help him and watch him progress.
The first step on your journey is a chat to discuss your goals and what you would love to achieve. I offer a free face to face consultation at a wonderful private gym in Bredbury or let’s have a chat over a virtual coffee on Zoom. Drop me a line today, click on: Contact Jason Pestel Personal Training, Group Outdoor Fitness & Sports Massage Therapy | Stockport | Cheshire | Hyde