Age ain’t nothin’ but a number to me…Partly because I feel better now at 40 than I did at 20. And let’s be clear, aging is more of a mindset than something that’s set in stone. Though age-related changes can occur in your body in your late 20s and 30s, for many people, it’s the big 4-0 birthday that really hits home the idea of “aging.”
The good news is that your lifestyle can be instrumental in slowing down (or speeding up) the hands of time. Exercise is about as close as you can get to a real-life fountain of youth.
Here are a few tips to help you optimize your fitness after 40…
Preserve your Muscle Mass
An aerobic routine coupled with strength training, a healthy diet and stretching can replace the lost muscle, get the body’s metabolism back up, and keep weight off permanently. So your goal needs to be on exercise, strength training and eating right.
Know Your Body Type
There are three body types. Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph. While there are a few people who are truly one body type or another, most of us are a combination of two, with one type being more dominant than the other.
Knowing your own body type will help you understand both your nutritional and exercise needs for losing fat and gaining muscle, and will also help you to plan a long-term strategy that is reasonable and does not set you up for disappointment.
In other words, if you are an ectomorph, don’t expect to have bulging biceps overnight. It is going to take time for you to add that extra lean mass.
You must do some form of cardiovascular training 3-5 days a week in order to keep fit. Cardio helps to burn fat and exercises the heart. As we age, we tend to lose endurance. You want to combat this by doing moderately intense cardio on a regular basis.
Balance Your Blood Sugar
It’s not an exact science, but changes in mood, energy or sleep can signify that your blood sugar might be out of whack. It’s important that we eat consistently for blood-sugar balancing which is really one of the keys to staying fit in your forties. The fat that tends to collect around the midsection is all about blood sugar and cortisol levels and a good way to stabilize things is to avoid the blood sugar spikes and crashes caused by empty carbs.
After the age of forty, adding muscle and losing fat will take a little longer – but the important thing to remember is don’t rush it. Results will always come when you’re consistent.