Here's How To Get Active Again After You Turn 40
Staying fit is a marathon, not a sprint! Here's how to get into a lifestyle that you can maintain.
Many of us have started a fitness routine that did not last long. You started off well enough, probably after the holiday season. However, you started losing your enthusiasm, and one skipped workout session eventually became two, and two turned into ten, then you just stopped working out and eating healthy altogether.
There’s no need to be down on yourself; your story is as old as time. It is the story of discarded resolutions, and it happens to a vast majority of people.
The thing is, if you are past the 40-year mark, you need to adopt a healthy lifestyle now more than ever. A good fitness routine is an important part of that lifestyle, and it will enable you to enjoy a full, fun-filled life. Meaning if your body gets in good enough shape, you get to do all the things that are still on your bucket list.
You can start by learning about what to expect from your body.
Your Body At 40
It is an open secret that your body changes with age. Your metabolism is not what it was in your twenties, so you are burning fat at a lower rate now. That means keeping those extra pounds away is not as easy as it used to be.
How does this happen? As you age, your body produces less of the hormones that encourage muscle growth, and you start to lose muscle mass. Less muscle means less fat burning, which means that you may start to gain weight, even if your diet remains the same.
You will probably find that your joints are a bit stiff because of wear and tear or a condition like arthritis.
These are the things that determine the kind of fitness routine that you adopt. So, how do you get into a fitness routine after being inactive for a while?
1) Make slight changes to your eating habits
Your body burns less fat than it used to, which means that if you keep eating the exact same way you did when you were younger, you will likely notice some weight gain.
Cut back on the carbohydrates and replace them with more fruits, vegetables, and proteins.
2) Start with something short and simple
The best way to get a fitness routine to stick is to make it a habit. That is why it is best to start small if you have not worked out for a while.
Take a five-minute workout as an example. Your mind will not consider five minutes of exercises to be some impossible task, so grab a skipping rope and do some cardio for five minutes. For variety, you could add some push-ups or sit-ups to the mix.
With five-minute workouts, you will quickly reap some benefits. For starters, your mind will rewire itself to accept the workouts as part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.
Gradually extend your five-minute workout to seven, ten, or even 15 minutes. Remember, the longer your workouts get, the more fit you have already become.
One good way to compress several different exercises into one routine is circuit training. Circuit training involves performing different types of exercises, often targeting different body parts, in quick succession. It’s a great way to get a full workout in in a short amount of time.
3) Convert daily activities into exercise
You can sneak some exercise into your routine by changing how you perform your chores.
If you need to run an errand that is only a mile away, leave the car behind, unless you are carrying heavy things. Do not ride the elevator all the way up a building. Walk up one or two flights of stairs during your ascent.
Within a month, you will notice that you are stronger, and not getting as winded as you used to. You may even lose some weight.
4) Get stronger
Muscle is good, and you need to regain any muscle tissue that you have lost. Which is why you should take up strength training. This should be easy if your five-minute workouts have now turned into half-hour workouts.
Use weights or resistance bands to work the muscles in your limbs, core, chest, and back. A fitness instructor will show you exercises that target different muscle groups. As you gain muscle, your body will start burning fat like it used to, and your fitness routine will produce noticeable results.
5) Find a fun workout that keeps you coming back
If you want to make exercising and staying healthy part of your life for the long term, it’s best to find a workout that you actually enjoy. Dragging yourself to the gym every day to lift weights up and down isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Thankfully nowadays there are tons of fun workouts that can easily become a routine.
One of those types of workouts is a martial arts class. Martial arts is not only fun, it is also a full-body workout that pushes you aerobically and anaerobically. A one-hour Muay Thai class can burn up to 1,000 calories. Also, while getting a workout, you are learning practical self-defense skills that may come in handy one day.
Martial arts isn’t just about upgrading yourself physically, however. Martial arts challenges you to grow mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. Training martial arts will help to instill focus, discipline, self-confidence, and work ethic in you that permeates into your everyday life.
While it is not the same as your twenties, your fifties are meant for your enjoyment, and you will enjoy them a whole lot more with a fit body.
Your fitness journey will not be a sprint, but a marathon that takes a while. Going from zero workouts to a fitness routine that gives results starts with the tiny steps that become bigger with time.
The whole process comes to fruition with fun activities like martial arts classes, and what is not to love about that?
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