Being Fit After 40!

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We become more health conscious when we get older, for many reasons. Perhaps because we suddenly become aware of the less healthy lifestyle that we lived in our younger years and didn’t give much thought to. Who cares when you’re in your twenties if you drink too much or eat the wrong foods and don’t exercise, particularly when it doesn’t ‘appear’ to have any adverse affects on us. We don’t gain weight in our 20’s like we do in our 40’s, our metabolisms are in full swing, so we can get away with it. But as we approach and pass the 40 mark, things take their toll and the once carefree attitude to health creeps up on us and pays us back for not caring at the time.

We definitely pay more attention to eating the right foods as well as not eating the wrong foods. Let’s face it, if we eat well from now on, we may be able to salvage some of the damage. Our bodies, in many ways, can repair itself (I’m not in any way referring to serious medical conditions that need specific attention). We just can’t get away with eating the quantity and types of food that we did before because our metabolism is slowing and not burning the same level of fat. We need to pay more attention to avoiding the ‘bad stuff’.

This goes hand in hand with moderate exercise when you hit 40. Working out will help to keep your metabolism higher which will in turn helps your body burn more fat. If you’ve never worked out before then it is key to start with small steps.

It’s a real change of mindset to work out when you get older. Life is much busier with other things. I’m not saying we weren’t busy when we were young, of course we were but our lives were filled with all the fun stuff, working late because we wanted to climb the career ladder (hopefully we are there now), meeting friends after work, clubbing at the weekend, lots of romantic weekends away, dating, general all round socialising. That takes up a lot of time. It didn’t matter so much that we didn’t work out because let’s face it, dancing the night away burns a hell of a lot of calories!

 
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However, now that we are 40+, life is busy with jobs, home life, children (and as they get older it’s more hectic). It’s no wonder we take our eyes off ourselves. Priorities change. We just don’t move as much. It’s always car journeys because you need to drive home from work, drops the kids off, pick them up, we insist these days on parking right outside that one shop in town we need to go to rather than park in the carpark and walk to it. But it is now time to get back to looking after ourselves.

Set small achievable goals to begin with, like a short walk each evening, perhaps to the shop (leave the car at home) if you run out of essentials. The initial hit from a little bit of exercise will have a most positive impact on you that you will gain the confidence you deserve and the willpower to carry on and step it up gradually.

If you don’t initially have the confidence to go to the gym, then do a workout at home. Youtube has more than enough workout tutorials for you to partake in, be it HIIT, yoga, toning, you have lots of choice. Maybe it’s hectic at home and every room has someone doing something and you can’t find a quiet corner to do a work out. Then go for walk and when you build up enough confidence you can hit the gym. Or just know that the gym is not just a place for already fit, healthy and good looking men and women working out. Normal people that go to the gym too, people who are exactly in the same place as you are right now.

 
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The gym doesn’t have to be about working the machines. Some people detest going to the gym. So, instead, take one of their aerobic classes, a yoga class, go for a swim, or when you are feeling more brave a spin class. In fact, when it comes to working out, it is actually key to mix it up to stop you getting bored. So if Monday nights are a busy schedule, just take a 20 minute walk around the block, go to the gym on a night/morning that is less hectic and on the nights that you don’t feel like or can’t leave the house, then work out with a youtube tutorial. You can have all eventualities covered.

So, keeping fit after 40 is about realising in the first instance that things are staring to not work as well as they did before, then accepting this, taking small steps to change your diet and begin to introduce exercise into your life until you reach a moderate and safe level of fitness. You will notice the difference, be much more healthy and become much more confident in yourself again.

Good luck!