Have you noticed staying fit in your 40s is a little bit harder than when we were younger? It’s not like when we were in our 20s and we could go without working out or watching what we eat.
Can you get fit in your 40s? Absolutely.
You don’t have to spend countless hours in the gym or on a strict diet to improve your health and fitness.
Tips on how to stay fit in your 40s
Increase your muscles
In our 40s, we start losing muscle mass. There are plenty of studies showing this loss, but there are also studies that show that it is possible to maintain or even regain some muscle mass as you age. The key? Weights. Build muscle with resistance bands, free weights and body resistance exercises such as sit-ups, squats and lunges.
Make sure you are eating enough protein
How are you going to build those muscles? They need protein. Foods rich in protein contain amino acids essential for building and maintaining calorie-burning muscle tissue. When you consistently eat too little protein, muscles begin to shrink.
Add variety to your exercises
If I get in a groove, I can run five days a week. However, this past competition season I have added time on the Peloton bike, walking on the treadmill and stairmaster.
If you are new to exercise or don’t do any exercise at all, walking is a good way to start moving. If you’re able to make a 15, 20 or 30 minute walk part of your everyday routine, you will see your fitness levels improve.
Incorporate a walk into your lunch hour if you have an office job or take your kids out for a walk after dinner. Look for ways to make it a habit.
Swap out foods that trigger you
Specialty coffee drinks. Chips. Cereal. More than likely, you have one (or several) go-to not-so-healthy foods that do you in every time. Look for alternatives or healthier recipes that give you the same taste without weighing you down.
My weaknesses are bread, Tostitos chips and some cereal. If I keep them out of my apartment I am good. It is over once I bring them in and open them up.
Listen to your body
You might have more aches and pains than before, but sometimes those pains are trying to tell you something. Sometimes that means just take it easy for a day or two. To lower injury risk, invest extra time in warming up, practicing proper form, and developing strength in your core.
Sleep is important
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, getting enough sleep each night is an important part in protecting your mental health, physical health and overall quality of life.
If you don’t get enough sleep, it could increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. It also can make you feel hungry when you’re not and cause your energy levels to plummet.
Find yourself an accountability partner
An accountability partner is a great way to stay accountable for your workouts. Find a workout buddy or someone to keep you active and engaged with your workouts.
There’s no denying that as we age, there are things that are changing with our bodies. However, it is definitely possible to stay strong and fit for years.
Do you have any other tips on staying fit?