Getting In Shape After 40

My day yesterday was action-packed. Work was hectic and tiring, but I still managed to make it to the gym for an hour long workout afterwards. I find it funny how sometimes when you are at your absolute worst in appearance, you will bump into someone you know. There I was, all red-faced and sweaty in my gym attire, which is really quite horrible and exposing, and I bump into a friend of mine, Julie, who I haven’t seen for many years. I recognized her right away and tried to hide myself behind an elliptical machine, but she saw me too and came running over.

Getting in shape after 40 requires that you eat a healthy diet and get more exercise. Activites that you can do at any age, such as golf, are a great way to get in better shape.

Getting in shape after 40 requires that you eat a healthy diet and get more exercise. Lower-impact activites that you can do in your later years, such as golf, are a great way to get in better shape.

My friend Julie is a number of years older than I am, but was a total knock-out when we knew each other in college. She had, I would say, almost a picture-perfect life. Amazing looks, intelligence, a hunk of a boyfriend who became a lawyer and who she eventually married, and so on. I remember being quite envious of her and often marvelled at how easy everything in life came to her. So it was a bit relieving in an evil kind of way when I saw Julie yesterday and realized that not even her can withstand some of the ravages of the good life and aging. Now we have something in common, we are both overweight.

Julie is now in her early forties and she couldn’t stop talking about how hard it is to lose weight at that age. I felt badly for her because she is almost at her wits end with her failed attempts to lose weight. She attributes her weight loss failures to a much slower metabolism and a lack of energy and motivation. In fact I was totally shocked when she said “I wish I had known how hard getting in shape after 40 would be, if I had known I wouldn’t have let this happen”. So for my friend Julie, for myself and for my readers I though it would be a good idea to explore the challenges and techniques of getting in shape after 40.

There are many things the body can do when it is young that it has a harder time with as it ages. If you stayed up all night to study in college for two nights and then aced a test, you probably thought that type of stamina would go with you throughout life. If you are over 40, or even 30 for that matter, you have probably learned the hard way that this is not the case if you were to try that again. Losing weight is no different. Losing weight can be harder after 40 as well, but that does not mean you should not try. It might be easier than you think.

The first thing you have to know about getting in shape after 40 is that your metabolism is not what it used to be. You can burn 200 less calories a day than you did when you were 20. This means your energy may not be quite what it was, but that does not have to be a huge roadblock. Look into metabolism boosting foods like grapefruit, lean proteins, and apples and green tea to give you a little extra boost. It might not make up the entire difference, but it can help.

You can also boost that metabolism with exercise. You may have a harder time getting moving at first, but once you do, make sure you do cardio for at least 12 to 20 minutes three times a week when you start. As with anyone getting into shape at any age, this will help keep your blood moving and will make your metabolism rise. That helps you burn more calories and you are going to feel so much better than you did before you started your exercise program.

Weight lifting is not just for professional wrestlers and body builders. Men and women over the age of 40 can greatly benefit from lifting small amounts of weight in additional to cardio. This can be done three times a week as well. Ankle weights can be added when walking, as can hand weights. Muscle loss can occur faster after 40, so it is a good idea to replace that muscle with weight lifting. Remember to eat a good variety of protein to help with that muscle repair and replacement.

As with anyone working up to any type of exercise program, a physical is essential. A doctor must clear you for an exercise program so that you know you will be safe and remain healthy. You can also consult with your doctor about healthier eating habits that can help with your new endeavor. Eating proteins, the right carbohydrates, and fiber are a good start to getting in shape. Also, a multi-vitamin may be a good addition to your life to help ensure you are getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals. Don’t think it is impossible to get into shape at age 40 or above. All you have to do is commit yourself to these new lifestyle changes and stay positive.


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1 comment to Getting In Shape After 40

  • Stemulite

    Great information and good practice for those of us who are entering into our 30’s who want to make sure that we don’t have to lose weight once we are over 40

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