Today I’ll give you some advice on how to stay fit after 40. Why exactly after 40? Because today I crossed my 40th milestone. Beyond that, by my age, I accumulated a lot of experience in training and a healthy lifestyle. So, I can say with full confidence that our age leaves its mark on the type of training, and on the regime.
Fitness over 40 has its hang. Let’s be honest, friends. We are not getting younger. That’s why at 40 we cannot work in the gym with the same intensity as at 20. But if we’ll train using our wits, we will keep an excellent body form and strong health for years.
What do you have to consider if you want to stay fit after 40?
- Train sensibly
- Warm up diligently
- Be careful with heavy weights
- Use flexibility exercises
- Track your health
1. Don’t train constantly to failure
Professional athletes often suggest train to failure. It means that you always have to work within the range of reps that you to put in maximum effort for the last one. Or you couldn’t do the last rep with the correct technique. There is the belief that training to failure involves more muscle fibers and stimulates metabolism due to the release of necessary hormones into the blood. However, researchers have shown that training to failure provides no benefit in muscle and strength growth. Moreover, constant exhaustion work can cause injuries and depression in the central nervous system. These risks are especially increasing if you are not a youngster. Much more important is how your training program is built and how much rest you have between sets and exercises. I’m not saying you shouldn’t train to failure. You just don’t have to wait for a miracle. This is just another training technique that needs to be combined with other methods.
2. Devote more time to warming up
Don’t ignore warming up. It’s a very important tip for fitness over 40. Carefully prepare your body for the workout. The older you are, the easier it is for you to be injured. Of course, I understand your zeal. When you enter the gym and see a young guy on the fly pressing a barbell weighing 100 kg. But youth forgives a lot. And this youngster will someday regret that he did not pay due attention to the warming-up. Our task is to preserve health, not ruin it. Therefore, I highly recommend that you warm up for 15-20 minutes. This will not only save your muscles and ligaments but also increase the effectiveness of training. I guarantee it.
3. Approach heavy weights gradually and slowly
Any advance is a result of long and hard work. Don’t try to chase fast results. This is the way to stagnation and injuries. If you plan to stay fit after 40 and if you set big training goals, be patient and do not misuse heavy weights in training. Come up to your achievements gradually and carefully. For example, since recently I turn to strength training only once a week, on Thursdays. I do pull-ups and dips with additional weight. Although just a while ago almost my every workout was a strength drill. But this does not mean that every Thursday I work with margin loads. I try the maximum weight not more often than once a month. Thanks to this, my body has time to recover, and I little by little raise the poundage in my key basic exercises.
4. Stretch regularly. Preferably at the end of the workout
What is aging? This is the loss of mobility and functionality. Therefore, not only training for strength and endurance is important for our body, but also regular stretching. Stretching is a must for fitness after 40. Firstly, flexibility exercises improve blood flow, speeding up recovery and muscle growth. Secondly, stretching has a beneficial effect on the elasticity of tendons and ligaments, on joint health and it bests the posture. In addition, stretching simply helps to improve well-being, and relieves nervous tension. So, do not neglect flexibility exercises, and try to give them at least 10-15 minutes at the end of your workout.
5. Control your well-being and listen to your body
I wrote earlier that sport for me is an addiction. Sometimes I run to the absurd and visited the gym when I was sick, with a temperature. Now I understand that this was foolishness. I couldn’t exercise at full strength and only cut my own throat. We need to listen to our body, pay attention to how we feel, and even attend to our mood. If it seems that you aren’t recovered, it is better to take an extra day off. I assure you it won’t go amiss. Let me remind you again: we train to be strong, healthy, and prolong our youth, not the other way around.
Let’s sum up what is important to be fit after 40
Fitness over 40 will be for your health if you bear in mind some important things.
- Don’t kill yourself at the gym. Sport is not a punishment; this is a pleasure.
- Increase the loads gradually. This will have a beneficial effect on your muscle growth and body health.
- Also, don’t forget to stretch and rest enough between workouts.
These are the main bricks that fitness over 40 should consist of. Do you agree with me? Share your thoughts in the comments!