Whether you want to admit it or not, our bodies change as we get older and there is somewhat of a threshold when we reach the age of 40. We are talking on average. If you are going to turn 40 in a few days, do not worry, you will not notice it as if you ran into a wall. As we get older, our muscles and tendons shorten, our bones become weaker and our balance gets thrown out of wack sometimes.
Also, we are much more prone to injury than we were in our 20s. These are all reasons why you need to take extra care if you are getting back to fitness training or any kind of work out after years of not doing a thing.
1. Find something you really like
Not everyone feels the same about different types of workout and exercises. For instance, there are people who like to cycle and for whom two hours spend on a bicycle are the best part of the day. There are those who love running or who simply enjoy walking. There are those who prefer to play sports instead of just doing exercise. The important thing is to find that something that you yourself love doing and start doing it. When you are over 40 and you do something you do not love, it is much more difficult to stick with it than when you are 20. You are simply more comfortable with yourself and you are not too shy to give up. So, pick something you like doing.
2. Watch what you eat
Eating properly and healthy is not just something you should be mindful of if you start working out. It is something that you need to do anyway and something that may just save your life. Everyone will tell you that eating properly, eating foods that suit you in particular but that are also considered to be beneficial is crucial. As Amanda Allen, the winner of 2013 Masters World Female CrossFit Games in LA, making her the fittest woman over 40 on the planet says, ‘ What I eat, when, why and how – what I eat, the quality of my food and its suitability to my body and digestive system is critically important to me’.
3. Start very slowly
This is one that we cannot stress enough. A very large number of people who pick up working out in their 40s or 50s or 60s tend to do it too explosively, without easing themselves into it. There are a few reasons why you should never do this. First of all, you will risk injury since your body is not as prepared for strenuous functioning that you are throwing at it. Also, you will get so exhausted that you will never feel the urge to try working out again. Take things slowly, even over a course of weeks or months.
4. Make sure you make progress
The fact that you are over 40 does not mean that you are doing workouts just so you keep your body running. You are still capable of getting great results and you can still improve your body, your overall stamina and so on. This also means that you should not get complacent with a certain workout routine and that you should always try and do and achieve more. Of course, you will still need to be careful, but you can do so much better than you are doing at the moment, trust us.
5. Wait for the results and stick with it
Due to your body realistically not being at the peak of its efficiency and probably health, you would do best not to expect results in the first week or so. Michael Ryan, Hugh Jackman’s personal trainer, for instance, says that the first noticeable results can be seen after about 6 to 8 weeks and that the serious changes occur usually around the three month mark. He also stresses that it should be a long-term commitment and something that you need to stick with.