Okay, so you’ve hit 40 and things can start to get quite tough. Your body might start to throw in a few aches and pains here and there, but you should treat these as motivation. Each ache is a sign that your body is getting a bit older so you should feel more compelled to keep fit and keep those pains to a minimum.
If you’ve kept fit during your 30s and managed to hit your 40th birthday at a weight that you’re fairly happy with then you deserve our congratulations; not many people achieve this. You should be in good shape and can keep exercising and eating the right combinations of food.
In your 40s you really need to start thinking about getting more good foodstuffs in your diet than ever before. These things will have a massive impact on your longevity and on your weight.
Hopefully you’ve been getting at least 5 servings of fruit or vegetables a day. These are packed full of great nutrients (especially antioxidants) that will help your body keep going, reduce those aches and pains, and make sure all your vital areas are kept in tip-top condition to power you through your 40s. You should now look to increase your servings of fruit and vegetables to between 7 and 9 a day. More if you can manage it. Not only will they help you keep slim and look after your body, they will also help you feel excellent about yourself.
Relaxation and Sleeping
In your 40s you will probably have a huge number of pressures in your life, coming from all sorts of places. It’s therefore important for your health that you learn to switch off, relax, and get some proper sleep.
Try and take 30 minutes a day to do something you find truly relaxing, whether this is just lying on your bed thinking, or sitting in an armchair with your favourite television program. It’s perfect if you can do this before bed as then you’ll be able to completely shut down and have a good night’s sleep.
There are plenty of studies that show that a lack of sleep contributes to weight gain, most likely because it leads you to eat foods that give short bursts of energy (which are generally bad for you) to keep you awake. Getting in this critical 30 minutes of relaxation time will help you sleep much better and therefore aid your weight loss.
If you are fit and healthy then now is your chance to go ahead and do a big physical challenge. This will (hopefully!) earn you respect from your friends and family, as well as give you a goal to keep working towards. A good example of this is to state that you’re going to walk up the tallest mountain in the country next year.
Before doing something like this you should of course check with your doctor to make sure they think it’s a good idea. Then talking to a personal trainer about what training programme to follow is an excellent idea to help get you ready for it.
If you’ve managed to let other things get on the top of you and you’re not as fit as you’d like to be, it’s not too late to exercise to lose weight. In your 40s you should be looking to minimise the impact on your joints as this can leader to problems later in life. This includes things like walking and cycling. Particularly try and avoid exercise classes that embrace jumping, especially if you’re overweight.
Fat will build up in your 40s so as well as general cardio exercises to look after your weight and your heart you should be aiming to maintain your muscle mass as well. The best way to do this is to try resistance training. This involves doing small-weight training (such as one or two kilograms on dumbbells) but doing lots of it. This will maintain your muscles without straining them.
People say life begins at 40, and it really can if you watch your weight and follow a good exercise routine. Your 40s is the time to really make sure your body is ready for later life, but you shouldn’t give in too easily; don’t let those aches and pains slow you down!