Have you noticed that when you hit your late 30’s or if you we lucky your 40’s you suddenly seem to have gained some extra weight (and it appeared magically overnight ), you’re not as active as you used to be and you start to feel a lot more aches and pains than you used too?
Is this the way it is with aging do we just need to accept this and continue to go downhill?
NO we tell ourselves; I’m going to fix this and get back into shape and lose that extra weight.
But it doesn’t seem to happen for us – Why? And how do we overcome it? Is becoming Fit after 40 just a myth?
So why doesn’t it happen? Well often the first thing we notice is that in our 30’s and 40’s we have a lot on, it is likely you have a job and a family and other commitments to deal with, and after dealing with all of these there is no time left to look after ourselves and if there is time we are just too darn tired.
Does this sound familiar?
So what’s the secret to balancing our life with trying to get back to the way you used to feel and becoming Fit and Healthy at 40?
The Number one secret is to find some time.
This is not as hard as it sounds, stop listening to that little voice in your head saying there’s no time or you are too tired. This is the trap that started it all, you will need to push yourself a little to get started, but to help motivate yourself into action, think about why you want to improve your health and fitness and what are the consequences if you don’t, and most importantly don’t do it for anyone else other than yourself, trying to get fit and healthy because someone else told you that you need too will not motivate you in the long term.
Where to find time:
Get out of bed earlier – Getting up and doing something in the morning helps start your day out on the right foot, you will give your metabolism a boost for the entire day!! (Burning more of those extra pounds off each day) you might think I need my sleep, well there are two ways to approach this 1. Stop watching the idiot box (Television) at night and go to bed earlier at least a couple of days a week. 2. One thing that surprises most people who start getting up earlier each day is that you don’t actually need that extra 30-60 minutes of sleep, by getting more active your quality of sleep will improve, and so you will not need as much sleep, you may find that you are going to bed the same time, if not later, and getting up earlier and feel better than when you used to struggle to get out of bed.
Consciously plan some time – If you have sat down and worked out exactly what you do every minute of the day you will find that there is a lot of idle time in your day where the things you are doing are not really achieving anything, if you consciously plan some time to do something active or work towards you ‘fit after 40’ health and fitness goals, you will find it. We all have developed a habit of procrastinating, making excuses why we don’t just go and do something we know we need to do, but once you actually decide to make the time you will find it does not impact on anything else in your life, or if it does you only drop things that were not achieving anything anyway.
Fit something into your normal routine – this is a bit of a cheat really, it’s about looking for opportunities within your daily activities that you can change slightly to work towards improving your health and fitness.
Some ideas to try:
Take stairs instead of an elevator,
Choose a car park a bit further away from where you need to be and walk the rest
Eat some fruit or nuts instead of junk food if you need to snack during the day
Sit up straighter in you chair, tighten and relax your abdominal muscles to improve your posture (leads to less soreness/stiffness which means you can do more later in the day)
Take your lunch to work
Don’t eat ‘on the fly’ take the time to eat something properly, look at what your are eating, you don’t have to give up all of the foods you like but be aware of what you are eating, when you are eating it and how much you are eating.
Stand up and stretch or go for a around the office especially if you have a desk job.
Drink more water – Notice I didn’t say drink less coffee or other drinks, these other drinks might be good or bad for you, and I am not here to tell you what you can and can’t drink, but drinking some extra water during the day will offset most negative effects of other beverages (unless you are consuming large quantities of something and large amounts of most things will usually cause problems – even too much water can be bad)
The reason we get into this trap and don’t see this simple secret to get fit after 40, is because we have become too caught up with what we have been doing every day for the last 10-20 years, it’s become a habit to squeeze everything else in to our day and forget about what we need to maintain a healthy body. There really is no difference between being Fit at 40 to being Fit at 20 or 30, it’s just the conscious effort we put into it, you may need to make up for what you have been doing to yourself for the last 20 years, but it won’t take long and you’ll be back to where you were in your 30’s and you can make the choice to become a health & fitness freak or just stay at a point where you are not tired all of the time and be able to get out and do the things you want to do each day.
I hope this little secret helps you start out on you own ‘Health and Fitness after 40’ path.
Ian McGregor is an Australian Electrical Engineer and Keen Martial artist who is constantly looking for foods and supplements to help maintain a healthy body and enable him to continue to train to the MAX in a demanding Martial art especially as he gets older and recovery takes longer.
He has tried many different ideas over the years and now writes about what he has found that works on his Blog at 40 And Feeling It.