Developing a fitness habit after 40

It’s never too late to get fit…

Growing old is inevitable. However, one thing that is undoubtedly preventable is a non-physically fit body. I used to weigh so much that I usually found it difficult and embarrassing to go out. And the best I did was just to sit there and imagine that I would lose weight with time. Sadly, I didn’t. As a result, I decided to adopt a fitness habit that would see me lose weight and stay physically fit most of the time.

Why should I push myself to work out when I’m over 40?

Starting a workout habit at the age of 40 isn’t an easy task. It requires undivided attention and commitment. But more than the desire to be fit, other issues will make a person commit to working out and stick to the routine.

For most people, the main incentive of hitting the gym is a health scare or preparation for an upcoming event. However, to develop a lifetime routine, the urge to remain physically fit must override any other desire.

Hitting the gym in your late 40s has been credited for numerous health benefits. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, increasing physical activities reduces the risk of cancer or cardiovascular diseases. Getting active later in life can also come with other additional benefits not mentioned in the report.

How does working out help?

Forget about age. Working out for anyone comes with massive benefits. A session at the gym, or running down the deserted street paths will help burn fat and break the sometimes annoying vicious cycle of fat building.

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I indulged in a high-intensity workout program after developing some unease in my legs. Although the intention was to make my legs more comfortable and at ease, I also increased testosterone levels in my body. So yes, my evening sprints and weight lifting worked some magic in boosting the testosterone levels.

What does testosterone do?

Testosterone is the male hormone but is also found in females, although at a relatively lower level.

While these male hormones are naturally produced by your body and ensure your reproductive organs’ healthy growth, they also perform more functions.

It is the work of the testosterone to:

  • Enhance protein synthesis, which in turn helps the reorganisation of muscle tissues
  • Increase the bone mass
  • Regulate fat distribution in the body

It is also important to note that the oestrogen level in your body increases with the more fats you take in. And with an increased level of oestrogen, the testosterone levels equally drop. So it’s important to prevent such a scenario by having a balanced diet.

Now that we all know why it is essential to hit the gym and what impact woking out has on our lives.

I want to share with you some of the fitness habits that have continued to impact my life positively.

1. Learn to walk more often and faster

If you have never found any benefit in walking and view it just as any other regular activity, then think again. In fact, it’s difficult not to find any advantage associated with walking.

According to the Ramblers Association and Macmillan Cancer Support report, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease risks could be reduced by just walking. But a more direct report by the same organisation states that walking alone could save 37,000 lives a year.

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2. Compound exercises will help increase your strength and stability

The essence of any workout is to ease up your muscles, without any difficulty. However, to achieve that, you may need to employ compound exercise, which majorly involves the Barbell back squat.

The best thing about compound exercise is that it engages several of your muscles simultaneously, thus accelerating the growth of muscles when you work out.

However, more than just expanding your muscles, this type of exercise will also help build strength and improve the required balance.

Why is the improvement of balance so significant? It is because as you age, you become weaker, and the chances of falling often also increase.

3. Get enough sleep between workouts

Sleep is a beautiful experience that has more benefits than just resting. While a good or quality sleep is necessary for the body to rest, it also repairs and builds muscles.

Furthermore, sleep helps with keeping your appetite in check. Aim for about seven hours every night.

4. Stick to a healthy eating schedule

You may hit the gym, take daily sprints, and walk several miles daily, but if you don’t have a proper diet plan, then all is futile.

You need to know the right diet will ensure that your muscles are geared up for any growth. Further, a healthy and planned diet will ensure you are fired up and have enough energy to take you throughout the day.

5. It may hurt at first, but don’t give up

Do you remember that the first day your Physical Education teacher took you out for a race? Did you ever cherish the idea of doing it the next day? Probably not.

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Your first workout on the first day may give you some pain and discomfort. However, that shouldn’t worry you. It is just your muscles protesting at being made to work harder than usual. And you will feel such pains at any age.

Essentially, the most important thing is to develop a fitness habit and stick to it all through.