As we grow older, metabolism slows down, bones become weak, we lose muscle and everything just seems to get a little harder. But you can still be in the best shape of your life with all this going on.
All you need to do is make a few tweaks in your diet and training. In this article, I’ll talk about the changes you need to make in your workouts to stay in shape after 40.
Improve your flexibility
Our flexibility decreases with age – the muscles and tendons become tight, therefore, it becomes harder to perform some exercises and the risk of injury increases.
It’s true that most folks over 40 can’t do deep squats – squatting until the thighs rest on the calves. Well, that’s just one of the exercises you can’t do due to inflexibility. So this is the time to focus on stretching than ever before.
Do low-impact exercises
Avoid exercises which put pressure on the bones and joints. This mostly applies to folks who haven’t been active most of their lives. If you were in great shape in your 30s you can probably still do a few high-impact exercises.
As for others, stay away from exercises that require jumping like box jumps. Instead, do low-impact exercises like push ups, squats, lunges and so on.
Avoid long hours of cardio
Exercise slows aging. But studies show that long-term excessive endurance exercises accelerate aging and lower mortality rate. Additionally, this kind of training wears the body and causes injuries.
Avoid doing cardio for more than 30 minutes. Focus on strength training because it’ll increase muscle mass and strengthen the bones.
Walking doesn’t have the same effect as slow steady cardio. It’s good for you and it helps reduce risk of heart disease, controls blood pressure, reduces stress and a lot more.
A 20-minute walk every day can improve your health and even burn excess body fat.
Get enough rest between workouts
Folks in their 20s can train consistently and still be able to recover. But that’s not the case after 40 – the muscle tissues take longer to recover and grow. So take longer rests between workouts.
The rate of recovery will depend on the muscle groups. Bigger muscles take longer to recover. So give legs and back muscles more rest than abs and arms muscles.
Strengthen your core
You’ll notice that folks start to have curved backs as they age. A weak core is one of the causes for this.
Having a strong core will help maintain proper posture and also make it easier to perform other exercises. Exercises like the plank, back bridge and glute bridges help strengthen the core.
Warm up before workouts
After 40 the body is more prone to injury than ever. So always start your workout with a full body warm up. A 5 to 10 minute warm up is enough to get the blood flowing through the joints and ligaments.
It’s possible for you to be in the best shape of your life after 40. All you need to do is follow these tips and stay consistent.