It’s time to focus on my goal to get fit at 40. My children are now 8 and 10 years old and I feel it is time for me to get some activities in. I started to feel guilty sitting and watching them play their sports. Recently there was an invitation from my daughter’s ringette team to play parents versus the kids. Being very much a beginner, I was excited to try it out and found that I loved it! I was also very pleased that my daughter wanted to play with me – she didn’t care if I was an expert at the sport or not, it was just playing with her mom on the ice that she was interested in. It awakened the athlete within and the desire to spend more active time with my kids.
Since I enjoyed playing ringette with my daughter so much, I’ve been brainstorming what I might like to do. After calling around and finding what was available to start right then AND after finding a friend who was about the same fitness level and motivation as me, I signed us up for stand-up paddle boarding lessons!
Being around the water is soothing for me. I have horrible allergies but the water carries a breeze so they don’t bother me as much. I love the calming effect of open water and it was something that I was able to organize with an instructor and 2 friends. Semi-private and the accountability of having buddies was just it. It was only a 4 lesson commitment – I can do anything for 4 lessons!
Paddling was a great way to help me get into the groove of making my physical activities a priority. Here are some ideas you can incorporate into your healthy lifestyle as you aim to be fit at 40.
Exercises To Get Fit At 40
As you get older, strengthening your body becomes more important. Working out is beneficial for both muscle tone and bone density. Engaging in resistance training can aid weight loss and tone the body. It helps to correct the body fat percentage formula and gives you a leaner and toned appearance.
Do a cycle of squats, pushups, sit-ups, planks, and pull-ups for a no-equipment workout. Resistance bands come in a variety of strength levels and can use on different muscle groups. Hand and ankle weights or weight machines in the gym are also good for muscle-toning workouts.
Circuit training is an effective way for some people to balance strength and cardio. If you don’t have the space at home, fitness centers allow a good variety of equipment for you to switch between cardio and resistance machines.
Don’t compare yourself to when you were younger. As a result of hormonal changes and the aging process, it’s common to notice a decline in physical fitness and performance. Learn to love your body and how you move it as it is now.
Most importantly, respect the process – especially if you are starting from an unfit state. Be patient and allow your body to adapt to your training.
Get Into A Fitness Mindset
Getting fit at 40 is a combination of specific exercises and a positive mindset. Stress can have a real impact on weight gain because it can cause sugar or comfort food cravings. Try journaling, praying, or meditating when you feel overwhelmed. Physically escape your daily worries by taking a walk through the park, or sitting by a river or the ocean.
Begin small and build your way up. When starting a fitness regimen, starting small is preferable because it allows you to increase your strength. You’ll also avoid the risk of injury from pushing yourself too hard and too fast. You can ease into this routine by starting with 20 minutes per day. Increase the length of your daily sessions before extending them.
Finally, maintain a record of your progress. If you’re not seeing results no matter how much time you spend exercising you’ll want to invest in a fitness tracker. This way, you can determine which exercises are most effective in achieving your goals.
Benefits Of Getting Fit At 40
It can be difficult to begin a fitness routine if you are over 40 and out of shape. You may believe it’s too late to make a change but there are several compelling reasons for you to change your lifestyle.
Get Heart Healthy
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the leading cause of death in the world is heart disease for both men and women. Making healthy lifestyle choices can help you reduce your risk of heart disease. Getting in shape can help your heart and blood vessels to function better.
Increase Your Metabolism
As you get older, your metabolism slows down. You may find you have gained weight and are less active as a result of this natural process. This results in a vicious circle, making it difficult for people in their 40s to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. It’s not too late for you to start forming new habits which should enable you to lose weight before it becomes a problem.
Improve Your Mood
Exercise is a natural mood booster because it releases endorphins into the body. The Better Health Channel explains that exercise “not only boosts our mood, concentration, and alertness but improves our cardiovascular and overall physical health.”
Maintain Lean Muscle Mass
Muscle loss accelerates as you get older, resulting in a reduction in strength and functionality. This can make everyday tasks more difficult.
When you get fit at 40, remember that muscle burns calories more than fat tissue does. Since your metabolism is naturally slowing down, building muscle will give you the metabolism boost you may need to maintain a healthy weight.
Are You Ready To Get Fit At 40?
It may seem difficult to get fit at 40, but it is possible if you’re willing to invest time and effort. It entails far more than going to the gym and doing cardio.
To meet long-term physical goals, keep a food journal and use stress-reduction techniques. When you drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and maintain good hygiene, you’ll be well on your way to looking better than before.
This post was originally published on June 26, 2016, and was revised in October 2022.