How Do I Get Fit at 40?
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately considering how I stayed slender as a youth and how I can get fit at 40 now that it has stubbornly arrived. I didn’t need to worry about what I ate, calories in versus calories out, and I didn’t have to weigh myself regularly to ensure my pants fit. What was it that changed? At what point in my life did it change? Why?
Maybe I’m just slow, but it has taken me several months to marinade these questions.
It finally came to me that I was always active! Habits changed in my early twenties when I went from being a lifeguard and swimming instructor to being the pool manager – where I sat in the office, answering phone calls, dealing with customers and pushing papers. Then, as university ended and I started my first office job, my lifestyle became more and more sedentary as I did computer work and sat for the majority of the day. Then the children came and I was just too exhausted to move most days.
My Children Inspire Me
My children are now 8 and 10 years old and I feel it is the time for me to get some activities in. This past year especially, I started to feel guilty sitting and watching them play their sports. There was a parent invitation to play parents versus daughters and ringette. 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 the 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.
How Do I Find An Activity?
Since that point I have been thinking and thinking about what I would like to do. I talked to everyone about it, researched how people get fit at 40 and what activities they chose, joined several Facebook groups to motivate me to get fit. There was no “how to” plan, just the before and afters – which were inspiring on their own but still no road map. Then I started to pay closer attention to what my Facebook friends who are around my age were doing to stay healthy. This gave me more realistic and local ideas.
So, 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 myself, I signed us up for stand up paddle boarding lessons!
I did a pros and cons list in my head and realized that being around the water is a great fit for me – I have horrible allergies but the water tends to carry 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!
Getting Into A Fitness Mindset
I just finished my 3rd paddling lesson this week and I’ll admit, I was excited by the first two lessons but still getting into the groove of time and exercise for myself. After the most recent one, where we had a friendly race but I got a “runners high” effect afterwards, I felt like a super-hero Olympian! That’s what really got me craving more.
It kicked in for me and I did errands with my daughter and we popped into the Running Room. They have learn to run lessons and one is tomorrow morning AND I can bring my children! The group is running 5 minutes and walking 1 minute but I think I can do it. If my kids are there running and I need to keep up with them, it will push me to just do it!
Today I took the kids to the beach for a few hours and I purchased a pass to our local conservation parks – they have bike trails in the summer that turn into groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter – guess what’s going to be on our Christmas lists!! There are year-round activities and events to join and I’m loving all the potential it holds.
I finished the day off with a short 2.5 km bike ride with my daughter – it was getting close to her bedtime and as the first ride of the year I didn’t want to push it.
My friend introduced me to a few bike trails that are near our home and I did more research to discover our city has an entire bike path plan – I’m just so amazed and impressed by this.
Discovering My Amazing Community
How could I have lived in my city and not known about to major and exciting services that are provided? I’m so glad that I’m exploring all of these wonderful things that are offered. I’m also glad that my children are able to join me in my adventures to living a healthier and active lifestyle. My husband is going to get involved soon but his schedule hasn’t synced to ours yet. The plan is to get us synchronized very soon as I just know it’s going to make our family stronger in many ways!
What do you do to stay fit?
Do you involve your friends and/or family or do you prefer to work out alone?