Growing old is an inevitable stage in life that we all have to pass through. For most people, their 40th birthday ushers in a different mindset that age is really catching up with them and, hence, the increased risks of certain health conditions. But, did you know that the day-to-day decisions that you make largely contribute to how you age? Experts say that after the age of 30, we lose as much as three to five percent of our muscle mass each decade. Toward that end, the right diet and exercise can shield you from age-related illnesses and keep you fit into your 70s. To maintain your fountain of youth, today’s post shares eight tips to stay fit after 40.
Like we mentioned above, our bodies lose muscle mass after the age of 30. At first, this might not seem significant but by the age of 50, our bodies will start to experience a sharp decline. This has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and increased levels of body fat.
Weight training is the key to counter muscle loss. According to one study published in the American Journal of Physiology, results revealed that weight training improved blood circulation and reduced the risk factors associated with diabetes. As you get older, lifting weights has a huge impact on your overall health compared to cycling, jogging or swimming. The aim is to slow down the loss of muscle mass by trying to gain more muscles.
Get into HIIT
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves short bursts of intense exercises followed by specified periods of rest or low-intensity workouts. HIIT is known to torch maximum calories in the shortest period of time and has been proven to be beneficial, especially as we age. HIIT boosts your body’s production of human growth hormone (HGH), which addresses the issue of muscle loss. The higher the HGH, the stronger muscles you’ll have and the healthier you’ll become. Recent evidence indicates that a group of people who started HIIT had resting heartbeats of 57 to 58 beats per minute compared to those who didn’t exercise, whose resting heartbeats were 70 or above beats per minute. To achieve your fitness goals, it’s important to maintain a regular workout routine. The key is to bring everything you have to the intervals, regardless of how long you rest.
Push-ups are still the best workouts that work on your upper body. They give you a bigger chest and help to burn fat. If you haven’t practiced push-ups before, start with reps of about 10 push-ups as you progress. There are many varieties of push-ups but it’s important to learn the original first. Lie flat on your stomach, place the palms of your hands flat on the floor and extend your legs behind you. Push your hands into the floor to raise yourself up and then lower yourself back down. Keep your legs straight and tighten your core. Do this until failure and then take a rest. Repeat as many times as you can and every time, try to push yourself to the limit.
Change Your Diet
Generally speaking, if you’re eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins and healthy fats, then you should be fine. However, to prevent muscle loss, increase your protein intake throughout the day. A balanced and nutritious diet restores and repairs your muscles after a workout and is key to keeping you fit after 40.
Try Something New
Exercise is good. But when you do the same thing day after day for years, it loses its effectiveness. Find new challenges that will tap into hidden muscle groups and help with flexibility. The only way to stay fit and feel younger is to get better, fitter, and faster at what you do. At first, you’ll suck at the new challenge, but eventually, you’ll get the hang of it and become perfect. If you’ve never thought of boxing, sign up for classes and do your best to get better each day.
Reduce Long Hours of Cardio Training
In your prime, running a marathon was fun and you felt energetic with every step. But, as you age, long-distance running puts a load on your body, especially your heart. When you exercise too much, you risk developing microscopic tears to your muscle fibers and increase the risk of injuries. Surprisingly, excessive endurance exercises can weaken your immune system, and also contribute to catabolism. That’s why experts recommend replacing long hours of cardio with HIIT.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Too much caffeine in your bloodstream can lead to insomnia and you become easily irritable. If you’re a coffee person, try to scale it down to one glass per day. Soon, you’ll be going two or three days without caffeine, and this will have noticeable effects on your health.
There’s nothing good about cigarette smoking. It’s the source of many health issues such as heart disease, kidney failure, lung cancer, and stroke. Admittedly, it’s not easy to quit smoking, but the number of diseases you’ll be preventing should be a motivating factor.
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