Staying Fit after 40 requires a more educated approach to life than when you were in your 20’s and 30’s.
With age comes wisdom and hopefully the understanding that your nutrition, your exercise, and your way of thinking must match your current life circumstances.
40 year olds’ tend to have more responsibilities and less time to spend in the gym or out playing sport to keep fit. On top of that, 40 year olds have bigger worries to deal with such as mortgages and kids, and more of life’s stress’. Higher stress levels can result in high cortisol levels and this can cause weight gain and illness if left uncorrected.
For many people, it’s in their 40’s that the idea of “aging” really hits home.
How do you Optimize Your Health and Fitness After 40?
- The first step is to look at your nutrition, and in particular, your Gut health. The current state of your Gut, or Microbiome, will determine not only the state of your energy levels but also your state of Mind.
- A healthy body needs a healthy mind. Our busy lives often leave us in a state continual stress and mental fatigue. Taking time out of our busy routines to de-stress is important in order to re-balance, re-connect and re-charge ourselves. Mindfulness activities, Meditation, and Yoga provide the perfect opportunity for our mind, body, and emotions to come back into balance.
- Movement is required everyday but your workouts need to be SMART, FAST, and REAL to match your current life. This means tailoring your workouts so you can be in the best shape of your life, even if you’re 40 or beyond.
SMART = Synergist Muscle Activated Resistance Training
Synergist muscles form part of what is known as a fixator group. Fixators are designed to “fix” or stabilize a joint in order to prevent joint instability or injury. Preventing injury needs to be the primary focus of any intelligent workout.
When people build and tone muscle for strength or physical fitness, they should pay attention to working complete muscle groups that involve the stabiliser muscles as well as the prime movers. This will promote balanced development of muscles, which can help to stabilize joints and exert control over muscle movements and thus help prevent injury.
Isolation exercises, where we are targeting only one muscle, or group of muscles, can cause weakness in other areas of the body due to the lack of involvement of the rest of the body’s synergist muscles. Over time this can cause joint imbalances, repetitive strains and injury.
By ensuring that synergist muscles are taken into consideration and worked in alignment with our strength and fitness goals we can improve the strength of all of the muscles involved in optimal movement, improving range of motion and strength and fitness that will promote longevity in our training for health and fitness.
SMART training is also Functional training in that it translates the strength, stability, and movement gains that we get from the SMART-training directly into the movements and activities that we use in everyday life. Staying fit and strong after 40 doesn’t require us to train harder, but rather it requires us to train SMART-er.
FAST = Flexibility And Strength Training need to be developed together. These two fitness elements (strength and flexibility) tend to decline with age if not being actively maintained, and only addressing one of these elements can detrimentally affect the other. Exclusive strength training can reduce flexibility and cause decreased range of movement, wear and tear of the joints, pain, and injury. Likewise, excessive flexibility without the strength to match it can result in unstable joints and postural problems that can lead to pain and injury.
Yoga and foam rolling are both excellent for increasing flexibility,
Qmethod Yoga is a Dynamic Functional routine that works with your body’s natural physiological design to improve strength and increase the elasticity and range of joint motion.
“Strength Training Is essential for anyone over 40!”
Without strength training, your muscles will atrophy and lose mass. Age-related loss of muscle mass is known as sarcopenia, and if you don’t do anything to stop it the loss can be up to 5 percent every 10 years.
This loss of muscle mass will also reduce your ability to burn calories typically resulting in steady weight gain known as the “middle age spread.”
Even if you’ve never done strength training before, now is the time to start. In addition to helping you maintain your muscle mass and burning calories, strength training can help to build bone density, decrease your risk of falls, provide relief from joint pain and even improve blood sugar control.
REAL = Revitalise Energy Assisting Longevity
The benefits of exercise are enormous, ranging from increased mood and feelings of well-being, increased energy levels, increases in bone density and muscle mass, increased memory retention and learning, and even improved sleep patterns. Exercise also reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
However, to achieve these benefits exercise must be delivered at just the right level, intensity and duration otherwise exercise itself, if excessive, can become stressful and damaging to the body. Training too hard, for too long, and at too high intensity can suppress the immune system and result in elevated cortisol levels leaving the body in a catabolic (broken down) state. Its important to remember that exercise is only the stimulus for the body to respond to, in order to get slimmer, fitter, faster or stronger. These positive changes occur after the training session not during it, and will only be achieved when the body recovers from the training stimulus.
A balanced exercise session should Revitalise our Energy Levels and Assist in producing Longevity in our health. To achieve this outcome with every session requires a level of mindfulness and exercise wisdom in order to find that perfect training balance: “Not too hard – Not too soft – But just right. Keeping it REAL!”
For more Health and Training info contact Quinn on 0407 993 203