Staying Fit over 40….. (Part 1)

Turning 40 was a little confronting for myself and with my friends all around the same age I realised we were all in the same boat, with regards to healthy living, when the wheels are starting to squeak, and life is busy with work, kids and alike.

I am always reluctant to give ‘Health & Wellbeing’ advice as everybody has an opinion and everyone is an expert based on whatever YouTube expert they are quoting or Instagram model they are following……groan!

Being an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with a 4 year degree in the field and actively working in the industry, I thought I’d talk about tips for those of us in our roaring 40’s and beyond.

Its all about the intensity!

There is great evidence to support short, high intensity exercise or high intensity interval training (HIIT) is great for blood markers such as glucose. High intensity exercise assists the pancreas in regulating insulin and running doesn’t have to be the only ‘type’ of exercise you can use to get HIIT benefit.

A great way of getting this benefit is cycling (sprint bouts), participating in a class or take up boxing for fitness (my favourite!). An added benefit of boxing for fitness is less damage to your lower limbs, whilst still maintaining the heart rate into 80% Maximum heart rate and beyond.

Learn to Love Lifting

As we age our bodies lose muscle mass over time, this is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is linked to raised blood lipid levels and body fat, obesity, heart disease and the onset of Type 2 diabetes.

Interested in more information – click here to view a paper from an exercise physiologist supporting the significant impact of resistance training on muscular hypertrophy, strength, and power in the aging population.

In summary lifting weights helps reduce the affects of ageing and important health and wellness measures among older adults, including; maximal strength, physical function, body composition and quality of life.

Make it part of your lifestyle

Exercise isn’t a fad and too often we all make excuses as to why we can’t fit it in. I’ve been guilty myself however what I found is that once I made it routine and a lifestyle choice I was better for it and treated it as part of my normal activities of daily living. So how do we do this? Here are some tips for success:

1)      Get a friend involved – often training with partners is better for adherence and compliance to exercise and also motivates the session to achieve maximise results

2)      Set yourself up for success, pack your bag with your gear the night before and put into your car so you WILL train OR if you are a morning bandit have your gear ready and easily accessible when you wake up, so you can get up and go without thinking of a reason to roll over and get more sleep

3)      Get a good night’s sleep

4)      Eat well prior and after exercise – good nutrition is a key component of good energy levels for HIIT and resistance training

Stay tuned for part 2 of staying fit and fabulous after 40.

Yours in health Ryan!

Ryan O’Connor

Director & Accredited Exercise Physiologist