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Staying Fit and Healthy 40 and Beyond

You've just turned 40. Congratulations on the milestone! Despite what is commonly spread, now is the time to start living your best life. All it takes is a little work, courage to try new things and consistency sticking with a routine that works for you. Below we have a few ideas on how to get started.

There has always been a big to-do about turning 40 and how it is all downhill from there. The truth is though, it does not have to be that way. It sounds so cliché, but “age ain’t nuthin’ but a number” which means you can choose to make it and every decade after your best yet starting with your health.

Let’s face it, your 20’s and 30’s are filled with getting established in your career, and family. Chances are you have not really taken a lot of time for selfcare. Your 40’s are a great time to get started on that and we have a few ideas of simple things you can start incorporating into your lifestyle and will pay dividends down the road.

First and foremost, it is important to remember that Rome was not built in a day and your fitness journey will not happen in an hour either. Depending on where you are currently at and where you want to go you have to allow yourself time to get there. There are no quick fixes, but there are long lasting, life changing results if you are willing to work for them.

There will be times the journey is disappointing, but make sure you are kind to yourself and do not give up when things do not instantly start happening in a short period of time.

Now that you are 40 it is important that you be more conscious about getting up and moving throughout the day. One of the easiest ways to accomplish that goal is to dedicate part of your lunch to taking a walk. This is good for you for a couple of reasons. First, it helps get you some physical activity during the middle of the day. Second, it gives you a moment to clear your head and come back for the rest of your workday a little less stressed. Burning some calories and easing your stress levels are both effective and necessary methods of bettering your overall health.

While you are at it, make sure you are staying hydrated. An extra cup of coffee, soda, or glass of wine as a reward might sound great, but water is ultimately going to be your best friend. According to the Mayo Clinic women should be drinking 2.7 liters of water a day and men should be drinking 3.7. If you are extra active you need to consume even more to stay healthy and hydrated throughout the day.

As you get older it can be easy to shy away from trying new activities, but reality is now is as good a time as ever to give that dance class a go, or learn how to round-house kick a fool in the head (just in case, obviously). Trying new things keeps us motivated, interested and moving in different ways so that our same old routines do not become stale. It also keeps our bodies fresh and feeling good because there is absolutely nothing better than learning a new workout routine—just remember you are not 20 anymore and it is ok to ease into it.

Speaking of not being 20 anymore. You have probably noticed your recovery time after immense physical activity or even a night out is much longer than it used to be. Let yourself have that time. It is ok. In fact, you should really consider adding stretching and recovery (foam rolling) to your daily routine anyway. As time goes on you lose flexibility unless you try to use it. Having good flexibility and mobility as you age is every bit as important as having strength and can help protect your body from inadvertent injuries from everyday activities.

Finally, none of your efforts to be physically healthy will do you any good if you are not mindful of what is happening in your kitchen too. Obviously life is meant to be enjoyed and we certainly believe that a good meal goes a long way in that regard, but now more than ever it is important to make sure your diet is balanced. Making sure you get enough fruits and veggies will help to curb snack cravings and keep you fuller longer. They will also help you better see the results you want from whatever fitness routine(s) you choose to partake in.

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