What’s the Best Health and Fitness Advice for People in Their 40s?

It seems like once you reach the big 4-0, things start to change even if you’ve always maintained an active lifestyle. Your metabolism slows down so losing even just 5 lbs becomes quite a challenge. In addition, you’ll find it difficult to maintain muscle mass and eventually our body starts to lose definition.

The steps you take now will set you up in your twilight years. A healthy diet and regular exercise will lead to better physical and mental health into your 50s, 60s, and 70s.

Here are some things you can do to stay fit and healthy in your 40s.

1. Do HIIT Workouts Regularly

Exercising at least 2-3x a week is a must in your 40s. Keep in mind that trimming fat and losing a few inches off your waistline can’t be achieved merely by spending 2 hours straight in Fitness First in a one-off session.  You can do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) from the comfort of your home. Basically, you’ll do a series of rapid, intense reps of an exercise for an amount of time followed by rest and then doing another set of workout.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a research which gathered data from several different studies and found that people who integrate HIIT in their workouts saw 28.5% more weight loss.

If you are concerned about injuries to your joints, consider doing low-impact HIIT workouts.

2. Consume More Protein

As you age, your body will have a reduced ability to recover after a work out, something that can be remedied by increasing your protein intake. People in their 20s need only 20g of protein but those in their 40s need around 35-40g. Aside from post-workout recovery, protein also helps avoid cravings and lets your body feel full for longer periods.

You can get protein from lean meats such as turkey, chicken, beans, fish and tofu. You could also make shakes and smoothies from protein powders.

3. Maintain Muscle Mass

As previously mentioned, muscle mass decreases as you age. Studies show that around 3-8% of muscle mass is lost every decade after you reach 30.  To build and preserve muscle, you need to workout.

Work on individual body parts, including your core, arms and legs.  Some of the best arm exercises include arm punches, circles, bicep curls and tricep dips. Meanwhile, the best workouts for the core include ab circles, and of course the plank. For the legs, you can try lunges, squats and calf raises.

4. Stay Hydrated

The older you get, the more important it is to stay hydrated. That means consuming up to 2 liters per day. Not drinking enough water leads to poor muscle performance and heightens the risk of injury. Moreover, it also leads to tiredness and fatigue.

5. Avoid Late Night Snacks

Many people who are obese were found to eat a lot an hour before bedtime. If you eat after 6pm, there’s a very good chance you’ll also be drinking alcohol and junk food. So if possible, ditch the night time snacks and meals. The more consistent you are in doing this, the more likely you’ll be able to cut down your caloric intake and lower your blood sugar levels.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep helps you manage stress and allows you to be productive the next. The good news is, there’s a direct correlation between sleep quality and exercise. If you exercise regularly, your sleep quality also improves.

7. Be Consistent

A lot of things could be going on in your life in your 40s. Family, work, business, finances and other things could make it difficult for you to exercise on a regular basis. But you need to set healthy routines that make it feasible for you to stay healthy, active and fit in the long-term.

You can still maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle in your 40s and every single improvement that you make towards this end can really make a huge difference in your life when you reach your twilight years.

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