Working Out After 40 – How Should You Be Doing It?
As our bodies age, bones can become weaker, fatigue can start to set in, injuries can become more likely, and our cardiovascular health can decline. If you add an illness into that equation, then working out after 40 can be even more challenging. However, exercise is important to combating the process of aging and maintaining the strongest body possible, so it is important to maintain some sort of workout regime.
Building Muscle After 40
If you want to build muscle and compete with the younger men and women, it may start to get harder for you after the age of 40. Why? Because hormone levels in your body that promote muscle, bone, and high-energy start to decline.
For instance, testosterone levels start to decline, which makes muscle building harder. Testosterone plays a part in promoting muscle growth and strength. Therefore, you may want to get your levels checked and find natural ways to boost testosterone in your body.
“The level of testosterone is the highest around age 40, then gradually becomes less in older men.” – WebMD
When Normal Workouts Are Too Hard
Working out after 40 is definitely more challenging than it is when you are younger. Workouts that used to be easy can become hard and even painful at times.
The first thing to do is understand that this is normal. It doesn’t make you weak or mean that you’re knocking on death’s door, but it does mean that your body simply will not push itself to the levels it used to go. Therefore, figuring out how far your body will go is important, and adjusting your workouts to match what your body wants and needs is equally important.
Learn to listen to your body and pay attention to its signals and warnings. If you are overworking your body, you will feel things like:
- Extreme soreness
- Exhausted after exercise instead of full of energy
- Mental changes, such as having a short fuse or feeling down
- Heaviness in the legs or arms
If you feel negative results from your workout, then dial it back a bit and give your body the exercise it needs without trying to force it to do what it can’t. This may sound counter-productive but it works. As explained in more detail in different programs like the Weight Destroyer and others, working out too hard, for too long can actually produce negative effects.
So instead of going too hard you can work on developing skills that have declined or that you may have lost. For instance, if your balance is not what it used to be, incorporate balance-improving exercises into your workout.
Don’t Relax Too Much
Just because you can’t push yourself as hard as you did in your 20’s, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t push yourself a little.
Some people live with an all-or-nothing attitude. Because their body won’t give them the results they used to see from working out, they give up on their efforts altogether. And many other people over 40 think that doing ‘stuff’ (like shopping, walking, or housecleaning) is the same as working out. But both scenarios will set you up for poor health.
In order to keep your heart healthy, for example, you have to elevate your heart rate for at least 30 minutes a day. This means that moderate exercise is a must, and if housecleaning isn’t doing it for you, then you have to add some extra cardio into your day. You can achieve this through power-walking, dancing, swimming, or any other heart-pumping activity you enjoy.
And, remember, just because you don’t get the results you used to get from working out, it doesn’t mean that you should give up all together. Your body receives benefits from working out, whether you visibly see the results or not, so your future health depends on your commitment to making working out after 40 a daily activity.