How to look and feel your best over 40

One thing we will be clear about firstly is age related changes will occur in your 20’s and 30’s but with what I’ve seen over the last 20 years of coaching clients, 40 and over is when I see the biggest changes. Why?
Your mindset has a huge role to play when coming to age and your lifestyle plays a large role slowing down the process or speeding up the clock.

Don’t let anyone fool you in saying well your 40 or 50 now so you wont get the results you would of got in your 20’s. This information to get people to believe that ok I might as well not have the same goal as my 20’s because I was advised I cant achieve it anymore is simply untrue.

One thing is MINDSET. That will be subject for another day on its own.
Today ill go over what kind of exercise will be the key to you looking and feeling your best.

Looking and Feeling your best after 40.

Besides the fact that you must keep moving, there is effective ways to tailor your workouts to seeing the results you want.

First step – Flexibility

Do NOT neglect your Flexibility. Research has shown that poor flexibility can increase risk of blood pressure, heart health issues, decreases your cardiovascular fitness, increase risk of heart attack or stroke and increase your chance of injury.

We all know about aches and pains in our body, stiff backs, clicking ankles. Doesn’t mean you have to live with them. Believe it or not you can fix those issues.
Firstly, not warming up and cooling down will set you up for pain so include those every time you train. When muscles are cold they don’t like to be stressed. It can lead to your aches and pains or even injury.
I would recommend in your warm up:

• 3-5 minutes of light warm up prior to working out
• Get on the roller to increase blood flow to an area that’s stiff and to relieve some trigger points
• Dynamic stretches
• Whatever you may be working out that day make sure you warm the muscles up and the surrounding stabilisers

To cool down:
• 3-5 minutes light cardio
• Static stretches and PNF stretching (resistance based)

Second – Strength

Use your muscles or lose them. This saying is very true. Without strength training what reason does your body have to keep them? Your muscles will atrophy (breakdown muscle) without it.
Whether you’re over 40 starting a training program with little to no training experience or regular gym goer strength training is a must!
Maintaining your muscle and mass and giving your body a reason to increase mass has a range of positives, which you’ll see below.

• Increase Bone Density
• Increase Growth Hormone Production
• Decrease your risk of Falls
• Improve Blood Sugar control
• Increase self confidence
• Balance of hormones
• Benefits your brain by increase the production of Growth Factors which are responsible for Cellular growth and can help prevent Dementia
• Increase energy

If you are into you’re health and fitness but have injuries that prevent a lot of your training never take the approach of avoiding training. That is simply an excuse why you don’t have to train. Instead taper your training according with a well designed program.
Focus on Time under tension and Mind to muscle connection with exercises you can perform

Third – Strong Core

You may have heard before to strengthen your core for a better foundation or to help your lower back pain. Well whatever the reason you were told about why to improve your core strength Ill give you a little insight into why its important to keep those deep muscles strong.
Your muscular structure will be only as good as your weakest link!
Core muscles function to support your hips and spine in correct alignment from front to back, side to side, up and down. Majority of people know some of the benefits of a strong core. The problem though is its not based on regular ab exercises that many people are lead to believe will strengthen their core. True in a small percentage but to create a strong foundation you must include the following.

Your Core broken down in the following:

• Abdominals
• Hip flexors and extensors (gluteal muscles/hamstrings)
• Lower back stabilisers
• Lateral stabilisers

So a basic core routine to include into your program could be

• Plank
• Side bridge crunch
• Side to side leg hops
• Crunches – legs vertical
• Bicycles – hands by side and chest up moving your legs slowly in a bicycle movement
• Supermans

Include these 2-3 times per week and you will see a big difference.
A small investment in your body for a large result to improve overall performance and foundational strength.

Fourth – Short and Intense cardio
As busy men and women in their 40’s ideally need workouts that are quick and effective due to being time poor so they can keep their body’s metabolism charged up and burning that unwanted belly fat. Don’t let anyone fool you when they say you need to spend hours training to get the result you want. You want to lose body fat its about smarter effective training.
This is where HIIT workouts come into play!
HIIT is short bursts of high intensity (max effort) bursts with low intensity recovery periods.
HIIT can be done with cardio workouts and weight training workouts.

If you want to increase growth hormone levels by up to 700%, increase muscle, burn body fat, improve heart health, get fitter, feel more energy through out the day, have more focus then it might be a good idea to incorporate some HIIT to your weekly schedule.

Fifth – Recover well

Recovery days! These days are for your muscles and nervous system to recuperate so your ready for your next session to give it full effort.
To give your body a speedy recovery from your workouts try to add an active recovery and include foam rolling, light stretching, yoga, light cardio and drink plenty of water.
Keep the blood flowing to enhance recovery times

Sixth – Nutrition

The foods you put in your mouth will impact your training and results. Don’t think the work is done once you leave the gym. That’s when you will make or break your results.
One very common thing I have seen is people will lower their calories too much thinking they will gain weight.
I can understand why this would be a common thought, especially if you haven’t been active for sometime.
With more activity come higher energy requirements from your food to assist your body to grow stronger and new muscle tissue.
Even if your goal is not to put on muscle you still will need the extra energy coming from quality nutrition to assist in better recovery, increase nutrient uptake and better energy through out the day.

So never have the belief that being a certain age will restrict you from getting the results you want.
Keep in mind that with careful planning of your programs will ensure you will see your optimal result.

Related Articles
You own your Body. How do you treat it?
Useful training tips for burning fat over 40
Your best body at 40

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