Achieving athleticism After 40: the best ways to do it – AW

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We tend to think of being athletic as a young person’s pursuit. After all, the vast majority of Olympians are in their 20s and early 30s.

However, that doesn’t mean that people can’t get in shape in their forties. The human body has an incredible capacity to adapt to changing stimuli, getting fit even if it has been sedentary for most of its life. 

Exercise is important for reducing the risk of chronic disease and keeping the body younger for longer. The CDC and other health bodies recommend that people work out for around 150 minutes per week to remain fit. However, research suggests that going beyond that, perhaps to as much as 300 minutes per week, is even better. 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people never get close to those kinds of levels of physical activity. And if they’re not in the habit by the time they’re 40, they believe that they’ll never get into it. It’s “too late”, they tell themselves. 

The good news, though, is that isn’t true. Even if you have spent your life sitting on the couch, eating chips, you can still turn it around. The human body is a remarkable machine. 

So what do you need to do to become athletic after the age of forty? Let’s take a look. 

Ease Into It Slowly

If you’re over the age of forty and have never been into fitness before, it is critical to ease into a new routine slowly. Don’t do anything that is going to shock your body and leave you with the impression that working out is painful and difficult. Give yourself plenty of time to ramp up the difficulty. No matter how slowly you start, you will achieve your goals far quicker than you imagine. 

Begin by doing something that you know you can do. Take a walk around the block and then cut out unhelpful snacking. Once you’ve done that, give yourself a pat on the back. That’s progress. 

Then, the next week, walk around two blocks or cycle to work. Then, again, congratulate yourself on your achievement. Continue this progression until you feel that your body is able to take on bigger challenges. Perhaps you could walk up all the stairs in your building’s tower block, or maybe you could do 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per day. 

Believe That You Can Be Successful

Getting in shape over the age of forty also requires changing your mindset. If you think you’re going to fail, you probably will. The mind is a powerful and valuable tool when it comes to your body. What you think actually changes how your body chemistry works. If you believe that what you are doing will help you get into shape, you’re much more likely to succeed. But if you think that you are stuck the way you are forever, you’re much less likely to achieve your fitness goals. 

The effect of this is stronger than you might imagine. If you believe that you’re never going to make it despite your new diet and exercise routine, then the body is far less likely to adjust to the new input. If you consider yourself to be a slob rather than a person with an athletic physique, then your muscle tone will become weaker and you won’t get that athletic shape you dream of. 

By contrast, if you step into the athletic role, the pace your body will change will shock you. If you see being fit as “the new you,” it will have profound effects on your biochemistry. 

Get A Medical

Before you begin a radically new exercise routine, it’s a good idea to go for a medical checkup. You want to make sure that your body is in a reasonable condition before you start hitting the weights or going for long runs. If you try to go too fast, too early, it will adversely impact your health. 

Getting a medical can provide additional benefits, too. For instance, doctors can help with balancing hormones naturally and recommending that you eat certain foods. They can also show you what you need to do to improve your overall well-being and the type of exercise that is likely to be the most effective for you. 

Use An Age-Specific Exercise Plan

The exercise needs of people over the age of forty tend to be different from those under that age. If you are older, you need to work on multiple body systems to stay in shape. 

A typical plan should look something like this: 

The combination and variety of exercises will help you to build a well-rounded physique. The more you can gear your mindset towards success, the better. 

Bring A Friend With You

Some people can train alone after the age of forty, but not many. Most need to be around a partner, spouse, or children. Having someone with you to push you makes the experience more intense and enjoyable. Spotting a partner is a great way to improve the social aspect of exercise and make it a part of your regular routine. 

See Getting In Shape As A Pleasure

Simply gritting your teeth and trying to get in shape is never an enjoyable experience. Eventually, it exhausts you and you no longer want to do it. 

However, if you start to view it as a pleasurable experience or a treat to yourself, it changes your mindset. All of a sudden, it’s something that you actually want to do, not that you’re being forced to do. 

Once you make this shift, exercise becomes about “me time.” It’s something that you do every day to improve your well-being and help you live longer

Try if you can to build a motivational platform. Think about why it is that you want to get in shape and the benefits that it will bring. Find something that really matters to you.

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