As much as we may hate to admit it, time marches on, and what was easy at 25 is a good bit tougher 20 years down the road. We don’t have to toss in the towel and become couch potatoes, but we may need to make some allowances for our over-40 bodies. Here are some tips for staying fit after 40 without a side of aching backs and personal injury.
What’s So Different After 40?
As we age our recovery time gets longer and the risk of injury goes up. Part of the reason is because of sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle mass. After the age of 30, we lose 8-12% of our muscle mass per decade. For yo-yo dieters, this muscle loss can be more extreme. At the same time, hormone levels are changing. Growth hormones don’t course through your body like they used to.
That doesn’t mean there’s no hope. It just means that you need a plan. Any exercise is better than no exercise but let’s see what the medical professional recommend.
The American College of Sports Medicine put out Physical Activity Guidelines for Adults in 2010 which includes twice-weekly resistance training with progressive overload and twice-weekly vigorous cardio-respiratory activity (like HIIT – high intensity interval training) or four times per week of moderate cardio activity.
Feed Your Grown-Up Body Well
Remember how, at 16, you could eat a whole pizza and it never showed on the scale? Well, those days are gone. Remember them fondly.
Instead, remember the adage “You Are What You Eat,” and choose food accordingly. If you want a lean meat and vegetable body, you’re going to have to eat lean meat and vegetables. Leave the sugar and potato chips behind and choose food for nourishment. In general, you’re probably not getting enough protein. The USRDA recommends 60 grams of protein for an adult per day. There’s a lot of research that shows the number should be closer to 1 gram per pound of body weight. A deeper explanation of why this is the case is a topic for another article.
Sleep Like a Baby
It might be fun to stay up late, but not only is rest fuel for the next day, it slows the aging process too. Sleep can maximize testosterone and balance hormone levels, improve protein absorption, and aid post-workout recovery. Be kind to yourself: Get adequate sleep. It’s part of the stress –> recovery –> adaptation cycle your body uses and that all good exercise programs take advantage of. 7-8 hours of sleep is a target goal.
Try Something New
It’s common to get bored and fall off your program. If you find yourself flagging, try a new activity to get you going again. Try a martial art, a 5K or a mud run, or go rock climbing or hiking. Train with a friend or two for company and competition. Switch it up. You’ll find that coming back to your training or original exercise program after some time off will renew your enthusiasm for it.
Care for Your Post-40 Body
It sometimes happens that despite our best efforts we need a little extra help. King Chiropractic is here to help when your over-40 body needs a boost.
If you injure yourself during lifting or another athletic activity, King Chiropractic can help with recovery and pain relief. If you feel you’re not making the progress you’d like, we can help you boost your performance. King Chiropractic also works to restore range of motion.
Call King Chiropractic today at (910) 777-7228 to schedule a visit and see how we can help you stay fit after 40.