I hear ya, it’s frustrating to feel like staying fit gets harder and harder—especially once you hit that 40 year mark and your hormones start to change, your metabolism feels like it’s slowing down, and life simultaneously gets busy with job stress, children, and other responsibilities. And I can tell you from my own experience that if you think the 40’s are hard, get ready for the 50’s. All jokes aside, you are not alone and with a few simple tools and mindset shifts, you can lose weight and continue to stay strong and energized as you age. Here’s how I recommend you make getting fit easier (and more fun!) after 40.
- Find something FUN
We all get to that age where we think we’re just not going to care about certain things anymore. And I’m all for letting go of superficial reasons for doing things, or aspects of life that truly don’t matter—impressing people, spending time on things that drain your energy, etc. But one thing that still matters and will always matter is your health. “Your health is your wealth.” Think about it. Who cares what you can buy if you are sick or suffering from disease. You still need to keep working out as you age in order to stay strong and capable. But fitness doesn’t have to feel like a chore and fitness changes as your body ages. Focus on finding something you like to do—a way of movement that feels enjoyable for you. Something you can sustain over the long haul. That could be anything from biking and hiking to yoga class or Pilates. Experiment with new forms of exercise that you actually enjoy. Listen to your body but don’t give into it as your excuse for being sedentary. Yes, your muscles and joints may need more recovery time as you age but as I like to say “motion is lotion.” Movement will keep you healthy for decades to come.
Listen to the podcast! Don’t Fall for the Myth! There is Fitness After 40, 50 and Beyond with Chris Freytag
- Make sure you’re getting a mix of cardio AND strength
While you’re finding things you like to do, be sure you include activities that count as both cardio and strength. As you age (around the age of 35), you start to lose muscle mass if you’re not actively replacing it. Many people go from feeling toned to feeling flabby. To stay strong, aim to strength train at least 2-3 times per week. Perform strength training moves for each muscle group using dumbbells, resistance bands, or your own bodyweight. Just make sure you’re building muscle so that you don’t lose it as you age. And in case you didn’t know—muscle burns more calories at a resting heart rate so the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn through everyday. That can be the difference between adding five pounds around the middle or not.
- Find your tribe
Being successful with your fitness goals at any age is dependent on having a supportive community around you. It’s hard to go it alone! You can enlist a workout buddy for a weekly jogging date, take yoga classes with friends, or even join an online community for support and motivation. Continue to surround yourself with positive people who like to be active, too!
- Work on supportive self-talk
No matter how positive your tribe is, you also need to work on the most important person involved in your health: you. What sort of things do you tell yourself that are secretly sabotaging your health? Do you think you’ll look silly trying a new workout? Do you comfort yourself with ice cream because you think you’ll never lose the weight or be good enough anyway? Become aware of the things you’re saying to yourself and you might be surprised to hear that you’re the one sabotaging your success. Encourage yourself with positive motivation. Start as simply as saying Yes I Can when faced with a challenging exercise or beginning a new day. Your mindset is the first step in creating healthy habits!
- Balance out your hormones.
No you can’t control them completely but as you age you need to work with them and be aware of them. Insulin and cortisol are the two “fat storing hormones” that you can control through eating a clean diet and getting some sleep. Estrogen is that crazy female hormone that sends us into a frenzy so get your levels checked and again eat clean and avoid environmental estrogens like pesticides, chemicals and plastics.
I’m 52 now and I know what it’s like when your life is full and you feel like you don’t have the time or energy to work out. That’s why I started Get Healthy U TV, my online streaming workout service—it allows you to workout in your own home, at your own time, using a huge library of short and longer-length workouts driven to get maximum results. Want to become a member? Click here and use code FITGOLD20 at checkout to get your first year of GOLD membership for just $20!
Chris has been teaching fitness, training clients and coaching on the subjects of nutrition and health for more than 25 years. Her high energy and approachable personality has helped build her reputation as a nationally known fitness expert among the viewers who watch her weekly TV segments, to the members who jam pack her classes, to her clients, readers and fans.
As a Certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach and Pilates/ Yoga Instructor, Chris decided to use the power of the internet to create an online brand and website, GetHealthyU.com, dedicated to “Helping U Get Better Every Day”. With several hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, the brand, GetHealthyU.com reaches and motivates people all over the world offering new content weekly as well as free workouts, recipes and inspiration.