If you are a guy over 40 then you know things have changed. Maybe you have lost your energy? Or maybe you no longer have the lean physique you once had. Don’t worry I am here to help you out! Here are 9 fitness tips for guys over 40.
Do Push Ups – Back when I crossed over the 40 mark and finally made the decision to get into the best shape of my life it actually all started with pushups. You see I was part of this mastermind group and the leader of the group started a pushup challenge. It wasn’t just any old challenge as if you did not complete your daily pushups and reach the goals that were set for the challenge you had to pay up. Yes, it was like reverse psychology where you actually did not win a prize for doing it but actually paid money to a charity that you disliked. I talk about it in my book if you want to learn more about the challenge, but pushups are considered to be the ultimate barometer of fitness. It incorporates so many muscle groups and core strength. There is a reason the military does so many pushups. Plus, you can easily do this first thing in the morning or at night in your home!
Eat More Protein – protein is a “macronutrient” meaning the body needs relatively large amounts of it. One of the very first things I did when I did when I made the commitment to get fit again was I increased my protein. Now I know you probably aren’t going to carry around a big bowl of brown rice and chicken and eat all day. Or, like when I was in college I had a co-worker that I worked with at the community college gym who had 7 or 8 tuna fish cans with him that he would eat during his shift. But, you need to start increasing your protein intake. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to: 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man. If you are working out and lifting weights I recommend a little higher intake. Also, if you are like me and have a difficult time getting your protein from natural food sources like chicken, fish, and meat then you can use supplements like a protein shake to get the amount you need. I use Shakeology.
Recover well – As we age unfortunately it takes us a lot longer to recover than it used to. I learned that the hard way a few weeks ago when I took my friend out to celebrate his birthday but that is another story. No serious as we age we need more time to recover from our workouts. Especially, if you are doing any sort of HIIT training or heavy lifting. Don’t feel guilty about taking extra days to recover, especially if you are really sore from a hard workout as your body needs it.
Do HIIT Exercises – All the rage these days is HIIT training. What does HIIT stand for you ask? Well, it stands for high, intensity, interval training. What makes it so great? Well, with HIIT training your heart rate will typically be above 84% of your max heart rate for a period of 12 more minutes throughout, which leads to EPOC. EPOC is a big fancy word for what we call the “afterburn.” That is where you are burning calories 12-36 hours after the workout. Not to mention the caloric burn you received when doing a more intense workout than just getting on the elliptical.
Get More Sleep –If there was one piece of advice that I would say to you that could make all the difference in your weight loss and general health it would be to get more sleep. I used to give a stress management presentation to corporations and I would ask them to raise their hands if they got five hours of sleep a night. Most everybody raised their hand but as I asked them 6, not as many, then 7, even less, and finally 8, maybe one or two still had their hand up. I have heard it all. But I don’t require as much sleep or I can sleep all I want when I am dead. The truth here is your body needs rest and recovery like I mentioned above and there have been studies that have shown people who get 7-9 hours a sleep a night are in better health and lose more weight. Work on getting more sleep!
Eat More Super Foods – Don’t worry I not telling you to go out and start eating kale chips although it wouldn’t be a bad thing but you should start eating more broccoli. Broccoli contains sulforaphane, which reduces cartilage depletion in the joints according to researchers. Start eating more oily fish like Tuna, Sardines and Salmon. Why are they so good for you? Apart from being a great source of protein, these oily fish pack the goodness of Omega 3 fatty acids. Also, the monounsaturated oils keep you healthy, are great antioxidants and keep your metabolic rate high. My best friend and college roommate would go on what I called the fish diet when he wanted to lose weight and you know what every time he would eat nothing but fish he would drop 10 pounds. So, eat more of these superfoods to help you keep your joints working and your metabolic rate high!
Make Weights Heavier – Lifting heavy and with good form is important to grow lean mass and more muscle. Also, by lifting heavy and strenuous your body will release growth hormone which is critical for growing muscle along with other benefits of being a male! When lifting you should focus on weights that will allow you to perform 10-12 reps. You want to make sure the last few reps are challenging and you struggled to get them.
Hydrate – Earlier I referred to sleep being one of the most critical habits that you should strive to do more of, but hydrating ranks right up there with it. Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body need water to work properly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Water is needed for overall good health. And it is especially as important as we age. You see as we get older the body “dries out”, and our tendons and ligaments become less resilient. Poor hydration can lead to constipation, dry and itchy skin, sinus pressure, headaches and fatigue, which can be the result of toxins building up in our bodies. One final point to make here and that is if you want to lose weight being properly hydrated as been proven to help with weight loss. Make it a point to drink those 8-10 glasses and if you need to use an app to track it try My Fitness Pal. I use that one.
Resistance Isn’t Futile – As we get older our ability to gain lean muscle decreases. Peak muscle mass usually occurs around age 25. So, the gains you make at this stage in your life might not be a lot but the flip side is you will not lose the muscle mass you worked hard to get if you start doing resistance training. The goal should be to get 3-4x a week of resistance training in.
I hope these tips will help you either start or keep going on your fitness journey. If you need anything or would like a 10-minute fitness consultation with me please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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