Thursday, September 4, 2014

Getting Fit After 40

If you are like me, I turned 40 and my metabolism stopped. I mean it screeched to a halt. I was no longer able to lose 5 pounds in a week by just eating salads and gone were the days where I could just run a few times a week. With kids and a job, exercise is tougher to fit in. On top of that, my 40's brought with them a series of injuries that I am trying to work around. I soon figured out that I had to work smarter, not harder to meet my fitness goals. 

It's obvious to anyone over 40 and 50, staying fit isn't as easy as it used to be. At middle age, it seems that our bodies have priorities other than building bigger muscles and looking like a 20-year old. Don't even get me started talking about the demands of our day-to-day lives that leave little time for exercise. Regardless of age, fitness is always important to our health. However, it's extremely important to maintain a fitness program during middle age. A healthy active routine can help prevent or substantially slow down a number of health concerns that seemingly crop up suddenly as we enter middle age, including: Bad cholesterol levels, stroke, hypertension, colon and breast cancer, muscle and joint aches, type 2 diabetes, depression, heart disease and bone loss. It can also help slow down the aging process and the decrease of strength and energy. Not to mention the tendency for weight gain as our metabolism slows down.

I was surprised to learn that after 40, you don't need a lot of exercise to achieve these goals. In 2008, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. DHHS, adults can gain substantial health benefits with 2.5 hours (150 minutes) moderate aerobic activity per week. That's just 21 minutes each day of the week or 50 minutes of activity 3 days a week.Or, just 1.25 hours (75 minutes) of vigorous aerobic activity per week. That's just 10 minutes each day of the week or just 25 minutes 3 days a week. Physical activity should be at least 10 minutes at a time.

For those of us who are working, it still sounds like a substantial commitment. But to maintain my health (both physical and mental), it is no longer a luxury that I get to do in my spare time. I have to be smarter about committing to the exercise and then executing it during the week or weekend. 

I don't care who you are. If you are a mom who has kids, make sure you take time to fit in exercise. It benefits not only you, but those beautiful children of yours!

We all want to stay fit but here is the deal, it is harder once you turn 40. For some great diet tips, check out The Truth About Fat Burning Foods: or if you have a toddler, check out Talking To Toddlers: