Staying fit in your 40s is just a tad bit harder than when we were younger, am I right? While I’m off on my international business trip, check out these Tips for Staying Fit in Your 40s from my friend Erika at MCM Mama Runs! She’s an obsessive runner but has some other great tips for how to stay fit that aren’t just RUN MORE! Check it out and leave a comment for her, and visit her blog to follow her journey!
Cynthia asked me to write a post for her while she is off gallivanting around the world (OK, she’s working hard, but it still sounds more exciting than my life.) So, I thought I’d write about a topic near and dear to my heart right now – how to stay fit in your 40s. Yes, even though I run multiple half marathons and the occasional marathon each year, I’ve found that I’m slowly going up in weight and “fluffiness”. (Yes, fluffy is totally a thing.) Here’s what I’m doing to get back to my preferred level of fitness and size.
- Use those muscles – In our 40s, we start losing muscle mass. There are plenty of studies showing this loss, but there are also studies that show that it is possible to maintain or even regain some muscle mass as you age. The key? Weights. I’m not a trainer, so I’m not going to get into the heavy weights versus lighter weights issue. I’m just going to say that if all you are doing is cardio, it’s time to shake things up.
- Make sure you are eating enough protein – Remember those muscles we are trying to build? They need protein. I don’t subscribe to any particular diet, but lean protein and complex carbohydrates are your friend.
- Watch the mindless eating – This is the prime age to have tween and teen kids. And if yours are anything like mine, they are constantly eating. Around here, there seems to be food being consumed at pretty much all hours of the day. It’s hard to not grab a snack every time my boys do, but, umm, a 40+ year old woman should not eat like a 15 year old boy. Just sayin’.
- Add more gentle exercise to your plan – I confess: I love to run and I run 5 days a week. I don’t plan to stop that. However, I’ve been adding in a few minutes on an exercise bike or a rowing machine each week. I also try to move more when I’m working (I work from home with no bathroom on the main level, so if I drink as much water as I should, I need to walk the stairs LOL). All the little bits add up to more movement, more calories burned, different muscles used, all of which are good things.
- Listen to your body – Yeah, we all have more aches and pains than we used to, but sometimes those pains are trying to tell you something. Sometimes that means just take it easy for a day or two, sometimes it means you have an injury brewing. Better to listen and catch something early than to end up with something that sidelines you for a while.
There’s no denying that as we age, there are age related changes to our bodies. However, it’s definitely possible to stay strong and fit for many years and this is the prime time to be taking steps to make that happen. I guess that means I’ll be picking up those weights and keeping up my planks.
Erika writes over at MCM Mama Runs about running, beer, and life with two kids, a gecko and a cat. She’s currently on a mission to run a half marathon in all 50 states, while hitting as many brewpubs and breweries on the way. Stop by her blog to check out her journey!