Approaching your 40s and crossing over to
the dark side middle age can certainly be a wake up call for some, especially when it comes to health and fitness.
This is where a lot of people start to question themselves, their lives, their health and begin taking stock of their lifestyles; stuff like how much we are sitting at work each day, to how much exercise we are really getting.
It’s also the decade where weight is harder to keep off, hangovers become insufferable and people are just juggling way more responsibilities from careers, to kids, ageing parents, sick friends and more.
In our 40s, not only do we have to train smarter and eat better, but we also need to manage our stress levels, as stress causes inflammation which may in turn cause you to struggle with your health regardless of how much exercise and good eating you are doing.
Small changes add up over time to achieve big results. When it comes down to it, it’s all about a nutrition-dense diet, a consistent training routine and sleep.
Here’s how to get ripped in your 40s and stay that way.
It’s easier than ever to make wise nutrition choices, but pre-planning is still essential because when we are starving, that is where we tend to make the bad choices.
It’s important to have your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy food, so when the hunger hits, you are prepared. If you can’t get out of the house, many grocery stores allow you to shop online at little cost.
Alternatively, use a healthy meal delivery company. There are so many companies who deliver fresh, healthy meal straight to your door and many are quite cost effective given the time saved.
Cut all the refined carbs if your goal is to lose weight. Foods like white bread, white rice and simple carbs do nothing to help your form. Instead, satisfy your carb cravings with sweet potato, roast pumpkin or almonds.
Eat more proteins in order to curb hunger and incorporate protein with every meal. The average man should be eating between 60-80 grams of protein per day, so load up your plate at every meal.
Drink Water Everyday
Drinking 3 litres of water everyday will help your body flush out toxins and absorb nutrients more effectively.
Drinking enough water is also imperative for weight loss and minimising your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Keep a water bottle at your desk and drink consistently throughout the day.
Your body loses muscle mass at around the age of 40, often replacing it with fat.
After the age of 40, you shouldn’t necessarily exercise more as you age, you should exercise smarter, focusing on flexibility, mobility and balance to help you avoid injury, muscle loss and joint stiffness.
Train for flexibility and balance. As we age our body loses neuromuscular coordination which in time may lead to falls.
Exercise reduces your risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, so exercising and good nutrition is important when we age. But as you start to lose muscle mass, flexibility and coordination, you need to tailor your approach to suit your needs.
Sleep affects everything: your mood, your nutrition choices and your overall decision making. Even though a new baby equals less sleep, there are a few simple things you can do to maximise the quality of your sleep.
Turn Off Your Phone ASAP
Every moment of sleep is value now that a baby has arrived. Shut off all technology as early as possible to prepare your body and brain for sleep. Keep technology out of the bedroom all together if you can, which will help your brain to know that when you are in bed, it’s time to sleep.
No caffeine after 12:00pm. As much as you want to pump yourself full of caffeine to get through the day, you will pay for it at bedtime. Try and limit your caffeine intake to mornings only so the coffee will be full out of your system by 12:00pm.
Also, note that your pre-workout might have caffeine in it, so swap for an alternative if necessary.
A Little More Help
Ben Lucas, a former professional NRL player, is the owner and co-founder of Flow Athletic, a yoga and fitness studio based in Paddington, NSW, Australia.