How to Optimize Your Fitness After 40
Everyone knows that it’s important to exercise for men over 40. However, you may have to change up your workouts slightly to accommodate for your changing body. Here are four things that you can do to optimize your workout routine:
1 – Include mobility work
As you hit your middle-aged years, you’ll notice that your body starts to stiffen up and become limited in mobility. If you keep working on your mobility, however, you can enjoy a good range of motion for years to come.
Take a moment and sit on the floor. Can you touch your toes? If you can, great! If you can’t, studies indicate that your arteries are probably becoming stiff and you’re at a higher risk of a myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as a heart attack. Poor flexibility has also been shown to be linked with poor blood pressure, poor heart health, and more. Besides, why would you want to limit the activities you can enjoy just by not being flexible enough to enjoy them?
To keep your body in tip-top shape, include mobility work in your workout routine. Try yoga and foam rolling as well as deep, isolated stretches. Not only will this improve your range of motion, but it will decrease your risk of injury and allow you to keep doing the activities that you love.
2 – Abandon the endless cardio
Although cardio is incredibly important for keeping your heart healthy, too much can be dangerous for you. This is particularly true when it comes to extreme endurance exercises such as marathon training. Such intense cardio can result in volume overload, inflammation, thickening of your heart, calcification of your arteries, and more. There’s even a chance of you entering a catabolic state. This is when the production of cortisol in your body is increased which not only breaks down your tissues but can lead to disease. Your muscles will have microscopic tears and you’ll be more prone to injury. Your immune system may even take a hit. It’s important to exercise but as you age, remember that you may need to take it easy sometimes.
3 – Strengthen your core
Complex exercises are fun, but don’t forget your basic strengthening exercises. You’ll often find that the simplest exercises are the ones that make the biggest contributions to your athletic performance. This is true when it comes to your core. Planks, for instance, is a common strengthening exercise for your core. You simply hold your body off the ground in a straight line, keeping your core tight. Planks are amazing for those deep muscles within your trunk. Besides strengthening your stabilizing muscles, your posterior chain will become more flexible. Planks are also great for your balance and stability. If you can hold normal planks for minutes without breaking a sweat, consider adding some weight or even a stability ball to challenge yourself further.
4 – Give yourself time to recover
As you age, you’ll find that your body needs more time to recover. Don’t forget to listen to your muscles and give them enough time to repair after exercising, particularly after intense sessions. Challenge yourself, but don’t push yourself over the limits. You may not be able to handle workouts of the same duration and intensity as you could in your 20s. Protect your body by giving yourself time to recover.
About the Author
Jack of all trades... master of none! Father of 3 awesome boys, husband to 1 amazing wife! Obstacle racer, procrastinator, computer nerd, trying not to follow the herd!