Keeping Healthy for Men Over 40
Getting healthy can be different things to different people, but it will always involve being physically active, muscular, and keeping a healthy weight. After the age of 35 or 40 men will start to lose muscle and gain fat, this means that certain health risks like heart disease, cancer and diabetes become more likely. Becoming and maintaining a healthy body is done by a combination of diet and exercises, this can help men keep a younger and healthier appearance when they enter their mid-forties and beyond.
- Eat foods that are healthy for your body. This might seem fairly simple, but healthy foods provide your body with the nutrition that it needs to function properly. Avoid processed foods that include refined grains, artificial sweeteners and added sugar in the ingredients. This includes most types of fast food, junk food, desserts and soft drinks. Eat mainly lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and low-fat dairy products. Snack daily on fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat protein bars, green smoothies, low-fat yogurt and plain popcorn.
- Choose to eat fewer calories each day if you need to lose weight. If you stick to eating mainly healthy, whole foods in smaller portions than normal you can accomplish your weight loss goal and feel good at the same time. Eating 500 fewer calories per day will help you lose approximately one-half pound per week. It is not considered healthy to lose more than one to two pounds per week.
- Prepare your meals and snacks whenever possible in order to have more control over the ingredients that you eat each day. You can also portion your food to better suit your fitness goals, as opposed to the larger portions that are often provided in restaurants and other dining establishments.
Drink eight or more glasses of water per day depending on your level of physical activity. Water helps your body systems run smoothly and efficiently; it also makes your skin look younger, and helps to keep you full between meals.
- Move your body for at least 150 to 300 minutes per week doing cardio exercise. Cardio boosts your fitness level by raising your heart rate, expands the ability of your lungs to utilize oxygen efficiently, and works your muscles. Cardio exercises for men over 45 include such activities as swimming, running, boxing, cycling, using a stair stepper or elliptical machine, taking aerobics classes and brisk walking. More cardio is better than less, and vigorous cardio is better than moderate — but exercise at your own pace and schedule throughout the week.
- Engage in strength training. Lift weights or use resistance bands to increase muscle and bone mass. This is especially important as you hit your mid-forties because your body has already started to lose muscle and bone mass due to normal aging processes. Your routine should take place two to four times per week for 30 to 60 minutes per session. Include exercises such as bicep curls, the bench press, deadlifts, tricep dips, leg press, leg extensions, calf raises, lunges, and squats. Talk to a trainer at the gym to learn how to perform the exercises with proper form.
- Add circuit training to your routine approximately two or three times per week. Choose five to seven exercise stations, do each for one minute, and then take a one minute rest at the end of the circuit. Repeat until the amount of time you have allotted for circuit training is finished. Thirty minutes total is a good place to start with a routine. Good exercises for men in their mid-forties include the front plank, squats, pushups, jumping rope, the Russian twist with a medicine ball, mountain climbers, the kettlebell windmill, single-arm dumbbell swings and stability ball jackknives.
Engage in yoga once or twice per week. Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for men over 45 because it shapes and tones your muscles. Yoga also reduces stress; it stretches all your muscles in a series of challenging poses during each class. Flexibility is often lost as men age; make yoga a regular part of your exercise routine and you will be less likely to become injured doing other physical activities.