So, you are celebrating your 40th birthday, awesome. With the right combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle tips, you can live a healthy life even at age 40.
If you are entering your 40s, it is the right time to optimize your nutrition and fitness routine to stay fit and feel vibrant as you’d like in your 20s. There is no denying that the human body experiences various metabolic changes such as loss in bone density, slower metabolism and drop in hormonal levels. Maintaining a consistent fitness routine and healthy diet can help you prevent the signs of aging.
A study says that a regular workout routine can lower the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Starting a fitness routine and making some dietary changes is a healthy option for those individuals turning 40. If you are wondering what you should do in your 40s, here I have compiled the best tips to fulfill your health and fitness goals.
1. Workout, Workout and Workout
If you want to live a healthy life even in your 40s, it is highly recommended to follow a regular workout routine. Many fitness experts suggest that you need to exercise at least three times a week to get fit and lose inches off your waistline. You can follow different cardio exercises that can easily be done from your comfort of home.
The goal of cardio exercises is to increase your heart rate and activate the fat burning mode of the body. A study suggests that high intensity exercises are 28.5% more effective in weight loss compared to other exercises. So, doing high intensity interval training, HIIT workouts is the best way to stay in shape in your 40s.
2. Follow Cardiologist Approved Aerobic Activities
According to cardiologists, physical inactivity is one of the major reasons for cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, diabetes, and obesity. Doing physical activity is beneficial for your cardiovascular health and prevent the risk of heart diseases, stroke and improves the quality of life. Many cardiologists suggest aerobic exercises to strengthen your heart muscles, reduce bad cholesterol and normalize blood pressure.
Heart experts recommend at least 150 minutes of aerobic workout per week. Some cardiologist approved aerobic exercises are:
- Brisk walking
- Heavy cleaning
- Playing football
3. Eat Healthy Proteins
Incorporating healthy proteins into your diet is a great choice to stay fit after 40. Many studies suggest that eating a balanced diet full of protein, healthy fats, and carbs can have a positive effect on your overall health and wellbeing. Protein is important for maintaining your muscles and tissues and regulating normal body functions. Adding healthy proteins to your diet will help your body in post-workout muscle recovery.
Different studies have shown that people over 40 need more protein for post exercise recovery compared to young people. Besides muscle recovery, proteins can keep your stomach full for longer, boost your metabolic rate, and increase your energy levels. Some healthy sources of protein include:
- Plain Greek yoghurt
- Low-fat cottage cheese
- Peanut butter
4. Keep Your Body Hydrated
Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining good health and it will become more important when we get older. Staying hydrated is essential, especially after 40 as there is a natural drop in thirst level. You should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. There are innumerable benefits of drinking water, including:
- Improving brain performance
- Positive effect on cognition
- Improving mood and focus
- Improving digestion
- Increasing circulation and oxygen supply to brain
- Boosting your metabolism
- Decreasing joint pain
- Improving detoxification system
5. Say No to Late Night Cravings
Many studies reveal that one of the major causes of obesity is eating an hour before bed. Believe it or not, nighttime eating can cause you to eat more calories, which will lead to weight gain and eventually obesity. If you are one of those who eat food late in the evening, you need to change this habit. Try to identify the cause that leads to hunger at night.
Many people stay up late at night because they don’t eat enough during the day. It is important to manage your food intake and set a routine of meals to control your appetite at night. Eating healthy meals at short intervals throughout the day can have a positive effect on your appetite, manage hunger and reduce late night cravings.
6. Go for a Walk
Walking is a healthy way to stay fit after 40. Going for a daily brisk walk can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce body fat. Regular walking can keep your muscles active, improve cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance. It can reduce the risk of various serious conditions such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
Furthermore, it is good for your bone health, strengthens the immune system and reduces stress and depression. Regular walking can also improve your blood sugar, ease joint pain, and tone your legs. In short, it is a great aerobic activity that is good for your overall health.
7. Sleep Well
Several studies have shown that getting adequate sleep is good for your mental and physical health. It has a positive effect on your overall health especially during your 40s and beyond. A lack of sleep can have a negative impact on your mood. Different researches have shown that getting a good night sleep is good for overall health. From maintaining a healthy weight to controlling blood sugar and blood pressure, improving your mood and sharpening your brain, there is a long list of health benefits. So, take 7-8 hours of sleep every night to get the maximum health benefits.
8. Reduce Refined Carbs
It’s no secret that carbohydrates are the most important component of a balanced diet. Complex carbohydrates that are derived from unprocessed plant foods are packed with nutrients. In contrast, refined carbohydrates which come from highly processed foods are low in nutritional value.
Excessive intake of refined carbs will lead to weight gain, high sugar level and tiredness. It is recommended to reduce your carb intake, especially in your 40s to stay fit. Replacing refined carbs with healthy proteins can help you shed some extra pounds, make your muscles stronger and make you feel more energized.
9. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective diet plans to manage your weight and reduce the risk of various health conditions. During intermittent fasting, you only eat during a specific time of the day and fasting for a certain number of hours. This diet plan is good for burning fat, improving insulin levels, controlling blood sugar, reducing inflammation, maintaining metabolism, reducing blood pressure – to name a few.
Intermittent fasting is a safe and good option for individuals over 40, however, you need to consult a registered dietician if you have diabetes or other health conditions. He/she will give you a better alternative diet plan for calorie restriction.
10. Stay Positive
Many individuals get easily discouraged when trying to follow an active lifestyle in their 40s. Due to the packed, busy schedules, many find roadblocks to rigorously follow an exercise routine and a balanced diet plan. The key to staying fit in your 40s is to stay positive and consistent. It is possible to stay in shape after 40, all you need is a high level of motivation and consistency. It is advised to establish healthy routines that are flexible enough and easily adjust into your hectic lifestyle. Try to set aside time for regular short workouts, so that it can easily fit in your routine.
Life begins at 40. Enjoy this phase of life with a balanced diet, workout, and active lifestyle. Enter in your 40s by following these simple tips and stay fit and healthy in your 40s. Make your midlife enjoyable, fuel your body with healthy foods and boost your mental and physical health with regular exercise. Trust me, you will definitely feel young and fresh.