It’s everywhere – in magazines, in books, in movies, on television, and in your social circle that exercising is crucial for good health and excellent quality of life. So, how often have you planned to start a workout regime but never did? Perhaps you were lazy, perhaps you procrastinated a lot, or you had your 9 to 5 job or you never began because you were in your 40s.
If you belong in the last category, here’s a truth bomb to drop. Just as you are never too old to acquire knowledge, you are never too old to start a workout routine – it doesn’t matter if you are in your 30s or 40s. Now this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise caution. Age can surely place some restrictions but it should not stop you from working out.
So, if you are planning to start a workout routine, you have come to the right place. You can find everything to know right here. So, keep reading.
Before you start, talk to your healthcare professional
Before you start your workout, talk to your doctor. The doctor may have a few suggestions based on your health and fitness level. This is extremely essential if you have a heart problem, high blood pressure, or are diabetic.
Helpful tips to start a workout routine in your 40s
You are going to collapse if you start your workout routine by lifting 20-pound dumbbells or running for 2 Km at a fast pace. Start small if you are working out after a long time or haven’t worked out your entire life.
The best place to start is walking. Walking is almost an effortless form of cardiovascular exercise that does promise results. You can start with walking and work your way up to jogging or running.
Aim to improve flexibility
Sadly, only a little importance is given to flexibility nowadays. If you are starting your workout in your late 40s, it’s natural for you to be quite inflexible. You must know it is an important area to work on. Here is why.
First and foremost, it helps prevent injuries. Improved flexibility allows your muscles and joints to move through their full range of motion, reducing the risk of strains and overexertion. Flexibility exercises, like stretching, also enhance your range of motion, crucial for activities demanding extensive movement, such as yoga or sports.
Additionally, flexibility work contributes to better posture, correcting muscle imbalances and promoting an upright and aligned stance. Flexible muscles function more efficiently, aiding workout performance and minimising imbalances.
Be mindful of the workout duration:
It’s crucial to pay attention to the duration of your workouts. While consistency is essential, excessively long workouts can lead to overtraining, fatigue, increased risk of injury and cardiovascular issues. Instead of spending long hours of workouts, a 15-20 HIIT session (compromising light and moderate exercises) is a better option as per research. HIIT is a much more efficient form of workout that can give you better results than conventional workouts. If you are starting out, you can begin with brisk walking HIIT.
Go for simple strength training exercises:
Strength training is the talk of the town. But do you know you don’t necessarily have to lift heavy dumbbells to say that you are doing strength training? Strength training can also include bodyweight exercises. Believe it or not, your body carries weight. You can use your body’s weight to make it stronger.
You can focus on basic exercises like squats, push-ups, and planks. These foundational movements are effective at building strength and help you establish proper form and technique before progressing to more complex exercises.
Consider investing in a fitness tracker:
A fitness tracker can be a valuable tool to monitor your activity levels, specifically your heart rate. Health experts say you must not exceed 80% of your maximum heart rate.
To calculate your maximum heart rate, take 220 and subtract your age from the number. Sustaining a workout at this pace improves cardiorespiratory endurance and reduces the risk of heart attacks and cardiac arrests. It can give you an idea of when to stop.
You also have to watch your diet:
Exercise alone isn’t enough to achieve your health and fitness goals. Paying attention to your diet is equally important. Incorporate a balanced mix of nutrients, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid excessive processed foods, sugary drinks, and unhealthy snacking to support your fitness efforts.
Take the help of a fitness expert if you are planning to lift weights:
If you’re considering weightlifting, especially as a beginner, seeking guidance from a fitness expert or a personal trainer is highly recommended. They can help you create a safe and effective strength training program tailored to your goals, teach you proper lifting techniques, and ensure you avoid potential injuries during your workouts. Their expertise can be invaluable in your fitness journey.
Embarking on a workout journey in your 40s can be a rewarding and transformative experience for your health and well-being. By keeping these essential points in mind, such as the importance of flexibility, the value of simple strength training, considering fitness tracking tools, maintaining a balanced diet, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can set yourself up for success.
Remember that age is not a barrier to achieving your fitness goals; it’s a starting point for a healthier, more active future. So, take that first step, stay committed, and embrace the journey to a fitter and more vibrant you, because it’s never too late to prioritise your health and fitness. Your 40s can be the start of a new, healthier chapter in your life.