This is about fitness and getting a strong, healthy body. Losing a few pounds – or a lot depending on your own goals and aspirations. But most important it is about living a healthy lifestyle and being the best YOU, you can be!
If you are like me, by the time you reach your forties, you have most likely realised you’re not getting any younger (sad but true!), and you start to feel those aches and pains, you wish you could get in shape, but just can’t find the right motivation.
In today’s world, very few of us find the time to care for ourselves as we should, whether it be commitments at work or a busy schedule with our children or even caring for an elderly parent. We feel like we aren’t in our prime anymore and don’t have the energy to stay fit.
That’s not true. In fact, you can get fit over 40 and stay there by finding the right motivation to take control of your life.
Here’s your first step! Get out of the mindset that fitness is for young people and that once you hit 40 it’s all downhill. It’s not!
They say, “you are never too old”, and that is true for most things. People have attained a great deal for themselves over 40, whether it be a new education, a new career, or a new romance anything is possible.
If you have a good mental attitude and believe you can do it at your age, or any age, then you certainly can.
In fact, getting in shape is more important now than ever. These are a few ways to do it!
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1. Finding your motivation
You’ve got the motivation. Good for you! Now, it’s time to start moving.
If you aren’t fully motivated yet, and still need some convincing – start moving! You’ll be amazed at how much more motivated you become when you do an activity you love. Just by having a walk through your favourite park or wood, planting some flowers in your garden, putting on some music and dancing in your lounge or playing with your grandchildren. This can be a start to a new mind set and a new you.
A lot of us have had long periods of inactivity, or indeed a lifetime of it, and it’s hard to imagine ever wanting to exercise. But if you start with something you enjoy and slowing build up your fitness from there, your attitude can change, and you won’t have to force yourself to exercise. This will allow you to incorporate excises into your life more naturally and by forming new healthy habits prevent the “fizzle out” that many people experience.
The next thing you need to do to get motivated is to stop comparing yourself to others your age. We are all individuals and are all in different phases of our life. We have all had our own journey to this point, and the important thing to remember is where you are in that journey, and where you are headed. Be motivated to be happy with who you are.
2. Change Your Attitude Right Now
Here’s your first step. Get out of the mindset that fitness is for young people and that once you hit 40 it’s all downhill. It’s not!
As you age, your body won’t be what it once was, and all the unwanted ageing symptoms start to set in. This is something we all must accept but having a positive attitude about your future is still as important as it has always been. Believing that you can have a healthy and happy lifestyle well into old age, and that by incorporating healthy habits into your life now, they will have a positive effect in the future, should be the attitude we all have.
Realise that the time to start taking care of YOU is NOW!
I bet many of you are like me? I have spent a lot of years taking care of others, be that my husband or my children. I’m not used to putting my needs first, and generally procrastinate about doing anything about changing my lifestyle. It’s time to put ourselves first, especially when it come to getting healthier and fitter.
Realise that getting fit is 70% attitude, 30% action is the key!
3. Start TODAY
If you’re reading this and you’ve been thinking about getting fit – start today!
GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING NOW.
Take the dog for a brisk walk, do half an hour’s housework at lightning speed, take the stairs rather than the lift, walk to the shop instead of driving or take up Zumba. There are so many ways to incorporate exercise into our busy lives, and the more you do it the easier it will become.
STOP making excuses! Ever said any of these things?
I don’t have the time to exercise.
I can’t afford a gym membership.
It will be too hard.
I’m too old.
I don’t want anyone to see my flabby bits.
If you’ve ever thought anything like that before, consider the alternatives: lack of energy, trouble sleeping, depression, difficulty concentrating, health complications in later life… those are just a few reasons for you to stop making excuses and putting it off.
What makes it worth it to you?
Start adopting healthier habits now and slowly start incorporating them into your life. The more that an action becomes part of a daily routine, the less likely you’ll be to stop doing it.
DO it for YOU!!
4. Create and Follow a Plan
If you want to get serious about getting fit, a good action plan will give you structure in your life and provide you with something you can follow.
The easier, the better, and the more likely you’ll be motivated to get up and do it. Seeing a program through to the end is a great feeling.
It’s important to set yourself realistic goals, this post isn’t about weight loss, but in our forties weight gain is all too easy if we’re not staying active. So, if you know that you have some pounds to shift but it seems like such a daunting task, give yourself a realistic target to achieve – for instance, losing one pound a week sounds more than doable, don’t you think? Remember there is no pressure, take your time and ensure that it’s a program you can maintain to keep the pounds off. Remember to break down your targets into realistic goals and they won’t seem so unattainable.
Since we aren’t 20 anymore, you can’t just jump into some high intensity workouts and start training like a pro. The goal is to get fit and stay fit for the rest of your life. You must ease into it and train your body to adapt.
Building muscle after 40 is the key to keeping strong bones, healthy muscle structure, balance and beating things like arthritis and osteoporosis. You can gain muscle at any age, so don’t let that stop you.
The exercise you choose is your call – unless it’s achievable, personal to you, and something you enjoy, it isn’t going to work and yield results.
5. Do it for your health, forever
Okay, so you’ve made it to the gym and you’re seeing the beginning of progress.
But there’s always a risk of falling off the bandwagon and losing your motivation. Don’t worry- it happens to the best of us. Some of us are just better at coming back from it than others.
Don’t be one of those who can’t bounce back. A good way to do this is to keep looking forward and stop looking back.
Get back to your routine and don’t dwell on it.
The best way to stay fit and keep following your routine is to make sure that you are being realistic and following a fitness program that isn’t too overbearing or overwhelming. Those types of programs can burn you out fast.
Build a Lifestyle
One of the biggest things that can help you stay on track is building a lifestyle around your fitness program, routine, or diet.
Healthy habits don’t have to be strict diet plans or rigorous training exercises. Sometimes, it can just mean drinking a glass of water before your meal or watching your portion sizes.
Building a healthy life also means keeping that positive attitude we talked about earlier. You should see yourself as a healthy person to stay on track.
YOU’RE in control of changing your body, no one else, and that change should come out of a respect for the one body that’s going to see you into later life.
IMPORTANT: Even if you don’t do any exercise at all, ever, then do take this one piece of advice away with you: Walk. If you’re able to make a 15, 20 or a 30-minute brisk walk part of your everyday routine, so you do it automatically, then you will see your fitness levels improve.