You’ve done it – you’ve crossed the big 4-0. Now what?
You still feel good… not like you did at 25, but you sure feel better than what you thought your parents felt like when you watched them cross over to the old side.
Well, now you try and stay in shape to avoid becoming your mom and dad – so here are 10 tips on how to do that.
1. Circuit training
Most 40-year-olds don’t have the time or inclination to train for two hours every day. A solid 20 minutes in the morning or at lunch can get you through a great circuit of press-ups, squat thrusts, star jumps, abs exercises and lunges. Look for different circuits to keep it fresh.
2. Make it part of your life
Between work and family, it can be tough to both exercise and make friends. Try turning your training into a social activity by working out with friends, family or co-workers. It becomes less a drag about fitness and more about spending time with people you like, which can make it more likely you’ll go more often.
3. Jump in the pool
You may not have been swimming regularly since summer camp, but there’s no better time to get back into it than your 40s. It’s not weight bearing, so it doesn’t hurt your joints, and the sound of water is very calming, which helps your mental state.
4. Eat, but eat well
That creaking sound you hear isn’t just your knees – it’s your metabolism slowing down. The massive loads of carbohydrates you ate and drank and magically dissolved in your 20s now sits around your midsection like a visitor who won’t leave. Go for fish over red meat and salad as a side dish instead of bread, for starters.
5. Drink less beer
Beer is good and relatively cheap – but it’s also filled with carbs. Drinking down a six-pack is taking on a lot of calories. If you want a buzz, up your game to something such as vodka tonics. It helps you lose the frat boy look and keeps the calories down.
6. Keep the coffee black
Lattes are tasty, but they are also filled with high-calorie milk. Stick with black coffee or Americanos. Or better yet, drink water to keep your hydration levels up.
7. Change it up
It’s easy to fall into a gym rut — you’ve got a limited amount of time, and you feel comfortable doing these exercises. Keeping it varied can help you stay interested in working out. Go to the gym and play — try classes, use machines you’ve never used before, play basketball – keep it interesting.
8. Do something you’ve never done
You’ve always wanted to try snowboarding. Or windsurfing. Or stand-up paddleboarding. There’s no better time to do it than right now. Carve out the time, go somewhere comfortable, and give it a try. One of the keys to trying a new sport is trying it somewhere that feels like a safe space. For example, don’t try snowboarding for the first time on the highest mountain around. Start small, laugh a lot as you fall down, and work your way into it.
9. Use the TV for good
Sunday afternoons are for football, right? What if they were for exercising and watching football? Get on the treadmill and walk while you watch for a half, shower at halftime and then relax for the rest of the game.
If you’re going to the gym, take an iPad with you and watch a movie.
10. Set a goal
New Year’s always feels like it is coming quickly – but any time is a good time for a fitness resolution. Maybe it’s your first 5K – or your first triathlon. Maybe it’s breaking a certain time in the mile run on the treadmill. Maybe it’s enjoying a slow-pitch softball season more. If you have a manageable goal (and manageable is important), you will have something to focus on.