I am always impressed and flattered by people from Oceanside who ask if I can help them get fit after 40. I’m impressed for a lot of reasons. The first is that it’s tough to ask for help, even from a professional, especially when it comes to exercise. After all, hasn’t everyone been exercising in some form from the time they were young. I’m always honored when someone comes to me and wants to change their future by taking better care of themselves. Change is tough, and that’s reason number two that it’s harder for people over 40. They have more years of habit to change than someone in their 20s. Finally, I’m impressed because it is harder the older you get. Your body has been losing muscle mass since about age 30.
It doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Of course, you can.
While I can’t give you specific exercises for people beyond the age of 40, primarily because each person is different with different needs, I can say you’ll work hard, but never beyond the point you’re safely capable of achieving. We use a lot of different types of exercises at our bootcamp, some of which you may not be able to do because of physical limitations. That’s why I always ask you to share any special needs, such as knee problems or back problems that might require me to modify the form of the exercise.
Don’t expect immediate progress and never compare yourself to someone else.
If you check around and notice younger participants are getting stronger faster, don’t give up. As you age, sarcopenia— the loss of skeletal muscle mass that occurs with aging—plays a role, but according to all studies, the best medicine to reverse it is exercise. In fact, exercise and a healthy diet can reverse sarcopenia and get you back on the road to looking and feeling younger. Your progress may be slower at first, but once you’re back on track, you’ll be amazed at how much you can do.
You need all types of training to get back into shape.
While we do a lot of strength and resistance training here, we also do balance and flexibility training. Each has their place in your fitness program. Resistance training is strength training. It may include lifting, body weight exercises, resistance bands or any exercise that puts tension on the muscle fiber so it can start the process of growth. It leads to the process of that stimulates growth-promoting hormones to repair muscle tissue. When combined with endurance/aerobic training, it’s been proven to reverse muscle loss caused by inactivity and sarcopenia. You also need balance and flexibility training to reduce the risk of injury.
- Sometimes excess weight causes inactivity. Unfortunately, the more you sit, the more weight you gain. Exercise helps shed pounds and boosts your metabolism.
- Improving your diet is a positive step to building muscle tissue. The average person’s diet may require more protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D. Luckily, a walk in the sunshine helps supply vitamin D.
- HIIT—High-intensity interval training can lead to changes that actually influence health and muscular strength at a cellular level.
- Exercise can lower your risk of many serious conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. It’s been proven to even reverse conditions like high blood pressure and insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes.