Health & Fitness

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For 39 years we probably aren’t giving much thought to that number that comes after DOB on our Driver’s License. Come year 40 however that all changes! Suddenly there’s this benchmark made for us and we’re now on one side or the other. It’s true that age is just a number, but to your body it’s an important number. Fitness over 40 starts in your head – it’s all about Focus. Understanding what your goals are and establishing a healthy mind/body connection. If you’ve read “Fitness Over 40 – It’s a Psychological Game” then you’re ready to explore what is actually happening to your body physically and what you can do to adjust your workout routine accordingly.

Fitness Over 40 – Muscles and Joints

As our bodies grow older the connective tissues lose their ability to efficiently rejuvenate. The connective tissues are the body’s supportive framework and they’re starting to lose their spring so to speak. Tendons, ligaments and cartilage has started to slow down in response to the stressors that are placed upon it from our daily lives and especially our workouts. Since it’s these connective muscles that protect our joints, this in turn is what leads to a greater chance of injury and joint pain.

For example, someone who’s stayed in shape all their life as a runner might be finding that such a high impact exercise may not be the best choice of cardio exercise anymore. An alternative would be a lower impact exercise like the elliptical trainer or indoor cycling. Addressing impact level of an exercise is only one small change to consider however. Fitness over 40 needs to focus on strength training more than ever!

As you move past 25 and 35 and on your way “up the hill” your body is slowly starting to lose muscle mass and subsequently there is a decline in your metabolic rate. The end result? A little more cushion for the pushin’ so to speak. Using our runner as an example again – even if you’re still physically active and committed to your cardio workouts – without somehow preventing muscle loss you’re likely to gain a bit of body fat. We’ll get into the hormonal changes and effects of low testosterone on fitness over 40 – a bit later.

Strength training / resistance training has been shown to help with joint mobility, elasticity and bone density. Muscle burns fat, fat does not. Less muscle on your body equals less fuel to feed the fire that is your metabolism – it’s really as simple as that!

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