There’s absolutely no question that as we get older, our bodies change!
If you’re not careful, there can be a rapid decline once you hit your 40s and beyond, BUT don’t worry, you can also reverse this if you act quickly enough.
To keep yourself looking younger and feeling good (both mentally and physically), there are some essential lifestyle traits that you must have built into your daily/weekly routine.
Having these habits in place will ensure that you slow down the aging process, feel good, and lead the most exceptional quality of life possible!
8 Must Know Health Tips For People Over 40…
#1 Lift Weights To Prevent Body Sagging And Disease
Lifting weights 2-3x per week will help you develop a leaner and more athletic-looking body shape.
As you age, your skin and body start to lose its shape, the firmness you once used to have is more likely to sag and lose its elasticity!
That said, by lifting weights, you can offset this and keep your body looking firmer and more youthful.
By doing full-body resistance workouts regularly (2-3x per week), you will keep your weight down and muscle mass up – both of which will improve your health and appearance.
Alongside looking good, you’ll also feel good within as weight training will give you a surge of endorphins that empower you and make you feel strong mentally and physically.
The other benefits of weight training include reducing the symptoms of osteoarthritis and muscle wastage, both of which happen as you get older.
Weight training also improves glucose control and can, therefore, prevent diseases such as diabetes and heart disease – the UK’s number one killer.
#2 Improve Your Mobility To Move Pain-Free
If you’re like lots of people over 40, the chances are that you’ve probably spent lots of your life sat at a computer desk?
Do you work in an office? Or are you sat at a computer for more than 4 hours per day? If you said YES, then there’s a high likelihood that you may be suffering from one of the following:
- Lower Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Muscle Tightness
- Shoulder Pain
- Poor Posture (rounded shoulders, pelvic tilt)
One of the best ways to stop the above symptoms from occurring is to work on your mobility to free up and lengthen tight muscle groups.
I’d recommend spending 5-10 minutes each day doing a bunch of exercises that free up large muscles in the body. Try the below exercises:
I can guarantee that if you do this every day (or at least four days per week) that you’ll have better posture, and significantly reduce the symptoms of lower back pain, muscle tightness, headaches, and migraines.
#3 Double Your Water Intake To Keep Youthful Skin & Boost Performance
Most people don’t drink enough water – in fact, no way near enough!
If you ask most everyday people, “how much water should you drink each day?” they’ll say “2 liters!”.
While drinking 2 liters per day is better than drinking none, it’s still not enough. Most people need at least 3 liters per day, and in lots of cases e.g., people with active jobs or who exercise need even more (3-5 liters each day!).
Water will keep you hydrated, making your skin look more youthful. It will also help with digestion, helping you to flush out toxins and lose weight – if these benefits alone aren’t enough of an incentive for you to drink more water… then I don’t know what will!
If you don’t drink much water then don’t worry, I certainly wouldn’t recommend going from 1 glass a day to 3 liters!
Instead, aim to build up slowly i.e., instead of one glass each day, have two glasses.
Then as each week goes by, drink a little more, e.g., one glass turns to two glasses, two turns to three, etc. It may take you three months to build up, but make this one of your priorities each week.
When you finally get up to drinking 3 liters each day, it will delay the aging process, improve your skin complexion, and drastically boost your performance in every area of your life. Life is better when you’re fully hydrated!
Another thing I get my one to one personal training clients to do is for every tea or coffee they have… they also have to have a glass of water alongside.
The bottom line is that drinking enough water is essential! Without drinking enough, you are going to suffer!
#4 Hire A Personal Trainer To Speed Up Results & Keep You Accountable
If you want to keep a youthful-looking body and perform at your very best, then why not hire a personal trainer?
After a long day’s work, it’s much easier to go home, drink a glass of wine, and feast on chocolate rather than going to the gym! While the former tastes good, it’s not so good for the waistline, and you’ll wake up the next day feeling tired, inflamed and very groggy!
Instead, why not sign up for some 1-1 coaching sessions and have a fitness coach hold you accountable to your goals and training routine.
When you pay for a personal trainer, you’ll be far more likely to turn up (otherwise, you’ll lose your money!). You’ll also get results far quicker than training by yourself (unless you are highly motivated and know exactly what you’re doing – BUT 99% of people don’t!).
An excellent personal trainer will create a fitness program that both ‘Supports’ and ‘Challenges’ you…
‘Supports’ in the sense that it helps you achieve your goals, i.e., better cardiovascular fitness, improved strength, enhanced body shape.
‘Challenged’ in the sense that your program pushes you outside of your comfort zone, BUT not so much that you’re throwing up every session (sorry to be graphic!) or feeling demotivated!
#5 Perform Cardio At Least 3x Per Week – Boost Fitness, Feel Amazing!
When you’re fit, you feel incredible, and you wake up with more vitality, and you’re better equipped to deal with the challenges of life. You also have more inner and outer confidence – sounds good?
One of the essential components of health is ‘cardiovascular fitness’ – it’s what enables you to walk up a flight of stairs, kick a ball around the park with your kids/grandkids, and be able to lead a much greater quality of life.
There are lots of different types of cardio which you can do, for example, HIIT & LISS cardio – which are both used for losing weight and boosting fitness – read more here.
That said, cardio can be done in many different ways. You could, for example, do low-intensity activities, things such as walking – which is fantastic for mental and physical well-being (more on this shortly!)
You could also go to the gym and do things like fitness classes, boxercise, spin class, and use the cardio machines.
Finally, you can complete your weekly cardio by participating in sports such as badminton, tennis, cricket, football, rugby, swimming, or whatever sport and activity you enjoy!
As long as you are moving and your heart has to work harder than usual, you will improve your cardiovascular fitness!
Aim for at least 3 x 20-30 minute cardio session per week (if you can do more… then that’s even better!).
#6 Get More Sleep Or Increase The Likelihood Of Dementia & Alzheimer’s!
Sorry to scare you with such a blunt subheading, BUT it’s true, people who sleep less than 6 hours per night are far more likely to develop dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and get depressed, to name but a few terrifying and debilitating illnesses!
Improving your sleep will help you:
Lose Weight – your body is better at managing carbohydrates. You’re also better rested so you can train harder and get faster results in the gym.
Relax – recharge your body, allowing it to heal and recover from injuries, joint pain, inflammation.
Emotional Regulation – it’s the opportunity to heal from the wounds and stresses of the day: your subconscious mind processes the days’ events once you enter deep, and rapid eye movement sleep.
Enhanced Creativity – a good night’s sleep leads to better ideas and boosts creativity. Perfect for those of you problem-solvers out there!
Improved Memory – lack of sleep is linked to poor memory and factual retention. Get more sleep to improve your memory and overall intelligence.
If you really want to understand the benefits of sleep, then I’d recommend reading Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep – it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year!
You’re also probably thinking, how do I improve my sleep? Here are some tips:
Turn Off All Electrical Appliances – at least 1 hour before bed – phone, TV, laptop, tablets, etc. You could also purchase some blue light blocking glasses.
Take A Warm Bath Before Bed – your muscles and mind are likely to relax, and your body temperature will drop once you get out of the bath – your body temperature needs to drop by 1 degree to fall asleep!
Turn Your Room Into A Dark Cave – the darker your sleeping environment, the better! Get blackout blinds if you can, or wear a sleeping mask.
Avoid Eating Too Late – it’s not wise going to bed on a full stomach. Eat less in the evening and make your last meal at least 2 (ideally 3 hours before bed!)
#7 The More Stressed You Are The Quicker You’ll Die!
I know, another blunt subheading – I’m not one to mince my words, am I?
BUT again, it’s true if your amygdala (fight or flight part of the brain!) is continuously firing all day, and you are a highly stressed individual, then sorry to scare you…BUT you are heading for mortality at a much quicker rate!
Life isn’t about having zero stress (that’s impossible!), as Dr. John Demartini says, “we need both support and challenge to enable us to grow” – if life is too easy, we get complacent if it’s too hard… we give up!
We need stress, BUT too much, and it will cripple you and lead to aging and ill health effects.
Instead, it’s essential to take time out and regularly reflect, listen to your emotions. If you are feeling tired, flat, demotivated, then take time out and address the areas which don’t feel right. You can reduce negative stress by:
Journaling – writing down your feelings
Talking To People – confide in somebody you trust, a friend, family member, work colleague, coach, personal trainer, etc
Meditate – I’d recommend trying to meditate each day (or a handful of times each week) – here are some fantastic benefits of meditation
Reading – I’d recommend reading ‘The Values Factor‘ by Dr. John Demartini (this book changed my life, and I’m sure it will change yours too!)
Walking – walking does wonders for your mind (allowing you to process emotions and reflect) and also for your body (burn calories, keeps the waistline trim – have you ever noticed that daily walkers are always pretty slim?)
#8 Life Check – Figuring Out What’s Most Important To You
Do you wake up most days full of energy? And are you on a mission to fulfill your life’s purpose?
Maybe that’s building an amazing business, leaving a legacy, being a fantastic parent, running a marathon, raising money for charity – whatever it may be?
Or do you wake up stale, exhausted, lacking in motivation, and contemplating the meaning of life?
Midlife can be an excellent opportunity to reassess what you value the most, and if you’re not happy…it’s time to change course and fill your time with things that do make you happy!
Exercise: Write now, sit down and write down 3-5 of the things that are most important to you and that you genuinely enjoy/value in life.
Once you’ve gained clarity on what means the most to you and what you enjoy…. make-sure to plan in time each day to work on these key areas, for example, the five things I value the most are:
- Personal Development
- Health & Fitness
I work on the above by:
Family – spending all of Sunday with my family, and taking Thursdays off each week to spend time with my 2-year-old son.
Business – helping people to reach their fitness goals by doing 35 personal training sessions each week. I also write at least one new article each week for my health and fitness blog – I’m on a mission to educate and inspire!
Personal Development – I spend 30-60 minutes every day doing a combination of reading, journaling, saying affirmations, meditating, and listening to podcasts/audiobooks.
Finances – saving, investing, and buying property to support my family and lead the quality of life I desire.
Health & Fitness – exercising 5-7 days per week to keep my mind and body sharp, strong, and feeling good.
I lead a fulfilled life because I know what I value and love what I do! I love each day and enjoy both the ups and downs because I know everything serves me, and I’m clear on what I want.
Take time out and get to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. If you’re struggling, ask yourself these four questions:
- What do I love doing with my time?
- How can I do more of what I love?
- Is there a way I can get paid to do what I love?
- What things can I get rid of that don’t serve me or my purpose in life?
Then put the above all together and start to build a fulfilling life, setting goals that excite you!
Thanks for reading, if you found this post helpful please drop me a message – I’d love to hear from you!