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After 40th Birthday

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You just had a piece of cake on your 40th birthday? Or are you approaching 40? An ageing process is inevitable. It doesn’t matter whether you are male or female, a competitive lifter or yoga practitioner, an athlete or just a regular walker; age will have an effect in your body.  It happens to everyone. Even if you are modestly fit or quite fit, there’s still an effect of the ageing process. In your 40s and beyond, fitness tends to take into a new shape. The exercise routine or any physical work you once found merely challenging may become tougher and painful or even impossible by the time you’re 50 or 60. For an instance: if you can now run 5 kms, you may have to walk that distance after 5 years or 10 years.

When people age, many of them first feel the effect in their joints. Several researches have already explained that as we age, the connective tissue becomes less elastic. Connective tissue is the supportive framework for the body like cartilage, tendons and ligaments, this may lead to a great risk of injury to the joints that may cause you to lose a sense of balance. Most of us might have experienced that the ageing family member of neighbours  or ours tend to fall due to the loss of balance.

Plenty of researches have shown that as we grow older, we start losing our muscle mass, and there’s a decline in a metabolic rate. Metabolic rate is the rate at which metabolism occurs in a living organism. As strength training is not quite popular in our society, most of us may be aerobically active. Even if we are aerobically active, it’s quite hard to prevent loss of muscle due to ageing. If we repeat exactly the same aerobic exercises, we will still lose muscles and gain fat due to the decreasing metabolic rate. It’s nothing more important than strength training that helps to gain muscle mass and prevents loss of muscle due to ageing as well as decreasing fat.

We (generalised to Nepalese male and female) not only feel but we literally say we are old at or after age of 35. Large population of this age group (exceptionally from those who are engaged in weight training seriously) thinks that weight training or strength training is only the bodybuilder’s game. People with bulgy bellies are only focused in reducing inches of bellies dramatically whereas skinny people think that they are super fit.  As discussed earlier, as you age, no matter what your size is, your metabolic rate will be declining, losing muscles while gaining fats. Strength training and resistance are the best options you’ve got if you are only aerobically focused or nothing at all.

The majority of the people (aged 35 and above) I talked to, I’ve always heard them saying, “I don’t want big muscles at this age. I just want to get rid of this big belly.” And “ I’m slim and fit enough that’s why I don’t like big muscles.” The first thing you need to do is to remove the image of yourself in professional bodybuilder’s physique. It’s not that easier to become a professional bodybuilder than you think. At your age, it takes a lot hard work and dedication on every aspect from training to nutrition to your lifestyle to become a bodybuilder. But you can definitely build stronger bodies at any age. The main objective of your training should be for preventing your muscles that waste away due to your ageing process. The balanced nutrition with proper training can save your muscle loss and that could save you a fortune when you are ageing.

At the mid age time and energy become the main issue. Yes, the focus in career and family ties become more challenging and we have to balance the duties. Later on, we may have time – but less energy. Also, we can’t ignore the fact that we start moving less in this mid age i.e. we sit a little longer.  Here, the metabolic rate declines means that our energy expenditure decreases due to ageing and less movement. If we don’t live an active life, our joints and muscles become vulnerable. We’ve always heard the arthritic pain from parents, don’t we? We need to learn from their pain and sufferings and start living an active life. Physical activity is still very essential at the mid age. The exercise should not be always vigorous as you think. Keeping an active daily life like gardening, walking, lawn mowing, walking to the shops, etc. may help a lot.

Make a Change:

Our joints and muscles start signaling after 40th birthday. We need to stay in tune with what they are telling us while we are training. The signal may change at 42 and 43 and so on. We need to be alert at all times.

Weight Training:

If you haven’t started weight training at the age of 40, then you should now. Strength training not only helps to prevent and increase muscle mass and bone density but also to boost your metabolic rate that helps to burn more calories.

Modification:

You may experience discomfort at any time while you are working out. If you keep feeling the discomfort, know it’s time to modify your training. If running gets tougher, start walking extra mile.

 Seek Expert’s Help:

If you live a sedentary lifestyle for long time, it is highly recommended to hire a personal trainer. Hire a personal trainer to create a program for you if already know how to execute various exercises. An exercise professional can tailor your fitness condition and design a program suitable for you. Your postures and proper form will be well watched. Don’t put yourself in the risk of injury by imitating other gym members.

Sanjeet K Shrestha

Registered Exercise Professional

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." style="line-height: 1.3em;">This article was published in +977 Magazine,Sydney, Australia

 

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