An established career, stabilizing finances, and the ability to sneak away with children nearing (or in) their adolescent years can be many reasons that people in their 40s are finding their way back to the gym. Is it too late to revive those long lost beach bodies, overcome those aches and pains, or become anything more than a weekend warrior?
Here’s 4 reasons why you can, and should still strive to reach your fitness goals in your 40s:
HIIT The Ground Running
Many studies show that various forms of exercise, in particular HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), can slow down and/or delay the aging process at a cellular level. In fact, a study found that while strength training was effective at building muscle mass, HIIT produced the largest benefits on the cellular level. In this study, volunteers ages 18-30 who participated in the interval training group saw a 49% increase in mitochondrial capacity. Volunteers ages 65-80 who participated in the same activities saw a larger increase of 69%.
Any Movement Is Good Movement
We need to understand that in many instances, our sedentary lifestyles are causing these aches, pains, and injuries to a greater extent than the athletic activities and exercise we so desperate need. In fact, lack of exercise is a major precursor of chronic disease. Correcting muscle imbalances, improving strength, and getting that boost of endorphins from exercise can go a long way in making us feel more like we are 25, rather than 65, when we are in our 40s.
It’s Not Too Late To Build Muscle
Men and women in their 40s can still add lean muscle, lower body fat, and improve their overall physique. It’s important to remember that sarcopenia, the act of muscle loss with aging, is thought to begin for most people in their 30s and starts to accelerate in their 60s, 70s, and 80s. Adding muscle mass and strength in your 40s will give you more of a bank to draw from when this inevitable decline begins to set in during your golden years.
Join A Group
You might not be ready to join the local Silver Sneaker group yet, but there are many emerging opportunities for people in the 40s and 50s to engage in recreational sports leagues, CrossFit clubs, exercise classes, and running events (traditional & extreme). There is no shortage of people in these age ranges trying to get back out there and improve their fitness. You might find that surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals with common goals is exactly what you need to keep with it.