Physical fitness over 40 is really not too different from physical fitness at any other age. The real difference comes in when you believe you are still 16 and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. In other words, getting back into shape takes a bit longer and requires a bit more energy than when you were 16.
To define physical fitness means to be in good shape or in good condition. People who are in good physical shape can carry out daily tasks without too much fatigue and with enough energy to perform leisure time activities. Your physician will define physical fitness by the cardiovascular measurements he can take in the office, such as pulse, respirations and blood pressure. He’ll also use measurements of weight, body mass index and muscle mass.
A trainer may define physical fitness using some of the same parameters but with the addition of muscle strength testing, cardiovascular endurance and body composition.
But what really is physical fitness and how do you define that after the age of 40? Is 40 really a magical number? In realistic terms it isn’t magical at all. However, there are many people who will tell you that their metabolism noticeably slowed, their joints were noticeably stiffer and they gained weight after passing their 40th birthday.
Physical fitness to the human body is what fine-tuning is to a racing engine. You can perform up to your potential and can help you look and feel your best. It is the performance of the heart, lungs and muscles of the body in tandem with each other. It’s important to remember that our fitness has individual qualities that vary from person to person. It is influenced by your age, heredity, habits, physical fitness program, eating and sex. There are several factors within your power to change: habits, exercise program and eating habits.
To define physical fitness over 40 you have to determine your goals and aspirations. If you’ve been a couch potato for 10 years you may never compete in the senior Olympics. But, if you develop a reason to pursue and continue an exercise program you just may compete.
The most important piece to define physical fitness over 40 is the motivation and reason why a person would pursue activities and set a goal for physical fitness. Your reason ‘why’ will carry you through doubts, disappointments, and injuries. If you develop a reason ‘why’ you’ll get through to a state of physical fitness.
A physical fitness program is a life-long commitment of time and effort. This is something you must do without question, like you would brush your teeth or shower. And, unless you are thoroughly convinced of the benefits of physical fitness and you have a reason to exercise daily you will not succeed.
If you are beginning a physical fitness program you should always consult with your doctor to be sure that you are able to complete the program and don’t have any underlying issues that may impact your progress. Your doctor will also help you to develop a beginning program that will meet your current physical fitness abilities.
World Health Organization Europe: Physical Activity and Health in Europe
Circulation: Exercise and Physical Activity in the Prevention and Treatent of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease
Fit After 50 Women’s Health Magazine: How to Define Physical Fitness
Mens Health: 10 Standards to Assess Your Fitness Level
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: The Evolution of Physical Activity Recommendations
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: A New View of Physical Activity
ShapeFit: Fitness over 40- 10 Tips to Get in Shape and Stay Fit as You Get Older