Men’s fitness over 40 is a bit different than fitness over 40 in a generic sense. Men have different goals, aspirations and body types than women. These issues have to be addressed or goals won’t be achieved.
To start, men have more muscle mass than women do and by nature, less body fat. This isn’t true for all women against all men, but it is a generalized statement. Because men have more muscle mass they are able to do a bit less work and get the same results.
Unfortunately for them this doesn’t apply to other aspects of becoming fit such as diet, nutrition and lifestyle changes. You can’t smoke a bit less and get the same results as a woman who quits completely!
One important aspect to men’s fitness over 40 are lifestyle changes that will improve your health and wellness. These changes include to quit smoking. Smoking is the number one enemy for undermining any fitness program. Smoking affects the efficiency of your lungs, cardiovascular abilities and damages the lung tissue at the cellular level. Approximately 1 in every 6 deaths in the U.S. is related in some way to the effects of smoking. The CDC reports that in the US in 1999 295.5 deaths per 100,000 were attributed to smoking.
Another aspect is the ability to make dietary and nutritional changes that will benefit your health and wellness. We really are what we eat. Our bodies use the fuel that we eat to build cells, provide energy and pretty much run our bodies. If you think of your body as a racing car you’ll understand why you wouldn’t fuel that car with diesel fuel. Neither should fuel your body with beer, peanuts and pretzels.
If you aren’t sure what good nutritional diet looks like consider one or two consultations with a dietitian who can help you slowly incorporate changes into your diet. Basic rules include eating at least 5-7 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, drinking 8-10 8-oz glasses of water, and decreasing the amount of white flour in your diet in the form of pasta, bread and chips.
An often overlooked area of men’s fitness is dental care. Believe it or not you can improve your health by flossing and brushing. Studies have shown that flossing and consistent brushing decreases the amount of bacteria in your mouth that has been linked to heart disease, heart attack and strokes. And if you need a more immediate reason to floss and brush, it also decreases problems with bad breath.
Many men will often put up with discomfort, pain and feelings of aging without seeking knowledge or trying to change their habits. You obviously aren’t one of them! Take the initiative you had to read this and change your lifestyle habits that have made your goal of physical fitness just a dream.
The final piece of the puzzle, although you would think it was the first, is the actual exercise program you choose. Men’s fitness over 40 programs are really not very different from other programs except that they advance a bit more slowly to accommodate for the decreased physical fitness and aging process. Just because you are over 40 doesn’t mean you can’t become fit – it just takes a little bit longer and more effort than when you were 20.
Stripped down to the bear essentials a men’s fitness program requires a system that gets you moving for 30 minutes at least three times each week. To get the most benefit you should probably do cardiovascular work for 30 minutes 3 times each week and weight training or strength training two times a week. The cardiovascular activities don’t require special equipment and can be built into your daily activities. Tennis with friends, jogging in the morning with a partner, biking with the kids, jump rope in front of the television; anything that gets your heart rate up and your breathing deeper and more rapid. As you continue to workout each week you’ll notice that you have to work just a bit harder to get your heart and lungs working.
Incorporating strength training with weights into your routine will help to protect your bones from osteoporosis, improve your posture, flatten your abdominal muscles, decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke as well as making daily activities easier and less stressful. The gains you receive from strength training doesn’t mean you become Mr. Universe. Instead some hand weights in the house and a DVD played on the TV can actually do the trick. If you have the time and funds a membership to a gym with a personal trainer can improve your results. However you chose to do them, do them.
Men’s fitness over 40 is an important aspect to your overall health and wellness. It will keep you motivated, fit, energetic and healthy as you reach older adulthood when the risk of heart attack, stroke and assisted living becomes very real.
AskMen: Top 10 Exercises for Guys over 40
BodyBuilding: Workout of the Week for people over 40
NBCNews: Over 40? Extreme Sports Could Lead to Extreme Injuries
Mens Health: Men’s Fitness 40 Plus
MensHealth: Look Great at Any Age
MensFitness: five Factors that Dr Oz Says can Help “Extend Your Warranty”