40 Tips for Over 40’s
1. Start! If you haven’t already started, then there’s no time like the present. There are major benefits on cognitive function which will help aspects such as reasoning, memory, thinking and can alleviate symptoms of depression. Not to mention all the more obvious physical changes. Find something you enjoy, that way you’re more than likely to stick to it.
2. Get organised – here’s a guide to setting up your week The minimalist guide to eating healthily
3. Warm up well! There’s no getting around it, the older you get, the longer it takes to get going. As a rule of thumb start with a 5 minute warm up then add a minute for every year of your age over 30. For example if you are 50 there’s no harm in coming in 25 mins early to foam roll, do some tissue temperature work on a bike and some movement development.
4. Don’t be in a rush! – Try slow tempo resistance training. It can be a great way to increase muscle whilst alleviating pressure on joints.
5. Vary your training, just like in nutrition; it’s always good to have a varied training regime. A good mixture of resistance training, strategies for recovery and cardiovascular training. Go out for a bike ride, or a long walk through a Country Park or down the Coast Line. This will not only help keep you healthy, but also helps to de-stress.
6. Train around current injuries. look at the positive. If you have a few niggles work on areas that tend to be forgotten. Do what you can, master movements or improve flexibility/ mobility. Train around it, then go from there.
7. Challenge yourself! There’s no reason to work within yourself, just make sure the challenges are right for your level of ability. We would tend to test 10 rep maximums (the total weight you could lift for 10 reps) rather than 1 rep maxes with masters.
8. Learn from the Master Athletes. You’ll rarely meet a more “chipper” group with overall long-term health, high motivation and a great psychosocial outlook than when you meet masters athletes. Sure you may lose some muscle and strength eventually but I bet that journey is very different to how you imagine it to be Unlocking strength potential
9. Lift! Pick stuff up and put it down. Ok, so it’s not as straight forward as that. We all know resistance training can help prevent osteoporosis, however, resistance training will also help reduce the risk of many individual chronic diseases. Resistance training will also help you build or hang onto your muscle tissue.
10. Listen to your body, it gives you hints. Those little niggles, aches and pains are telling you something. Back off, take the intensity down and change your training up until they go away. Failure to do so may result in injury. Changing the stimulus will help prevent injury and will allow time for the those little niggles to go away.
11. Incorporate stretching, flexibility and mobility training into your routine. Over time the body will naturally become less mobile and stiffen up. Maybe even attend a Yoga class 1 or 2 times a week.
12. Set goals, targets and adventures. The day to day stressors in life with work and bringing up children have their toll. It’s completely understandable for you to not want to go to the gym or train when you get back from work. Chances are, you’re pretty fatigued and wouldn’t mid just chilling on the sofa for the evening. Setting goals, having a target or something to work towards keeps in the gym, training towards the goal/ target.
13. That being said, get in, get it done and leave. No one wants to be spending hours in the gym, unless you absolutely love it and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. However, the same for anyone at any age, spending too long in the gym will deliver diminished returns. Anything from 45-60 minutes will ensure you get a training effect from it.
14. Past 40 if we don’t make conscious changes to our diet, the rate of muscle breakdown can over take the rate that we build new tissue in a process called “sarcopenia” We require more protein in our diet to stimulate the building of new muscle.
15. As well as eating more total protein, eating regular portions of protein has also shown increase in the rate we build new muscle. Three meals with equal protein show a greater response than a more typical low intake at breakfast, moderate at lunch and a large protein portion in the evening.
16. You can be better at absorbing protein than a 20 year old! Exercised older muscles can absorb a greater amount of protein than younger muscles even if the exercise is low intensity; so exercise daily even if that means a long walk, swim or bike ride.
17. Vitamin D and Calcium for being nice to your bones! At 18 almost all of our bones are fully formed and from here on we are constantly breaking down and building back up again. High intensity exercise causes a rise in osteoclasts which breakdown bone for up to 4 days. This isn’t a bad thing. Similar to training muscles we breakdown bone in order to build it back up. The rate we build bone back up slows as we age so supplementing with calcium and vitamin D is in most cases a good idea. There are guidelines for recommended intake of both calcium and vitamin D but I find it’s better; in the case of vitamin D, to test levels and supplement accordingly. Get in touch to book a blood test at Storm and get outside and soak up a little sun!
18. Manage blood pressure wisely. In my experience of training people in their 40’s,50’s and 60’s managing blood pressure can become very important, so here are my top tips-
19. Balance your macro minerals- Reducing your sodium intake remains the main message here but also check you are getting enough magnesium, calcium and potassium. Including oily fish, dairy and plenty of vegetables alongside reducing processed food will go along way to getting the job done. Here’s more on where to get which nutrients: ‘Are You Deficient‘.
20. Get some good quality shut eye! Here’s a post I have written before on this topic and I hope you’ll find everything you need here: ‘Getting Zeds‘ sleeps power to improve your health, strength, skin, hair, nails (for those who care) cannot be underestimated.
21. Limit your alcohol intake- Here’s a post from Dave Ball on how to fit “the odd drink” into your diet. If you want to reduce your blood pressure we need to keep your alcohol intake in check alcohol
22. Don’t go crazy on the caffeine!- as well as constricting your blood vessels, caffeine can also disrupt sleep if not consumed wisely. Here’s a guide Caffeine
23. Meditate! Stress can also cause hypertension and meditation has shown some robust scientific evidence in its ability to reduce the symptoms of stress. The Headspace app is always popular with our clients as it guides beginners on how to meditate.
24. Time management. Everyone is always busy and that is understandable. Work, having little ones and other things that play a major role in our day to day life. However, you have to find the time to train. Try going first thing in the morning before work, get it out the way, then the evening is yours to chill or look after the little ones in your life.
25. Get something to work towards, a goal, an adventure or a holiday is always a good tool to use to help keep you motivated and keep exercise adherence up.
26. Know your WHY! I feel this is right up there with one of the more important tips. Very similar to no.2, knowing your WHY is what keeps us turning up week in, week out. It has to mean something to us, otherwise we will either fanny about in the gym, wasting our time, or not even go in the first place. Some people do it for their kids, some for themselves. Find out your WHY.
27. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, or something like that. Say for example you go to the gym straight after work, making sure you have your gym kit on you, in the car ready, so you can go straight after work is better than going back home to then go to the gym. Once back you’re home, it’s too easy to sit down, and if that happens, it’s game over and you don’t make it to the gym.
28. Do shifts. If you and your partner do have little ones, then it becomes very tricky. However, there’s always a way, if your WHY is big enough. Take turns in going to the gym or exercising. Better still, strap the kids up and take them with you, get outside for a bike ride or jog. If this isn’t a viable option then home workouts are still an effective way to exercise. It’s amazing what you can do with just body weight exercises and some select pieces of equipment. Speak to us about Storm Online
29. Injuries are a big factor in preventing participation in exercise. Depending on the severity of the injury, there’s always an alternative that, if enjoyed will help. Sometimes strength training around injuries helps them recover. If you have been out injured a while start off light then build it up from there.
30. Just as with anything else, having a routine that fits around your lifestyle is a recipe for success. Block it out in the diary like you would a meeting or something that is basically non-negotiable, and then plan the rest of your day/ week around it.
31. Make it a social event. Tell your friends about it and get them in on it too, that way you’re killing two birds with one stone. Use some of your sessions to play some sport or go to the gym with 2 or 3 others. Or even get the full family involved, but just be mindful, it may set off domestics! Ask about the Storm Trooper packs and our Family packages.
32. Avoid “bad” fats limit the amounts of pastries, pasties cakes and confectionary you eat to an absolute minimum.
33. Eat some good quality fat daily-commonly we are deficient in omega 3 fats in the UK. Eating salmon, mackerel, tuna or taking a good fish oil daily would be one of my most advised tips for over 40’s fitness.
34. Eat fibrous vegetables fibre is a non digestible carbohydrate found in plant based foods. Fibre can lower blood sugar, increase satiety, lower cholesterol and have a beneficial effect on your gut and digestive tract. It’s probably not news to you that veggies are good for you but how good are you at eating enough?
35. Stay hydrated here’s everything you need to know Hydration
36. Don’t fall foul to fad diets! Please, please don’t waste any time with potato cleanses, the latest wonder supplement (which just happens to have a lucrative pyramid selling model) the key is consistency!
37. Quality counts place more focus on the quality of the movement and the contraction than on the weight on the bar, that will take care of itself. Leave ego at the door and focus on getting better rather than on just trying to waste yourself!
38. Adjust the average training load to about 75% instead of the average of 85% that I use for younger guys and girls I train. I have found this stops people experiencing as much training soreness and it stops them from having those days where they feel they are just not able to train. One such client is now squatting his previous 1 rep maximum for 8 reps when we have not lifted under 4 reps for 6 months.
39. Rest take 2-3 rest days per week. On these days you can still get a walk or a light swim in but be aware that to get results we want you to recover from training… that’s the MAIN TARGET. It’s not about how much training we can simply complete, there’s no prizes for that!
40. Eat something delicious daily! Just because you want to get healthy doesn’t mean you have to punish yourself with boring bland food! Here’s a free download to get you Whipping up a Storm!
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