The effects of age are real, particularly when it comes to our physiques. For many of us (yes, I crossed the “40 Bridge” several miles ago), I decided to launch Fot @ 40+–a new series within Fit! Live! Win! focusing on fitness and eating strategies for men and women 40+.
I’m starting with women because they’re often particularly concerned with the changes that occur to their bodies–often without warning, or seemingly so.
Without a change in diet or activity, things start to shift and grow–until the woman in the mirror looks nothing like her younger sister.
The reasons for that are plentiful, and their outlined in this article from Livestrong.com. Chalk it up primarily to hormonal changes that typically cause your metabolism to slow. That means your body will process food slower an actually needs fewer calories in order to function. So even though you don’t change your eating habits, you’re technically “overeating” because you’re ingesting more than your body can process, leaving the excess to become fat.
Then there’s your activity–or lack thereof. If you’re one of those women who was blessed with a fit-looking body without working out, good for you. But at forty, all bad.
If you’re going to eat the same as you did when you were younger, then you’ll need to exercise in order to compensate for your slowed metabolism by burning calories.
In essence, getting (and staying) fit is simple math. If you’re looking to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you eat, primarily through cardio.
Additionally, women 40+ should add strength training to their exercise regimen. Why? Because muscle burns fat and, well, fat doesn’t.
There are plenty of strength building moves on this blog, and you should seek out a local certified trainer in order to get started correctly.
A lot of 40+ women I know say getting back in shape is hard, and staying in shape is harder. Well, true. Leading a fit, healthy lifestyle requires discipline and commitment.
Here’s what else I tell them: “Aren’t you worth it?”