Men always ask me, “what is the fastest way to get in shape for someone over 40?” My response is to “do everything right.” But since you are human, and it is impossible to get everything just right, what is the practical answer?
So, what’s the solution for fitness after 40?
There are many parts of a healthy lifestyle, but these four main components are, from what I have learned, the most crucial:
- Exercise. You need some type of deliberate physical movement every day. The most important part of this is making it a habit. It can be walking on a treadmill, playing tennis or lifting weights. The intensity doesn’t matter much once you get past 40, just be sure to keep it up, whatever you do.
- Consumption. As you get older, what you eat and drink is much more important than the exercise you do. Rule #1: Stay away from soda and sugary foods.
- Hydration. After decades in fitness, it’s my opinion that most people are constantly dehydrated. This has a harmful effect on many of your internal systems, like digestion, metabolism, energy and muscle building. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water.
- Sleep. Sleep is your body’s way of repairing and recharging. So why take chances on it? Strive to sleep in a cold room with no lights (even LEDs from chargers and cell phones) and maybe use a box fan for ambient noise.
If you’re not focusing on all four of these, then you will not get the results you want.
I get these types of questions all the time: “I’m working out a lot, why can’t I see my abs?” “I’m drinking my pre-workout shake why am I not getting stronger?”
And most of the time I mention the four components above and they instantly see they are neglecting one or more of these vital fitness aspects. Which are you neglecting?