Keeping up with your body can be tough, especially as you age. By the time you’ve reached your 40’s, you’ve become stuck in your ways and formed many habits, both good and bad. And at this point, there can be many habits that you don’t realize you need to change. Here are our recommendations on the top 5 changes you should make to keep your body strong and healthy in your 40’s and beyond.
1.) Set a goal
If you don’t set any goals, then what’s keeping you from making any changes? Research shows that when you have a plan and write down your goals, you are 42% more likely to reach them. Pick goals that you want to strive toward, ones that are specific, measurable, and attainable. And always stick with the Give Up or Go Up goals.
Go Up: Eat 5 serving of vegetables a day
Go Up: Exercise for 45-minutes a day
Go Up: Sleep through the night
Give Up: Stop drinking alcohol during the week
Once you pick your goals, stay motivated by making a plan of action that will help ensure you're meeting them.
2.) Up your strength training
Physically inactive people lose 3-5% of muscle mass each decade after the age of 30. So, use it or lose it! Don’t worry, your muscles won't just vanish as you age, but they will replace themselves with fat. It's important to add some strength training, like weight lifting, into your daily routine to help prevent the loss of muscle mass. Lift weights at least 2 days week to help prevent this decrease that unfortunately just comes along with age. And try some of our other favorite strength training exercises like push up’s, squats, and lunges!
3.) Learn better ways to handle stress
Do you have any ways to let off steam at the end of a long week? Or find relief from the crazy days you live? Between work, family, life, and everything in between it can be easy to forget to sleep properly, eat the right things, have your own hobbies, and take care of your own needs, but it’s so important to find activities that take you out of these stressful situations. Stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, so it's important to keep your stress low. Consider setting a goal of keeping stress below 4 on a 10-point stress measure and set aside time every day to help you decompress.
4.) Get rid of empty calories
You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t fill up on empty calories. That means many of the packaged foods that you find at the grocery store need to be cut out of your diet. Instead, try filling up on healthier snacks, and replace those empty calories with 5-13 servings of fruits and veggies a day.
Another way to get rid of empty calories is to cut out alcohol. Think about dropping the glass of wine you have every night for dinner, or the 2 beers you drink while watching your nightly shows. That’s not to say that you can’t go out on the weekends have a few drinks and enjoy yourself, but you should try to give up drinking during the week. Not only will drinking fill you up, but it can also just make you feel tired, sluggish, and like you didn’t get enough sleep last night. So cut the empty calories and start waking up more refresh and ready to take on your day.
5.) Don’t forget you’re in your 40’s
It can be easy to fall into habits and stay in those habits over years or even decades, but now that you’re almost middle aged you need to remember that your body is changing, and it needs some more upkeep than your used to. Here are a few things to try adding to your routine:
Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night
Eat 5-13 servings of fruits and veggies every day
Reduce your stress and try keeping it under a 4 out of 10
Make sure to get 150-300 minutes of exercise a week with 2 days of strength training
Manage your aches and pain
Back pain affects 80% of people and is one of the top reasons people visit a health care provider. Many people wake up with back pain, or aches and pains, and just take ibuprofen to manage it, but now it’s time to try something else. Follow this link to see some of our tips on managing back pain the right way.
Your 40's don't have to be as tough as you think and staying healthy doesn't have to mean giving up everything you love. It just means you need to be more mindful of your body to keep it strong and healthy for decades to come.