Getting Into Shape After Age 40: The Best Ways to Do It

Meeting the weekly activity guidelines set forth in the study for optimal risk reduction is something that needs to be done incrementally in order to avoid injury.


Meeting the weekly activity guidelines set forth in the study for optimal risk reduction is something that needs to be done incrementally in order to avoid injury.

“Start low and go slow,” Resnick advised.

But what does this really mean?

, the senior vice president of strategic alliances with Cooper University Health Care, offers some insight.

While conducting research for his book, “,” he interviewed , the head of the division of Internal Medicine at Cooper University Health Care and associate professor at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in New Jersey.

This was Hyman’s advice:

  • See your physician for an evaluation.
  • With physician approval, embark on an exercise program that includes:
    • stretching before every workout
    • a slow starting routine that includes aerobic exercise, like biking or a treadmill, and sensible weight training that builds up to a 30- to 40-minute workout, five times a week

Getting in shape after 40 comes down to two main things: specific exercises and mindset.

Resnick offers her expert advice on the combination of activities that see the greatest success.

After easing into fitness, this is what those over 40 should aspire to do regularly:

  • moderate aerobic activity for 30 minutes daily (100 steps per minute)
  • muscle strengthening with all major muscle groups three days a week
  • balance exercises two days a week at minimum

She suggests using “” book for specific workout routine ideas.

Bezich, on the other hand, focuses more on setting your mindset toward success.

In his experience, the best way to get in shape after 40 is to “build a motivational platform anchored by the most valued relationships in your life like your spouse, partner, children, grandchildren, or career.”

“These relationships define your personal ‘why’ when it comes to the effort and sacrifices of living healthy,” said Bezich. “Remember, healthy living is a team sport.”

Bezich says keeping a robust social calendar that’s centered around healthy activities can help keep you on track with your fitness and health goals.

The new study says it’s never too late to get in shape and improve our health outcomes, so what’s stopping so many of us?

Bezich says the chief barrier to success is mindset.

“Most can’t even keep their New Year’s resolution for more than a month or two,” he said. “I attribute this to a weak cognitive association between their day-to-day behavior and their most valued relationships.”

In his own research with physically active men over 50, he found the success factor is an ability to connect the dots between between one’s diet and exercise routines and their ambitions in life.

“They get that in order to fulfill their ambitions they need to be and stay healthy. It’s the power of this positive association that keeps them going when others quit,” Bezich said.

Those who don’t follow through with their fitness goals, Bezich says, lack a strong “why” factor.

So while getting fit after 40 is about easing into specific exercises tailored to success, it’s also about understanding your underlying motivation for doing so.

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