There is a lot of great exercise advice out there, however after a while it all moulds into one. This is why I scrapped the first article I wrote because it sounded like all the others out there and went for a few practical points that will actually help you live a longer life, in less pain with a smile on your face.
Get the right person to give you advice on your broken bits: If you have made it through to 40, regardless how active you have been you are going to have picked up some injuries and aches and pains along the way. Get assessed by a trusted rehabilitation specialist to give you a movement assessment to see which parts of you may need a bit more care and attention before you throw yourself into exercise. This will limit the chance of an injury immediately scuppering your plans.
Share your fitness goals with those people that matter to you: The Journal of Applied Psychology suggests that it is not a matter of just going on the internet and announcing to the world what you intend to do, you should share your aspirations with people whose opinion you respect and look up to. The only advantage of posting your before pictures all over social media when you are over 40 is your family may think that you are going through a mid-life crises, which gives you the excuse to get that Porsche you always wanted.
Get a smart watch that tells you the obvious: If you haven’t done it already you may have to invest in one of the many smart watches on the market that state the obvious to you every day. They tell you when you haven’t slept much, when you haven’t moved enough and can even chastise you for siting down for too long. Again, the psychologists come to the rescue, this time the American Psychological Society suggests that you are more likely to reach your goals when you closely monitor them.
Listen to someone half your age: It’s easy to scoff at someone half your age telling you that you should make time for exercise. Yes, they don’t have your life experience or business and family time commitments but the good ones will often have the motivation for, and the focus on your fitness goals and the understanding. So try and meet them half way and do your best to fit in the eating and exercise habits that they suggest but at the same time make them aware of your time commitments.
Invest in yourself: This is not an excuse to go out and buy the latest £4,000 carbon bike and matching coloured tops, but ironically if you invest in your fitness, especially if you invest a meaningful amount for a program over a set period of time you are more likely to turn up and take part. Our brain is hard wired from a young age with a “fear of loss” function, it will do all it can to ensure that we make the most of something we have already significantly invested in or have ownership over.
Go to the right places for motivation: I think we need to go to Henry Ford for this one, “if you think you can do a thing or you can’t do a thing, you are right”. Believe in yourself, visualise yourself at your end goal and surround yourself with positive people. If that means that you need to tell yourself how great you are in the mirror every morning then so be it.
Get a proper health check and tell the doctor you want to live another 30 years: Don’t hide from your health, ladies you win out here because men are statistically more likely to ignore concerning health issues. Get a good medical assessment if you haven’t had one already, there is nothing like a good scare to motivate you or get your spouse on your case.
Cheat night works: Have at least one night a week where you treat yourself, looking forward to this one evening goes a long way to helping you adhere to a more stringent eating regime at the other times.
Don’t over complicate your life: Spend some time preparing your life to fit in an exercise routine through a way that isn’t overly onerous, or you run the risk of your fitness aspirations not only never turning into ongoing habits but never even starting.
In conclusion: Remember, the goal here is simple, keep active over the age of 40 to live a longer life in less pain with a smile on your face. I am a 53 year old Sports Science Graduate with over 30 year’s experience in the fitness industry, the science supporting exercise and longevity is as indisputable now as it was 30 years ago when I began my journey helping many people.