Men over 40 have to take action to avoid losing muscle mass as they age. A sedentary 40 year old man would benefit substantially by engaging in simple fitness activities like walking and doing calisthenics. Hiring a personal trainer helps to keep older men motivated to stay on their fitness program. A personal trainer can develop an exercise routine that is safe for aging muscles and joints but still effective in attaining fitness goals.
Many men over 40 used to work out and stay fit by playing sports or engaging in other physical activities like hiking. But after raising children and dealing with increasing family and work demands, many men no longer make time to keep themselves fit. According to Webmd.com, more than half of men do not exercise regularly. For men over 40, the lack of a consistent and regular exercise routine has serious health repercussions. Finding the motivation to go to the gym or the will to get off the couch and go take a walk is one of the hardest things to do. Paige Waehner, a fitness writer, makes the assertion that one tool to improve self motivation is goal setting. Setting fitness goals, like going to the gym a certain number of times per week, is one tool to get started. Another tool for getting started is hiring a personal trainer. There are all kinds of personal trainers, finding the right one for you can be as easy as asking your peers which trainer they recommend. Another source for finding a trainer is the staff at your local gym. When you go to sign up at your gym, ask the staff there who they would recommend to help you achieve your particular fitness goals. Using a personal trainer can help you develop a safe fitness routine, avoiding injury will help you to stay on your fitness routine.
Your personal fitness does not have to consist of going to the gym and doing the same boring cardio and weight routines repeatedly. The gym is a great fitness resource, but mixing in some other fitness activities increases the likelihood you will stay on track and achieve your fitness goals. According to the Mayo Clinic, walking can help improve your cholesterol numbers, lower your blood pressure, and shrink your waistline. Walking is a low impact fitness activity that you can do pretty much anytime and anywhere. Walking outside is a nice break from doing a cardio routine at the gym. On the days you are not scheduled for the gym, take a walk to maintain the progress you have made at the gym. Another nice break from the gym is doing calisthenics at home in the back yard. Push-ups, sit-ups, and jumping jacks are all good exercises and do not require any special equipment. Add in a resistance band routine to challenge new muscles and take your home exercise routine to a new level. A University of Florida study found that people who used a variety of fitness activities were more likely to stay on a fitness program and were also more likely to achieve their fitness goals.
Preventing Muscle Loss
After the age of 40, sedentary men will begin to lose muscle tissue. Muscle & Fitness states that, on average, a man will lose 6% to 8% of their muscle mass per decade after turning 40. Muscle tissue uses more calories to sustain itself so as muscle tissue is lost a body uses fewer calories. This reduction in metabolism is one of many reasons that men tend to gain fat tissue as they age. Gaining muscle tissue past age 40 is difficult but not impossible. Weight training is one the very best ways for a man over 40 to not only stop muscle loss but to increase muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass also increases metabolism which can help to prevent gaining fat.
Exercise is beneficial for everyone, but especially beneficial for men over 40. Exercise can help prevent, or at least slow down, some of the physical transitions that occur in men’s bodies after they turn 40. Find a program that works for you and build in plenty of variety so you will stick with your program and achieve the fitness goals you establish for yourself.
- Caroline Wilbert, Are Americans Backing Off on Exercise?, webmd.com
- Mayo Clinic Staff, Walking: Trim your Waistline, Improve your Health, mayoclinic.com
- Jet Staff, Study Confirms that Adding Variety to Fitness Workout is Key to Success, Jet, 15 January 2001
- Jaime Leggatt, What 40-Somethings Should Know About Diet, Exercise, and Metabolism, Muscle and Fitness, April 2003
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.