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Best Way to Stay Healthy After Age 40

Fellow dads, after the thirties many men begin to experience a slowdown in their lives. That’s when it becomes increasingly important to become a fit daddy and maintain healthy habits and stay active so you don’t fall into a lull. As well as trying to keep up with our kids. 

Unfortunately, many dads over 40 feel pressured to stay young at heart or risk being seen as old, unlovable, and uninteresting(the grumpy old man). But if that makes you feel like you have to give up everything you love and enjoy, think again!

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 It’s true that we all age differently; some of us slow down after our twenties while others speed up at the same age. However, there are things we can do in our forties and beyond to help slow down that aging process somewhat. 

As we get older, being a fit daddy becomes more difficult. It can be harder to find the time and motivation to keep up with a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay healthy as you age. With some creative thinking and a few adjustments in your routine, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet even when the ‘forties’ come rolling in. 

The good news is that with a few small changes, it’s possible to feel good about your health as you age. Read on for ideas on how you can stay active and improve your overall health after age 40!

running, jog, sports. Walk 7000 steps a day to be a fit daddy
Take a walk

Keep up your daily walks

Regular exercise can significantly improve your health and well-being as you age, not to mention that your kids will appreciate having a fit daddy, and they will probably mimic your behaviors. 

In fact, a large number of studies have found that men who exercise regularly are much less likely to suffer from a range of health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. 

 With obvious upsides like the ones mentioned, walking/exercising will boost your health and your lifespan. You don’t even need 10k steps a day to achieve the basic results, only 7k steps are needed. Download an app on your phone to motivate you. Or simply buy a pedometer, keep things simple!

What’s more, regular exercise has been shown to improve your quality of life by increasing your sense of well-being and reducing your stress level. Studies have also found that people who maintain a regular exercise routine have a reduced risk of developing a number of conditions, including depression and diabetes. 

This is likely because regular exercise has several positive effects on the brain. Studies have found that exercise can increase levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which can improve mood, and serotonin, which can aid in anxiety reduction. 

Start an at-home exercise routine

As you age, you might find that you don’t have enough time in your day to get in a full workout. (I think of this as a terrible excuse).  If this is the case, at-home exercises can be a great way to squeeze in a workout while you’re rushing around. 

There are several exercises you can use at home to become a fit daddy and stay healthy. Some examples include:  Spinning: This is a low-impact form of exercise that has been shown to improve bone health. It can also improve your cardiovascular health and strengthen your muscles. 

There is a range of YouTube videos that can help you with beginner spinning classes. I bought a spinning bike during the pandemic and it’s still of good use to me. I highly recommend buying one. 

Another great way to stay fit at home is boxing classes, again, on YouTube. They are very challenging and will keep you in great shape, plus you don’t need any equipment. 

goals to be fit daddy
Just do it!

Set a Fit Daddy daily activity goal

Your daily activity goal can help you get the most out of your fitness routine as you age. It’s been proven that more active people tend to have a decreased risk of depression and increased mood stability. Mood stability is a key factor in getting me moving. If I miss a workout, which rarely happens, I get moody and grumpy. That’s when my wife tells me to “go jogging or use the spinning bike”. 

To get the most out of your daily activity, try to aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity, four times per week. For example, you can do a brisk walk while your child is at school or a yoga session while your partner watches the kids, or a quick gym session before work. 

There are so many goals you should have and try to achieve, weekly, monthly, and more. Whether it’s a weight loss goal, walking goal, or simply getting off the couch, wherever you are in your physical needs you need a goal. A written goal. Stick that goal to the fridge door, so you can easily see it. 

Eat a healthy diet

Remember that ‘fit daddy’ goal you stuck to the fridge door? Well, that should also include a ‘fit daddy’ diet goal! Both of these guys go hand in hand. My thing is ‘out of sight, out of mind’…it’s a beer thing. If there aren’t any cold brews in the fridge, well I’m probably not going to have one. It works!

A healthy diet can help boost your energy levels, keep your body healthy, and improve your mood. Healthy diets are high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Healthy diets are rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds that are essential for good health. 

They also contain relatively little fat and sugar. Have ever you tried Korean Kimchi? It’s a good condiment, and it’s considered a ‘superfood.

While it might be tempting to cut calories as you get older, this is not recommended. Studies have found that older adults who maintain a healthy diet are able to get the nutrients they need from a lower calorie intake than younger individuals. Moreover, cutting calories can negatively affect your metabolism, causing your body to burn fewer calories throughout the day, even once you’re done with food.

Incorporate an oatmeal breakfast for you and your family. I prefer the rolled, crushed, or steel-cut oats. Avoid the sugary packaged ones! Oats have a tremendous amount of nutrition for us older fathers. Eat’em! Cook them a few times a week for your kids. You can cook them on the stovetop with milk, and pour a spoon of healthy honey and a dash of cinnamon. Fantastic!

Balance your workout routine with core strengthening

As you get older, it’s especially important to find a balanced routine that includes core strengthening exercises. Core exercises are important for anyone who wants to maintain good health as they age. Core exercises engage your abdominal muscles, which are responsible for supporting your back and helping you stay active as you age.

 It’s not about showing off your abs…far from it, it’s about being ‘fit’ and that is not always about showing off a six-pack. 

 Studies have found that as you age, your abdominal muscles tend to weaken, which leads to increased risks of developing lower back and neck injuries, as well as weaker overall posture. To prevent these problems, include core strengthening exercises in your workout routine. 

Some examples include: – Planks: Planks are one of the most effective core strengthening exercises, and they can be done anywhere. Simple squats are also very useful. You just need to get moving.

Get enough sleep. Fit Daddy
Sleepy head

Get enough sleep

Another important part of a healthy lifestyle is getting enough sleep. Sleep has been found to have a number of benefits for your overall health, including improving your mood, cognitive function, and strength. 

I get up between 4 am and 5 am most mornings, so get into bed as early as 9 pm sometimes. It’s all about routine, and how much you want to be healthy. I could stay up late and drink those ‘unseen’ beers, but I don’t. Conquer your morning!

A number of studies have found that older adults who get at least 7 hours of sleep each night have improved cognitive function and reduced risks of cognitive decline, compared to individuals who don’t get enough sleep. 

Studies have also found that sleep helps your body repair and build muscle tissue, lower inflammation levels in the body, and decreases levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol. 

To get enough sleep, aim to go to bed at the same time each night and keep interruptions to a minimum. Also try to wind down before you go to sleep, as this will help you relax and fall asleep faster, improving the amount of sleep you get each night. Turn your phone off and avoid screen time before sleep, your sleep cycle will thank you.

pasta, parmesan, linguine-6263653.jpg
Don't skip meals, Fit Daddy
Don’t skip meals

Don’t skip meals or take naps when you’re tired

The diet and nutrition experts at the University of Illinois recommend that you don’t skip or extend your meal or snack times when you’re feeling tired. Skipping meals can leave you feeling hungry and result in poor nutritional choices because you’re too tired to think straight. 

If you find that you don’t have the time or energy to eat a proper meal, try drinking some water or chewing sugar-free gum instead. This will provide you with some hydration and sugar calories, which will help keep you fuelled while you focus on eating a larger meal later.

As for me, I always keep a protein shake handy. Some boiled eggs are also great to have around the house and are easy to bring to work or play. 

fitness, weight lifting, dumbbells fit daddy, over 45 and fit
Weights are waiting for you at the gym

The Benefits of Strength Training for Men Over 40

Engaging in regular strength training offers numerous benefits for men over 40. Not only does it help build strength and muscle mass, but it also improves bone density, enhances joint stability, boosts metabolism, and increases overall functional fitness. Additionally, strength training can have a positive impact on mental health, promoting feelings of confidence, empowerment, and improved body image.

Last Fit Daddy tips…

You wanna be a Fit Daddy?… Get a gym membership. Why? Well if it’s convenient enough for you to go there daily,  you should buy one. If you purchase a yearly pass, you’ll feel as if you MUST go and get your money’s worth. An at-home workout is good for starting out, but people often lose interest in their equipment, and then the ‘new’ treadmill becomes a clothes hanger. 

Go to the gym! Get some endorphins! Get’em now..they are highly addictive. Once you get a runner’s high…you’ll never go back!

Be an early bird! Get your workout early before the house wakes up. No excuses. If you keep your exercise routine for the evening time or night, you’ll ALWAYS find an excuse: Long day at work, kids want to play with you, my favorite show is playing, boys wanna have a beer, etc… So many more. Get your workout in early! I’m always up between 4 am and 5 am, the energy levels that come out from this routine are addictive. Just do it!

As you get older, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging. There’s more pressure on your time and your energy level, so you might find it more difficult to consistently fit in a workout. Additionally, you might need to make changes to your daily schedule, such as taking a later shift at work or attending a more demanding class. 

Fortunately, it’s possible to stay as active and healthy as you get older. It just takes a little bit of creativity and effort. Follow these tips to stay fit and healthy in middle age.

…And as a side note…

If you are sincerely (SINCERELY)into improving your well-being and health, get off the couch turn off that TV, and become the fit daddy you need to be. According to recent statistics, in 2021, viewers who were 15 years of age or older watched an average of 2.86 hours of TV per day, an increase from the previous year. 

Adults 65 and older watched television the most—over four hours—while teenagers aged 15 to 19 watched it the least—only 1.96 hours. Insanity! Especially when people complain about their weight and health. Go out and move. It’s not rocket science!

Got bad posture? Do you need a good stretching routine? Check my latest article on posture for kids and adults.

Age should never be a barrier to achieving optimal strength, muscle mass, and overall fitness. With the right mindset, a well-designed workout plan, and a focus on proper form and technique, men over 40 can continue to build strength and improve their physical health

Ideal Strength Training Workouts for Men Over 40

To optimize muscle growth and strength gains, muscles should be trained at least twice per week, and possibly three times weekly. However, it’s important to find a balance that suits your schedule and allows for proper recovery. A full-body workout routine performed three times a week is an excellent option for busy dads over 40.

By focusing on compound movements that target more than one muscle group simultaneously, you can achieve maximum efficiency and effectiveness in your workouts. Let’s check out some of the best muscle-building exercises specifically tailored for men over 40.

10 Best Strength Training Exercises

middle aged man bench press
Photo by Kampus Production: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-lifting-a-bar-at-the-gym-6922169/

Bench Press: The bench press is an old-school compound exercise that primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. To perform this exercise, lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the ground. Grip the barbell with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower the barbell to your chest, then press it back up to the starting position.

Aim for 3-4 for your number of sets of 8-10 reps.

man doing squats
Photo by MART PRODUCTION: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-man-doing-squats-8032893/

Squats: Squats are a fundamental lower body exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your back straight. Lower your hips back and down as if sitting in a chair, ensuring that your knees align with your toes. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

man doing dealifts AI

Deadlifts: Deadlifts are a compound exercise that engages the entire body, focusing on the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back straight, and lower the weight towards the ground. Engage your glutes and hamstrings to return to a standing position.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

Overhead press
Photo by Andres Ayrton: https://www.pexels.com/photo/strong-asian-man-raising-dumbbells-above-head-in-gym-6550853/

Overhead Press: The overhead press targets the shoulders, triceps, and upper back. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell or dumbbells at shoulder height, palms facing forward. Press the weight overhead, extending your arms fully. Lower the weight back down to shoulder height.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

Man doing bent over backrows
Image by Freepik

Bent-Over Rows: Bent-over rows primarily target the back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi and rhomboids. Hold dumbbells in each hand, hinge at your hips, and lean forward slightly. Pull the weights towards your hips while squeezing your shoulder blades. Lower the weights back down.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

Dumbell Chest Press
Chest Press

Dumbbell Chest Press: The dumbbell chest press is an excellent alternative to the bench press, targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Lie on your back with a dumbbell in each hand. Press the weights up while keeping your wrists aligned with your shoulders. Lower the weights back down.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

lunges

Lunges: Lunges are an effective lower body exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Step forward with one leg and lower your body into a lunge, ensuring that your front knee aligns with your ankle. Push through your front heel to return to the starting position. Alternate legs with each repetition.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps per leg.

tricep dips
Photo by Sinitta Leunen: https://www.pexels.com/photo/strong-man-training-in-modern-gym-5496589/

Tricep Dips: Tricep dips primarily target the triceps, but also engage the chest and shoulders. Sit on a bench or chair and place your hands on the edge, fingers facing forward. Slide your hips off the bench and bend your elbows to lower your body. Push through your palms to return to the starting position.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

Man doing glute bridges
Image by Freepik

Glute Bridges: Glute bridges are a fantastic exercise for targeting the glutes and hamstrings. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips off the ground, squeezing your glutes at the top. Lower your hips back down.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

Man planking
사진: UnsplashLOGAN WEAVER | @LGNWVR

Plank: The plank is an isometric exercise that targets the core muscles, including the abdominals and lower back. Start in a push-up position on your elbows and toes. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core and hold the position for as long as you can.

Aim for 3-4 sets of 30-60 seconds.

Developing an Effective Workout Plan

Now that we’ve looked into the best strength training exercises for 40 year olds ++, it’s time to put them together into a comprehensive exercise plan. The following workout plan focuses on full-body workouts performed three times a week, allowing for optimal muscle growth and recovery.

Fit Daddy Workout A

  • Bench Press: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Squats: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Bent-Over Rows: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Lunges: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps per leg.
  • Plank: 3-4 sets of 30-60 seconds.

Fit Daddy Workout B

  • Dumbbell Chest Press: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Deadlifts: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Overhead Press: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Tricep Dips: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Glute Bridges: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.

Perform Workout A on Monday, Workout B on Wednesday, and repeat Workout A on Friday. This rotation allows for adequate recovery time between workouts while ensuring that all major muscle groups are targeted. Remember to start each workout with a proper warm-up, such as light aerobic exercise or dynamic stretches, and finish with a cool-down to promote flexibility and reduce the chance of injury.

The Importance of Good Form and Technique

While performing strength training exercises, it’s crucial to prioritize proper form and technique. This not only ensures maximum effectiveness but also minimizes the risk of injury. Take the time to learn the correct form for each exercise and focus on maintaining good posture throughout your workouts. If needed, seek guidance from a qualified trainer to ensure you are performing the exercises correctly.

Progressive Overload and Rep Range

To continue making progress and challenging your muscles, it’s important to gradually increase the weight or resistance you use. This concept is known as progressive overload. Start with a weight that allows you to complete 8-10 reps with proper form.

Once you can comfortably complete the upper end of the rep range, increase the weight by a small increment. This progressive overload stimulates muscle growth and strength gains over time.

Incorporating Cardio Exercise

While strength training is essential, it’s equally important to include cardiovascular exercise in your fitness routine. Cardiovascular activities, such as jogging, swimming, or cycling, help improve cardiovascular health, burn calories, and promote overall endurance. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio per week, spread out over several sessions.

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