Health. Change. Exercise. These are the three words people over 40 never want to hear or face.
Life doesn’t need to stop at 40, but it may need to be tweaked. As your body slows down, developing new healthy habits, routines and lifestyles are the best way to ensure a more active life.
A healthy lifestyle actually isn’t very hard to organise. People over 40 don’t need to exercise more, they just need to exercise more smartly. Short workouts are actually better for you as you get older, which means exercise is more tolerable and easier to do.
While I no longer play cricket professionally, I’m still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here’s how you can too.
1. Change things up
There is nothing more boring and unsustainable than exercising the same way. It will lead to a bad relationship with workouts and benefits will diminish. Don’t exercise the same routine more than twice in any week and mix it up with boxing, cardio, running and fun outdoor activities.
2. Exercise with kids
Take your kids on your workout. This may seem an insane thing to do and does have its place (you shouldn’t take them to a gym workout with you), but if you are exercising outside, the kids will get used to your routine and the boundaries you set them. We all know that kids imitate their parents and there is no better example to set them than seeing you exercise. From experience, after a while they will even want to join in!
3. Work your core
Often the simplest of movements can lead to the greatest gains. The plank will work your core and is incredible for increasing balance, posture and staying flexible. Staying flexible will help assist in reducing artery blockage.
4. Strengthen up
Weight training can help build bone density, helping with balance and this will lead to a reduction in the possibility of unnecessary falls at an older age. Don’t be afraid to lift heavier weights and reduce your rep range to 6–8.
5. Use technology
Embrace the tech age. Activity trackers can help remind you when to take any medication, help control your sugar level and monitor your diet. Technology is here to help now, so use it.
Exercise and lifestyle changes shouldn’t be daunting, particularly if it’s the first time people have done regular exercise.
It’s never too late to start new routines and you’ll be surprised how much fun exercise can actually become. You’ll even be surprised how good a salad, rather than chips, can taste!