In this article, we look at some simple strategies that can help you build a resilient and capable body at 40, 50 and beyond. 40 really is the new 20 – in that, we can still live a healthy and active lifestyle, and for some, that means being more active in their 40’s. In this article, we dive into some simple strategies.
Accept ageing fate or fight back?
By 2050 some 20% of the world’s population is projected to be over 50. This means that not only will there be an increase in an older population, but also an increase in life expectancy. While living longer is excellent, ageing comes with unavoidable wear and tear on the body. The cultural view of the ageing process has been accepted and taken in stride, and the narrative hasn’t changed much over the years. Many people believe that ‘Over the Hill’ means, “It’s all downhill from here”, and have accepted that their bodies will deteriorate with age. The idea that we can no longer do what we did when we were younger seems to be commonplace. But, what if we addressed ageing in an entirely new light? What if, instead of succumbing to our body’s natural attrition, we challenged it? What if we could delay, improve, and even outperform our younger more sedentary selves into active 40, 50 or even 70-year-old selves?
Fit at 40: challenge the narrative
If instead of accepting that the body naturally breaks down and that losing energy is all part of life, what if you could reverse and even delay some of these ‘inevitables’?
Countless studies have shown how activity can improve everything from cognitive function to physical symptoms of aging – and the great thing is that it is never too early or too late to start an active aging regimen.
With proven physical literacy techniques and accessible tools, you can begin restoring your health and tip the odds back in your favour to not only live a healthy, vibrant life now, but also improve the quality of life as you age.
A life where you have access to nutritious movement, better sleep, strength and resilience that will take you through any challenge.
Use it or lose it.
Using a pyramid helps us to understand how to build a strong foundation in everything from nutrition, finances, self care and how we build physically literate bodies.
The base of the pyramid in terms of setting up a healthy movement foundation is a mobility practice.
By encouraging the body’s joints to move through a full range of motion, (gently at first then with more gusto) and incorporating this practice into a daily routine, you will be optimizing the feedback between your brain/nervous system and your body. Think of this feedback as a clean signal relaying quality information to your entire body.
This then allows you to select exercises that you have the capacity to perform without undue risk to yourself – the last thing you want to do is get injured by pushing too hard, too soon!
Not sure where to start with a mobility practice?
Walk the talk!
If there’s a single practice that is almost devoid of any risk and packed full of benefits, it’s walking!
Walking, throughout human history has always been a necessity, and although modern advances have nearly taken away the need for this simple act (cars, modern transportation), walking finds its way back to being an essential tool that supports active aging, longevity and adds to the profound benefits of movement.
Numerous studies have been completed that show how walking changes our physical, mental, emotional and cognitive health. Furthermore, this low impact activity allows us to connect with nature, explore our surroundings, and connect with others. So, grab a pair of comfortable shoes and head outside.
You can’t go wrong with getting strong.
Like walking, strength training has been thoroughly researched for its effects on the body and on how we age. Strength training doesn’t mean that we hit the gym and lift weights for hours a day. In fact, even a small amount of consistent strength training helps build muscle and believe it or not, develop healthy bone density.
Bone density becomes especially important, especially for women who are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis as they age. Regular strength training acts to not only develop strength but also in prevention of this disease and others. Some other exciting benefits include reduced resting heart rate, overall cardiovascular health, reduced risk of cancer, improved muscle mass, reduced risk of falls, improved cognition, improved mood and more.
Again, while we advocate that it is never too late to start, we will always advocate to start sooner.
New to strength training and don’t know where to start?
While 40 is young, getting ‘fit’ may still feel daunting, especially if you have underlying conditions. Our job at Restore Human is not to push you into a program that aggravates you physically or mentally, but one that is sustainable and supportive. It’s never too late to start the journey to your best self.