Secret Exercise Tricks for Keeping in Shape After 40, Expert Says
When birthdays roll around, there's one subject that's not always a happy one to celebrate. It has to do with the changes that happen with your body over time. When you're younger, staying in shape can be somewhat easier to manage. Once you hit your 40s, though, staying in shape can be a bit challenging. (You start to lose 3 to 5% of your lean muscle mass every year after you hit 30.) No need to stress, because we're here to deliver secret exercise tricks for keeping in shape after 40, and they're just what the trainer ordered! So enjoy some sips of wine (if that's your thing) and even birthday cake—we're here with the best gift of fitness advice ever.
To learn the best tips out there, Eat This, Not That! spoke with Kelly Najjar, a personal trainer on Fyt, the nation's largest personal training service that makes fitness under the expert guidance of an in-person or virtual, certified fitness professional convenient and accessible for everyone. These secrets can be lifesaving—and the best thing about them? They are all habits you can easily apply to your everyday routine.
Read on and learn more about these five simple tricks for keeping in shape after 40. And next up, don't miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Keep things fun
The "40s chapter" kicks off yet another very busy part of life. You may be dealing with kids at various stages, but all constantly running, jumping, or dancing in different directions. Najjar advises, "Keeping in shape after 40 is easier when you approach exercise like a child. Gather some friends and play a sport (no prior skill required), take a walk, or jump in a lake. The more fun you have, the less it will feel like a workout."
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Create energy with energy
Resting up may seem like the most sensible, easiest way to pamper yourself when you are feeling exhausted. But you will actually feel more energetic the more active you keep yourself!
"Have you ever wondered how your fidgety child has energy after fidgeting all day? Take a page from the child's handbook and fidget to burn calories throughout the day and create more energy," suggests Najjar.
Although working behind a desk during a workday can be challenging, get creative! Try to get out for a rejuvenating walk during a break, or get in some yoga stretches if you can.
Manage pain with movement
According to Najjar, "When our brain senses pain, our natural inclination is to rest whatever hurts. However, in many cases, movement will help loosen up the body and reduce pain. This is especially true in the case of stiff or arthritic joints." Of course, it's always good sense to check with your physician prior to starting any vigorous workout routine—most especially if you are enduring any type of pain.
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Try new things
There are a ton of fun ways to get a healthy dose of exercise. Check out your local gym for different workout classes, get involved in a new sport, or make plans to walk or hike in a park you've never been to. Najjar says, "The more variety you include in your exercise, the more exciting and stimulating it will be."
Keep movin' throughout the day
"The benefits of an awesome morning workout quickly wane when you reach your desk and sit for hours. Set an alarm hourly and get up to do a quick set of squats or desk push-ups between meetings so you can continue your morning workout's benefits," Najjar suggests. Keep a pair of light weights nearby for when you have to sit in on a meeting, or consider a brisk walk outdoors while listening in on your headphones.