Fit at 40 – Plus
Live the fitness lifestyle through adulthood by being fit at 40 and you’ll enjoy an energetic and fruitful life well into middle age and beyond. With stronger and more pliable muscles and bones you’ll be able to engage in a range of physical activities and be less susceptible to the all-too-common ‘age-related’ injuries and ailments that often occur after one’s fourth decade and compromise productivity and quality of life.
with years of devoted exercise and good nutrition you’ll be mentally sharper
Also, with years of devoted exercise and good nutrition you’ll be mentally sharper and less likely to experience the cognitive decline that begins in earnest around the age of 40. Your good posture and the way you carry yourself in general will reflect the degree to which you have also kept each muscle group in top shape.
Being fitter and stronger by adhering to nutrition, supplementation and training requirements of importance to keeping the mind and body ever-sharp and ready to take on new challenges fosters health and vitality on many levels.
being alert, focused, positive, adaptable, physically capable and less likely to be struck down with illness
Such an advanced state of being (alert, focused, positive, adaptable, physically capable and less likely to be struck down with illness and disease) can, despite what many think, be carried over into old age.
A transitional period where the body begins to slow down, priorities shift and many resign themselves to the ravages of time, the 40s are, for many, a time when health starts to decline. If you haven’t made fitness a big part of your life by age 40, now is the time to start before your lack of conditioning gets the better of you.
means training intensity can continue to be increased and gains
If you have been training regularly and eating and supplementing accordingly, age 40 is no time to cut back. In fact, done right, the fitness lifestyle is something that can be built upon well beyond our middle years. This means training intensity can continue to be increased and gains can continue to be made regardless of one’s chronological age.
Let’s now take a look at some of the specific benefits of training at 40-plus and the best ways to keep the gains coming at a time when many choose to accept physical decline.
The older we get, the harder it is to shift stubborn bodyfat.
Equally, with advancing age we find it easier to add unsightly adipose. With metabolic efficiency plummeting, muscle mass on the decrease and with less energy and motivation to move more we find ourselves carrying more baggage of the wrong kind (primarily around the midsection for males and hips/backside for women).
Without exercise and proper eating to keep such so-called middle-age-spread in check, we may accumulate an excess of both visceral and subcutaneous fat – the former often leading to insulin resistance, diabetes, heart disease and inflammation and the latter contributing to sore joints, back pain, general lethargy and obesity (obesity, by itself, increases the likelihood of death from all causes, most notably cardiovascular disease and stroke).20, 26
Hormonal imbalances may also contribute to age-related obesity/excess weight gain.
As men and women age, a hormone called progesterone drops, which leads to an overabundance of circulating estrogen. For men, excess estrogen is accompanied by a drop in testosterone levels (with a corresponding reduction in muscle mass and greater fat accumulation, which in turn signals the production of more estrogen) while, for women, estrogen dominance leads directly to increased fat storage, bloating, increased symptoms of PMS and mood swings.
Age-related fat accumulation can be prevented with both exercise and proper nutrition (to be discussed in more detail soon). Rather than compromising on either of these, as many are inclined to do past a certain age, those 40-plus need to make even more of a concerted effort to ensure all aspects of the fitness lifestyle become routine.
The irrefutably important role exercise plays in building stronger muscles and bones is not lost on those who have experienced significant physical decline in parallel with a reduction in physical output.
As we age we become less productive in large part because we have chosen to move less.
Whether due to a lack of motivation, shifting priorities, minor strains and sprains or a general reduction in strength and stamina, many of us lose our focus for staying in shape past the age of 40.
Unfortunately, once we become less active (trading in our gym membership for less intensive pursuits like watching sport rather than participating in it) a downward spiral of illness and physical decline often follows (there remains a strong correlation between the two).
safe and effective training
However, with a continued focus on safe and effective training we can be productive members of society well into our golden years.17 Because training increases energy (by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis, for example) and keeps muscle and bone functioning optimally, it stands to reason that the middle aged can greatly benefit from a continuance of the fitness lifestyle.26
Another thing training has been shown to increase is mental functioning. Our mental abilities peak at around age 22 before beginning to deteriorate in our late-20s. By age 40, around the time when memory loss typically begins, our mental state often starts declining sharply. The degree to which we regress mentally with advancing age can in large part be reduced by exercising more.7, 21
improve brain function through exercise
The ability among older populations to improve brain function through exercise has been extensively studied, with research indicating that difficulty of effort is just as important as duration of training. Such findings suggest that while moderate exercise is better than inactivity, older people can and should seek to progressively increase training intensity – as their younger counterparts continue to do. According to lead author of one study, Eric Vidoni (PT, Ph.D), “For improved brain function, the results suggest that it’s not enough just to exercise more. You have to do it in a way that bumps up your overall fitness level.” 19
increase in Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor
Many exercise-induced brain benefits are due to an increase in the expression of BDNF (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor). Indeed BDNF, which may be likened to miracle grow for the brain, continues to play a crucial role in synaptic activity, plasticity (continued growth) of mature neurons and the formation and maintenance of memory well into old age. As well as producing new brain cells and strengthening existing ones, BDNF also improves weight loss, eases depression and decreases the likelihood of neurodegenerative disease.18
Top of the list for enhancing BDNF expression is exercise while stress and poor nutritional habits remain major barriers to BDNF release. To boost brain power via BDNF, cardiovascular-based (aerobic) exercise is best – the more intensive the better.
strength training has been shown to increase BDNF
Whenever we engage in endurance activities, a protein called FNDC5 (Fibronectin Type II Domain-Containing Protein 5) is released which may, in turn, increase BDNF by up to 300 percent.16 While strength training has been shown to increase BDNF for a few minutes post-workout, cardiovascular activities keep it flowing. This one fact alone is reason enough to stay active.
The seeds of age-related disability and frailty are sown in early adulthood/middle age, with a lack of physical activity coupled with poor nutritional habits and a negative outlook on life invariably resulting in ill health in one’s later years (sooner, to a greater extent and with more extreme consequences than when having lived a fitness lifestyle).
lack of physical activity coupled with poor nutritional habits and a negative outlook on life
Cardiovascular disease is all too common among those who have continued to neglect their health and fitness. Here, if classic symptoms such as full-blown heart attack or stroke do not manifest then “hidden” conditions such as partially blocked blood vessels in the brain, legs, kidneys or heart may greatly and more insidiously contribute to physical and mental decline. In such cases exhaustion, weakness and mental confusion may occur, with most people writing such largely avoidable consequences off to the aging process rather than the more likely scenario: a confluence of negative lifestyle habits.
Immune system decline can also be a serious consequence of aging. Here, there is an increased susceptibility among older populations (over 65 but really beginning in middle age) to infectious diseases such as pneumonia and flu in addition to age-related inflammatory conditions (most disease has inflammation as a major precipitating factor).
Type II diabetes also strikes hardest in those beyond middle age
Type II diabetes (by far the most common form of this disease) also strikes hardest in those beyond middle age. This often debilitating condition occurs when the body continues to produce insulin but the cells are no longer responsive to its release.
Thus, glucose can no longer enter muscle, fat and liver cells, energy levels plummet and the afflicted may experience unexplained weight loss. Ninety percent of people with Type II diabetes are obese to begin with, with excess weight gain and sedentary living promoting the onset of this disease.26
Regular physical activity and a well-balanced diet
Regular physical activity and a well-balanced diet have been shown to ease the transition into older age by helping to prevent cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes along with anxiety and depression (two further illnesses which often plague those over 40) – all the more reason to keep that gym membership active and move more whenever possible.
From age 40 our cells become much less efficient.
Our bodies no longer function the way they did back in our 20s. Muscle loses strength and begins to deteriorate (by about 20 percent between the ages of 30 and 70). Our reflexes slow down and lung function and efficiency decreases (breathing capacity is reduced by 40 percent between ages 30 and 70). The heart becomes weaker with maximum oxygen consumption decreasing by 10 percent every ten years for men (a little less for females).26
And these are just some of the more obvious signs of aging that commonly affect physiological functioning.
Older age also brings with it a greater susceptibility to bone conditions such as osteoarthritis. Caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage that provides a cushion between the bones and joints, osteoarthritis can begin at around age 45, with accompanying, often debilitating, pain and lack of mobility vastly impacting physical functioning and quality of life.
Osteoporosis, more of a silent bone disease compared to osteoarthritis, may also begin developing in middle age, with a reduction in bone mineral density and a disruption in bone structure leading to falls, factures and immobility. Combined with age-related cognitive impairment, osteoporosis increases the likelihood of serious injury due to a loss of balance and control.
Due to the aforementioned conditions and the fact that those over 40 lose one percent of their muscle mass each year (a condition called sarcopenia – or age-related muscle degradation), balance and coordination are greatly affected in older people.
continuing to exercise and by prioritizing good nutrition and supplementation, muscle mass is less likely to be decreased
However, by continuing to exercise and by prioritizing good nutrition and supplementation, muscle mass is less likely to be decreased to as significant a degree, bone density may remain strong, cardiorespiratory functioning may continue to improve and sharper reflexes, balance, coordination and agility may keep us on our feet and living life to the fullest for longer.
The age-defying benefits of regular exercise are well documented.
For slowing the hands of time naturally, nothing comes close. However, there are some important caveats that need to be considered when planning one’s post-40 training regimen.
First, it’s important to realize that while training does strengthen the body on multiple levels, helping to ensure that our body may function like that of someone much younger, recovery will always be somewhat compromised in older populations. No matter how rigidly we stick to our training plan and tick all the right nutritional boxes, it’s impossible for most people to push as hard, as fast and for as long as they may once have done. Muscle will take a little longer to heal and so recovery in general must be given more time.14
recovery will always be somewhat compromised in older populations
Whereas once we may have benefitted from training each muscle grouping hard up to three times a week (great for inducing maximum muscle protein synthesis for those at the peak of their strength-training powers), those over 40 are advised to reduce training volume to maximize recovery and avoid injury.
Still, to delay the effects of aging, strength training is unquestionably essential. Rather than going easy on the intensity, it’s important to keep it high enough to challenge the body to exponentially adapt and grow (tailor training intensity to your current physical capabilities with a reduction in weight, if necessary).
challenge the body to exponentially adapt and grow
Instead, cutbacks can be made with duration and volume. Rather than resistance training all-out each day, as one in their 20s may safely do, train with weights every other day to give the body plenty of rest, remembering that muscle tissue will only grow and become stronger when given sufficient time to regenerate (a process which, as mentioned, slows down with advancing age).
Less impactful activities may be best so as to not overly stress the joints and encourage the onset of bone conditions such as osteoarthritis. Keep training form perfect and lighten the weight to more manageable levels.
Instead of running, perhaps use the stationary cycle or rowing machine. Rather than maxing out on the squat for lower reps, reduce the weight by 30 percent and increase the rep range. Intensity can still be increased in such a manner but without the inherent risk of injury.
ditch ultra-long hours of cardio in favor of shorter, more intensive sessions
As with weight training, cardio intensity may also be kept at high levels. In fact, it’s best that older populations ditch ultra-long hours of cardio in favor of shorter, more intensive sessions. Here, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is most effective.
High Intensity Interval Training
Even for younger populations, cardio sessions longer than 30 minutes can result in muscle degradation (a catabolic condition where muscle is broken down and used for energy). As well, the longer we train aerobically, the greater may be the release of the stress hormone cortisol (which contributes to muscle catabolism and chronic disease).
Finally with longer bouts of cardio we run the risk of immune dysfunction along with microscopic muscle tearing that’s exacerbated with continued training.
Such problems are magnified the older we get.
Whereas long duration steady state cardio can deplete the body (especially problematic for those 40 plus), HIIT, which emphasizes intensity over volume, can enhance cardiovascular fitness while safeguarding against muscle losses and reducing the likelihood of injury.
Perhaps best of all, HIIT is known to boost the body’s natural production of Growth Hormone (GH), which is essential in countering muscle loss that occurs with old age (a single bout of HIIT can boost GH by up to 771 percent).14
HIIT can boost GH by up to 771 percent
As with younger people, older populations (fit at 40) need to maintain a well-balanced diet in order to enhance the repair of muscles and joints post-training. With those over 40, however, extra attention must be paid to keeping at bay foods which contain an abundance of empty calories.
we must eat specifically green leafy vegetables to optimize hormone balance
Given the metabolism becomes more sluggish with age, it’s imperative that older people do not consume an overabundance of calories (especially those derived from fast foods/sugary and fatty fare). Instead, we must eat specifically to match our energy requirements, with a focus on green leafy vegetables to optimize hormone balance, low-fat dairy to enhance bone density and high quality proteins to improve muscle repair and the functioning of a myriad of biological processes.
As mentioned earlier, the older we get, the more measures we must take to keep estrogen from accumulating in excess. Besides avoiding drugs such as alcohol and keeping body fat and stress levels low, it’s also important not to over-consume (and probably best to eliminate entirely) high estrogen foods such as soy, wheat and grains and food additives.1, 12, 22, 25
avoiding drugs such as alcohol and keeping body fat and stress levels low
Overall, those age 40 and over are to be extra diligent in the nutrition department considering all of the above along with the fact that appetite tends to diminish with age (making the restriction of quality nutrients a distinct possibility).
Supplementation is no less important in our 40s and beyond than it is when in our physical prime. In fact, in some instances it is more important.
Due to compromised recovery, cellular degradation and an inability to bounce back as fast from minor illnesses, sarcopenia (age-related muscle wasting) and general physical and mental decline, supplementing with key nutrients becomes ever more crucial with advancing age.
Below are five key supplements of particular benefit to those aged 40-plus.
The gold standard of advanced protein supplementation, each serving of ISOFLEX provides a massive 27g of the highest grade whey protein available today. An isolate, ISOFLEX provides 90 percent protein per serving, making it the most effective form of protein for muscle recovery and growth (superior to any whole food or other protein formulation).4, 5, 8
In addition, ISOFLEX is formed via a unique protein extraction technology called Hybrid-Ratio Ion-Filtration (HRI) – a hybrid of two isolate purification technologies included at a specific ratio to provide a whey product that is a step ahead of the rest.
Countless studies have highlighted the many health benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids.11 Standout benefits for those aged 40 plus are improved cardiovascular efficiency (arterial walls become more pliable and harmful plasma triglyceride levels are reduced), weight loss, lowered inflammation and improved nerve conduction and brain function.3, 6 Getting the right balance of Omega 3 to omega 6 and 9 fatty acids can be tricky. In fact, many people are deficient in Omega 3s due to a dietary overabundance of Omega 6s and 9s.
While and 6s and 9s can be found in a variety of foods and have fewer combined health benefits compared to the 3s, the purest and most biologically available 3s are contained mostly in cold-water fish, making optimal consumption difficult for many. However, the best way to achieve the desired fatty acid balance of 2 Omega 6/9s to one Omega 3 is to take a high quality fish oil supplement. ALLMAX ultra-pure cold-water Omega 3 has the purest EPA and DHA factors of any such product and is rigorously tested for toxins such as lead, arsenic and mercury.
As we age, our cellular machinery ceases to function as it once did, making the regular intake of all 13 essential vitamins and 21 essential minerals doubly important. Rather than relying on medications in the aftermath of illness and disease, the prevention of various health concerns will ensure that quality of life can be enhanced with advancing age.
In addition to the full complement of vitamins and minerals, there are further essential nutrients of vital importance to ensuring that physical and mental performance is optimized well into old age.
Each nine-pill serving of VITASTACK contains bountiful and ultra-potent array of health-promoting ingredients (over 70), including an anabolic stimulation complex that helps to reduce age-related muscle degradation and which keeps the body stronger, for longer.
VITASTACK also contains an electrolyte and skeletal support complex, enhances energy and mental stamina, improves cardiovascular health (with a powerful Omega 3, 6 and 9-formula) and nutrient digestion, and improves immunity.
Given that testosterone levels in men decline by between 1-2% annually from the age of 30, culminating in a reduction of 20% in men over 60 years of age, 30% in men over 70 years and 50% in men over 80, older men especially could use a little extra testosterone support.9, 13
In addition, as men continue to age there is an concomitant reduction in the testicular production of testosterone along with an increase in sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), both of which act to decrease bioavailable testosterone.
With leading testosterone enhancer TESTO-FX, bioavailable testosterone can be increased by a whopping 284% through various mechanisms such as cortisol reduction, an increase in free testosterone and corresponding reduction of non-active forms of testosterone (Sex Hormone Bound Globulin testosterone, or SHBG, and albumen-bound testosterone), and reduction in estrogen courtesy of powerful anti-aromatase actions, the optimization of testosterone receptor site sensitivity to encourage the uptake of testosterone into muscle cells and the mitigation of testosterone metabolite DHT (which competes with free testosterone for cellular uptake).2, 23, 24, 27
Performing more than 200 vital functions of importance to ensuring excellent health and vitality (including protein synthesis, detoxification of the blood, nutrient assimilation and the regulation of blood sugar), the liver remains crucial to optimizing physiological functioning. Of major importance to aging populations is the liver’s ability to keep estrogen levels in check.10, 15
A poorly functioning liver tops the list of potential barriers to a healthy estrogen balance. In addition, many over-the-counter and prescription drugs taken by older populations contribute to liver toxicity.
Liver D-Tox combines a range of clinically-proven herbal extracts with beneficial vitamin antioxidants C and E and trace mineral Selenium along with NAC (N-Acetyl-Cysteine), a powerful liver detoxifier, to provide ultimate liver protection and to restore liver function.
Warding off age-related physical and mental decline remains a major incentive for staying in top physical shape. As adult humans we are constantly regressing both physically and mentally.
Although the body is programmed to repair damaged and faulty cells, we all ultimately succumb to the effects of old age. Adopted wisely, the fitness lifestyle of correct training and nutrition along with a strong sense of self-belief can stall and, in some cases reverse, many of the signs of aging.
While average life expectancy has increased from 61 (in 1950) to around 80 today, disease and illness are on the rise and showing no signs of slowing down.26 And while many would like to live to a ripe old age, with good health and vitality bolstering energy and productivity, there remains no validated means in which to significantly extend the human lifespan.
This is not to say one’s lifespan cannot be extended beyond the current average expectancy.
However, there remains no known way of extending life expectancy beyond being fit at 40 with regular exercise, good nutrition, positive thinking and weight management. Therefore, to live longer and enjoy a greater quality of life, a focus on health and fitness is essential. With the above-listed tips, old age need not be a barrier to an energetic and prosperous life.
being fit at 40 with regular exercise, good nutrition, positive thinking and weight management
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