How to stay fit in your 40s
A little bit of cycling and some golfing can help in staying active and ward off obesity, diabetes, high BP and some forms of cancer, say experts. Read on to know more.health and fitness Updated: Nov 24, 2009 20:07 IST
"It confirms that the mid-40s really are a critical point in life," the Daily Express quoted Ken Fox, Professor of Exercise and Health Science at Bristol University and an advisor for the Government health campaign Change4Life as saying.
"It''s the time when muscle mass begins to decrease and fat deposits begin to build up. For men fat gathers around the abdomen, for women it's spread more evenly around the body.
"A decline in fitness is not inevitable when you reach 45 but if you neglect exercise it's the time in life when the ageing process causes it to speed up," Fox added.
Cycling is the best form of exercise in middle age. Golf is also good but you should carry or pull your clubs and not rely on a buggy. Moreover, the benefits of walking should not be underestimated.
Aim for 10,000 steps a day. Try to take stairs instead of lift or getting off the bus a stop earlier. Lunchtime walks would also be helpful. "Exercise should be regular. You can''t just rely on a weekend game of football," Fox added.
A study led by University of Maastricht researchers showed that people who stayed idle most of the day but went to the gym regularly burned fewer calories than people who were generally more active in their daily lives.
"A good fitness regime in your mid-40s combined with a balanced diet is the groundwork for a healthy later life," said Fox. "If you stay fit and have a reasonable weight you will feel younger and it can prolong your life by more than 10 years," Fox added.
Don't jump into a hot shower or bath immediately after exercise. Wait 10 minutes for the heart rate to fall. Fitness experts have advised to do some gentle stretching exercises to reduce stiffness the next day after taking a shower and keep the body more flexible.
Try to combine cardiovascular exercises (such as running) with resistance exercise (such as lifting weights or sit-ups). Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated during exercise.
Isotonic sports drink during vigorous exercise will help get more glucose into the blood and keep energy levels up.
They also advise to balance exercise and diet. You must expend more calories than you take in from food and drink moderate amounts of alcohol.