Tag Archives for " over 40 "

April 2, 2024

How to get and stay fit over 40

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On episode 636 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to get and stay fit over 40.


Let's Say Hello

00:01:20.450] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:01:21.360] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:23.150] – Coach Allan

I'm doing all right. Good. Tammy is back in Bocas.

[00:01:26.160] – Coach Rachel

Yay. I'm glad she's back. How's she feeling?

[00:01:29.380] – Coach Allan

She's Well, she's still recovering. Sure. It was a bigger deal than we thought when she went in. So the recovery is a lot slower than we thought. But she's going through that. Everything's good. It's just this get through it, do it, that thing. But she is back home, which makes my life a thousand-fold better.

[00:01:48.420] – Coach Rachel

Good. Well, I hope she gets a little rest and recovers quickly, and then you can get your rest.

[00:01:54.370] – Coach Allan


[00:01:54.950] – Coach Rachel


[00:01:56.070] – Coach Allan

Eventually, yeah. So how are things up there?

[00:01:58.920] – Coach Rachel

Pretty close to I'm the same. I'm on my way into surgery in the next couple of days, and I'll be doing the same thing she is, resting and recovering afterwards. It's just a minor eye surgery. Hopefully, I'll get some better vision out of it, and we'll see how it goes, but it's fine.

[00:02:12.810] – Coach Allan

Oh, good. I'm hopeful for a speedy, easy recovery.

[00:02:16.350] – Coach Rachel

Me too. Thank you.

[00:02:17.810] – Coach Allan

All right. So are you ready to talk about how to get and stay fit over 40?

[00:02:23.310] – Coach Rachel



How to get and stay fit over 40.

So today, I want to take a couple of topics that I've talked about over time, and I want to put them together for you so you can come up with a concrete plan for how you can get and stay fit. So if you've followed me for any period of time, you know I'm a big proponent of making a commitment. Anytime you want to make a change in your life, it has to start with a commitment. This is not a decision, this is not a resolution, this is not a goal at this point, even. You need to commit to change if you want to change. And that's going to mean you're going to change what you do and how you do it. And it has to have a pretty solid backing. Now, when I talk about commitment, I've always said that commitment is a combination of your why and your vision. Now, the why for most of us can be pretty easy. I've told my story, I wanted to be a participant in my daughter's life and not a spectator, and that required me to significantly improve my fitness.

This year, I'm planning a 10-year anniversary trip with my wife to Greece and Italy, and that's going to require some physical things. We went on a bed and breakfast, and I'm often the porter, carrying bags and bottles of water and things around the house. So I need to stay reasonably healthy and fit for who I am today. And I'm going to talk about that in a short term, long term, medium term range. But the point of it is you have to have an idea of who you mean to be. If you know your fitness is not where you want it to be, you need to get a good view of what that's going to look like. Now, the why is always typically about really a who. It's usually about someone else, but it's often, yes, about how you want to live your life, what you want to be. And so building a compelling why, having a very emotional reason behind this is going to help you go forward. But going forward really means you got to know where you're going. And that's where the vision comes in, and some people struggle with this. I like to break down my vision in four different buckets, if you will.

There's the short term, which for sake of argument, I'll say, is six weeks to maybe six months. There's midterm, which is about a year to maybe five years. There's long term, which is five years and longer, maybe up to 15. And then there's lifetime. How do you want to age? How do you want to live the rest of your life? And so if you break down your vision and think about what I need to be and do in maybe the next six weeks to six months of my life. As I'm recording this, we're approaching summer. So maybe it's a summer adventure, something you want to do, a hike, something else you want to do. Maybe there's going to be some kayaking, you're planning a trip. But there's some things you want to be able to do this summer that you can't necessarily do right now. Midterm is going to be something like, how do I want to live the five years of my life? I'm currently 58 years old, so five years is going to probably put me really close to retirement. During my working years, what do I physically need to be able to do to take care of myself, take care of my businesses, and take care of the people around me.

And then the longer term, and this is where long term care of being able to take care of people, being able to live a very adventurous life with my grandchildren that will likely be on the way soon, and just being able to enjoy retirement and being able to look at my life and say, Okay, I didn't just work, work, work, to not be able to do things going forward. So the longer term. And then, of course, lifetime. You've probably heard me say the joke, but it's not really a joke. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. Now, that implies a lot of things. Well, obviously, it implies I live a good long life, but also means that my health and fitness keep up with that, and I'm not dependent on other individuals to do things for me. It means I'm able to be there maybe for others instead. And so for me, part of this whole process is making sure that I'm capable of taking care of myself and doing other things, and that's my long-term goal. And so as I put that whole picture together, hopefully now I've shown you, okay, there's short term goals and things I'm going to do that I know are on the horizon that I could train for today.

There are things that a little bit further out that I know that maybe I just need to retain strength and muscle mass and capacity to be able to do those things as I go forward. And then the longer term, I'm starting to look at how I can take care of myself for longevity and making sure I'm maintaining muscle mass and bone density and things like that. So again, I'm living a good, long, healthy life. So when you roll it out like that, doesn't this make a lot more sense? So now that I know what I want my vision to look like, and hopefully as you sit down and start thinking about what is the next six months, five years, 10, 15 years and then beyond, what does that look like for you? Recognize that you have huge opportunities to focus your attention on the things that matter most. So for most of us, we're going to need to do some prioritization because we can't just go out and train everything, particularly when we're first starting out. Now, I would dare say for pretty much everybody over the age of 50 that's looking to get fit and stay fit, you're probably going to need to include include a strength training regimen.

Every one of my clients, regardless of what their overall goals are, is going to have a strength component to their fitness. I feel it's absolutely necessary for you to reach any fitness vision that you might have is to do strength training. Strength training, beyond just making you more capable and strong, also helps you retain and build and maintain muscle mass. It also helps you build and maintain bone density, both of which are really, really important as we get older. So as I start looking at that 15 years down the line, I start looking at that long term, I start looking at the lifetime, really being strong, having good muscle mass Having good bone density is really important for me to have the independence and not have debilitating injuries if I were to take a fall or something like that. The next one I want to talk about is stamina. Now, stamina is more of a short term thing. You can build stamina in a relatively short period of time if you have focused training on it. So as I mentioned, I am planning a trip in May to go do some hiking and hanging out with my wife on our anniversary trip.

I fully intend to be able to have the stamina to do the things. She was telling me about some place where there's a bunch of steps. She's like, I'm not sure. There's another one where, yeah, they say, Don't ride the mules because you'll smell like mule for the whole rest of the day. So we're talking about how we're going to get through and do the things we want to do and have the capacity to do that. I know I'll have it because I'm working right now to have it. So, stamina is an important aspect of being able to keep up, to do the things you want to do. But it is something that you can build for short periods of time and push back and forth. So you don't have to always be working on stamina, but probably going to have some stamina work in your repertor as you go forward. Mobility is a big one. As we get older, we tend to not move around as much and not move around like we did when we were children. And as such, we lose mobility. That loss of mobility can be reflected in our movement patterns, which makes us more prone to injury.

It can make us more prone to falling. So maintaining mobility, much like strength, is something that I think all of us should probably be doing all the time. Balance is another one. As we age, our balance tends to go predominantly because we get less strength. We lose muscle mass, we lose strength. That's a big part of it. But balance is also about fear, and it's about movement. And so the more naturally you move, the more often you move, you're going to notice that your balance gets better. You can train balance. So this is not something that you have to worry that you're just going to lose. You can train for balance, and I do that often with my clients. So things you can do on a regular basis. Again, as we get older, starting early, maintaining our balance is really, really important. And then the final bit, I'll call it speed and sports-specific. So if you're a golfer, if you're someone who plays tennis, if you like hiking or kayaking, any of those things, there may be something sports-specific that you would want to make sure that you are able to maintain so that you can continue to do those sports.

My grandfather stopped playing golf because his balance was out and he had difficulty swinging the club. That was something he could have continued to train for that particular sport, but he didn't, and therefore, he wasn't capable, and fear drove him away from trying. So again, looking at what you want in the future, who you want to be in the future, can help you prioritize the items that you need to train so that you know that you're training to be that person. So after we have this whole idea of where we want to be, now we can sit down and we can plot out how we're going to get there, and this is where goals come into play. I've talked about A Smart goals. I will link to that in the show notes. I'm not going to take you through that process again. But basically, goals are really important because you can set almost like little mile markers along your course of, I've got this trip in May. What training do I need to be doing now, between now and then? How many times per week do I need to train for that? So I know over the course of the next six, eight weeks, I'll be stepping up my stamina training so I can get up those steps.

I'll be continuing to do my strength training because we're rolling in to the summer months, and I intend to be a little bit more active this summer doing some things like kayaking rather than just walking the island. I plan to do a lot more kayaking and kayak fishing. And so to do that, I'm going to need some strength I'm going to need some stamina, and obviously the ability to paddle my kayak and manage that. But all those are things that I will have prioritized and have goals for to know that I'm going to meet that. Now, most of the goals are going to be activity-based, action-based, as I say. And so it's like, what do I need to do today to be the person I want to be six weeks from now, six months from now, six years from now? And I need to start working for those little goals. Okay? Now, I'm not going to say this is completely easy. You can set your plan, plot your goals, and everything's just going to work out because life gets in a way. As Mike Tyson has said, one of my favorite quotes, Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.

And so all of us are going to deal with life events, injuries, illnesses. Those are going to come around, and we have to deal with them. Does that mean we quit? No. It just means that the goals we set for ourselves need be realistic within the realms of what's going on in our life. I can want to get stronger in my upper body, but if I've broken my elbow, broken my arm, I'm not going to be able to lift weights with my upper body because of that injury. So I need to prioritize something else for the short term to make sure that I get there. So when you're facing an illness, an injury, or some other life event, you still want to lean into your vision because your vision is probably Probably not going to change. Now, you may say, I wanted to train for a half marathon for this upcoming May or late spring, and you're training for that right now, and you do something to your ankle or to your foot, and you realize that that particular half marathon is probably not going to happen. So the question you ask yourself is, what other training and things do I need to do?

Well, first, obviously, rehabilitating the ankle or foot needs to be priority number one, because that's going to impact maybe not just this short term thing, but if you don't do it right, could impact all of the other things that you expected in your life thereafter. So proper rehab could be your primary goal, and that's completely appropriate. You might say, this is a good time for me to work on mobility and maybe balance. And so those are things that you could work on. Even if stamina and some strength training might be out, there's still things that you can be doing to make sure that you're moving toward those outward visions. And so as you go forward, you begin to adjust your action plan based on what's coming in front of you and what happens around you. And that's the way you put it all together. So to summarize all of this, if you want to be fit or get fit and stay fit over 40, here are the basic things you need to do. You need to define what that is in your vision and be thinking about that vision, not just from what you want to accomplish in the short term, but what do you want your entire aging pathway to look like?

What are the things that will be happening in your life that you're going to want to be able to do? I want to be strong and healthy and happy going to my anniversary trip. I want to be able to do all these crazy fun things with my grandkids so that with them, like I was with my daughter, I can be a participant and not a spectator. I want to be able to have a long, fruitful life where I'm capable of taking care of myself and doing the things necessary to live life to the fullest. So as you sit down and you plot that out, now it becomes very clear what my short term goals need to look like so I can plot the course and do the things that are necessary to get me to be that person. So when you wrap this all up, basically what I'm saying is that fitness is no longer about exercise and fitness is no longer about a look. Fitness This is fit for task, meaning you're training to be the person you need to be when you need to be that person. And putting it all together in this way is a really big step towards staying motivated because it's not just, Oh, I have to exercise every day or three times a week or this or that.

It's really a purpose-driven event. Every time you go in, you are training to be the future you. And when you go in with that mindset, you'll work harder, you'll get more done, and you'll live a better life.

Post Show/Recap

[00:17:30.320] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:17:34.780] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. This is a really great outline for the whole idea of how to get and stay fit over 40. There's a lot that we can talk about. I'd like just to start with having a commitment and having a really big vision. I feel like it's different at this age, specifically, because this is a time where we don't need to be passive. We don't need to be willy-nilly about it. We can really come up with a good vision and a good commitment and just set our sights on how we want to be in a few years or a dozen years from now.

[00:18:07.800] – Coach Allan

Yeah. When I originally thought of this topic, I was thinking of it in terms of limiting beliefs. What you believe about yourself, do you believe in yourself? Kind of thing. Sure. And that's where my head was. And I thought, well, let's flip that on its head. What's the opposite of limiting beliefs? And it's the unlimited belief Yeah. Of how awesome your life can be. I think too often people look at it and say, well, of course, I can't do those things anymore, or I won't be able to do those things anymore, or all the stuff, the aches and pains. I've got this, I've got that, I can't do this, I can't do that, I'm going to have to cancel this and not do this. And that just bugs me. I can't wrap my mind around that because I just have this tendency to set really big visions in front of myself. And it's like I wanted to be able to do a tough mudder with my daughter, and that was stupid. It was stupid to sign up for it when I did. I had no business trying to do it, but I did it because I told myself I could.

[00:19:22.130] – Coach Allan

I set that big vision. I set all of the goals for that in line and said, Okay, this is what I have to accomplish Push, and I have to do it every day. I have to be on this every day. So my nutrition had to be on point. My movement had to be on point. Recovery had to be on point. And so I just pushed and pushed and pushed, and I was successful. And I joke about a lot of things, but I say, I don't know what my grandkids are going to be doing, but I want to be doing it with them. Now, to put that into context, I'm 58 years old, and our daughters just got married last year. So So we might have the first actual birth grandchild when I turn 60, which means that if they're in their late teens, 20s, I'm going to be almost 80, if not 80 years old. And if they want to do a tough mother, and I'm going to be the freaking 80-year-old out there doing a tough mutter. That's awesome. You could call me crazy, and I'll agree. But when I talk about vision, that's literally what I mean.

[00:20:29.910] – Coach Allan

It's like aiming for the stars of saying, if it were wonderful, if it were perfect, if everything worked out, where would you be? And so for me, it's just, what do I need to do today to have myself in condition so that if I get that phone call 20 years from now, Hey, grandpa, let's go do a tough mudder. I'm doing a tough mudder. You can train and be ready. I'm training and being ready. And it's not that I can't be ready for it all the time. It's even athletes take an off-season, and then they condition up for their season, and they do their thing. Because we can't necessarily stay that way all the time. That's not healthy either. So just having my body in a good general condition, and then, yes, training for it properly, I'll do it. But it could be as simple as, yeah, when they're younger and they want to do a 5K, it's like, Pick up and do a 5K. That I can do without much, if any, training. I'm there. I'm almost there. The longer race, the mud runs, all the obstacle course stuff, that's going to take some conditioning to get myself ready for.

[00:21:35.610] – Coach Allan

But I want to be there to do that. And if my wife needs me, what is 20 years going to be when she's 75? And so she's I'm going to maybe need some help. Can I do that? And the short answer is, I will be able to do that. Okay. And so that's why I wanted to break it down, because I think it's easy for someone to think fit for task. It's like, okay, I can do the things I want to do today. I'm good. And I can say, maybe you are, but are there things you're not doing that you would like to do today? And the answer to that question is probably yes. But are there things you're going to want to do tomorrow that are going to require you to do things today? And the answer to that question is absolutely.

[00:22:20.540] – Coach Rachel

Oh, yeah, for sure. Well, that's how I like how you broke down the different planning goals, midterm being one to five years of planning, long term, five or longer, and lifetime of planning. Those are all really good concepts to consider. What do you have going on in the next five years? I imagine you could probably do another tough mudder in the next few years pretty easily, can train for it easily, get ready for it easily. I hope to get back to marathoning within the next five years. And then in 20 years, I'll be in my mid-70s. I hope to be able running still at that time, maybe even age myself into some of the like Boston Marathon races is if I could keep up some basic fitness. But yeah, I have no intention of ever sitting in a rocking chair for very long periods of time. There's a lot to do and see in this world. I want to be active. And some of these things that you suggest to prioritize, like the strength training and some mobility and balance, these are all things that are really easy to work into a weekly schedule and to focus on periodically and then maybe throw in a race or tough mudder periodically as Yeah.

[00:23:30.380] – Coach Allan

Anything that's going to challenge you and keep you motivated and keep you moving, that's going to run. But it's even it's just the simple stuff of, okay, can I pick up a 44 pound bottle of water off the floor and lift it up and put it on the counter?

[00:23:47.510] – Coach Rachel


[00:23:48.340] – Coach Allan

Okay. That's something you do. It's something I do practically every day. I have to be able to do it without injuring myself. I need to train to do that because eventually, if I just do that, there'll be a point where I won't be able to do that because I didn't train myself to be physically slightly better than that.

[00:24:09.630] – Coach Rachel

Right. For sure. Yeah. It's important to stay active. And I've got 40 bag pounds or 40-pound bags of salt I got all up and downstairs. So it's something that I just do weekly. And if I stop doing it, I don't know who else is going to do it. So, yeah, it's just fit for task. It's a great concept.

[00:24:30.110] – Coach Allan

Excellent. All right. Well, I will talk to you next week.

[00:24:34.520] – Coach Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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