Weight loss after a certain age can be difficult. However, with some adjustments, people can not only lose weight after 40 but they can look great, feel great, and be in better shape than they were in their twenties and thirties.
The key lies in performing the correct type of exercise, as well as tailoring it to the body’s specific needs. While the above statement is true in terms of achieving high levels of fitness after forty, there are many differences between a forty year old body and one that is twenty.
For starters, as people age, usually starting around age 30 a condition known as sarcopenia will set in, This is simply age-related muscle mass. Inactive people tend to lose three to five percent of their muscle mass each decade.
This can cause many problems, such as slowing down the metabolism. Muscle is biologically active and less muscle mass on the body means fewer calories burned. Burning fewer calories each day can cause fat gain. So without any changes to diet or engaging in an exercise program, people tend to lose muscle and add fat as they age into their thirties and forties.
This can lead to a whole host of problems, such as diabetes, metabolic decline as well as hormonal decline and obesity. Obesity itself can then lead to many other health problems. This also means a loss of strength to go along with the loss of muscle mass. This may not mean much at age thirty-five, but as one ages, simple daily activities, such as getting out of that comfy chair can become a problem. The number one solution to reversing this condition for at least a while, and at least fighting it off for a long, long time, would be to include a resistance training program.
In fact, when it comes to weight loss, a resistance training program is an absolute must. But there are some obstacles and problems with engaging in resistance training after age 40. The body does not recover from intense exercise as well as it did earlier in life. There is also the wear and tear on joints and ligaments, along with accumulated aches and pains, especially if one was very active earlier in life.
There are a couple of things that can be changed so that losing is effective, instead of painful and debilitating. While trainees may have had no problem lifting extremely heavy weights on big exercises like the barbell squat and bench press, this is not recommended as you get older.
This is one reason you see older athletes start to succumb to more injuries. The body can no longer recover from the training regimen they are using and injuries occur. Another effective style of exercise involves plyometrics, or explosive movements, in a workout. This means exercises such as burpees, jump squats, jump lunges and the like. While they work to boost the metabolism and burn plenty of calories, the body after 40 may not like them all that much! Recovery takes longer and the body is more susceptible to injury.
A few simple changes can still mean taking the weight off and keeping a fit, lean, healthy body. This means eliminating really heavy lifting, as well as explosive movements. Instead, trainees should use lighter weights, with shorter rest periods between sets. Instead of doing heavy bench presses for the chest by doing sets of three to five reps per set with two or three minutes of rest between sets, try doing sets of push ups, doing ten to twenty reps per set, with only thirty seconds of rest between sets.
Instead of jump squats or jump lunges, perform regular squats and regular lunges for higher repetitions and using short rest periods. Increase the density of the workout instead of the length. This simply means doing more work in less time. By lightening the resistance on the exercises and using more repetitions and shorter rest periods, this is exactly what is being accomplished.
The body will more readily recover from this type of exercise, burn more calories, lose more fat, and become lean and fit. Another drawback of losing past a certain age is that the body’s natural production of growth hormone begins to decline around the late twenties.
Among other great benefits, growth horomone, or HGH, is a powerful fat burner and helps the body to recover from exercise. Good news! This style of training, high intensity and short duration, can help to increase growth hormone levels.
A simple, but effective workout for loss might look like this:
Perform each exercise for thirty seconds, completing as many repetitions as possible. Then rest for fifteen seconds. Once each exercise has been completed, rest for sixy seconds and then perform the circuit again. Complete two to five total circuits, depending on conditioning levels. If a person is new to exercising, even just one circuit would be sufficient for the first few workouts. After a few workouts, add a round, until eventually all five rounds can be completed.
* Squat (Bodyweight or Holding Dumbbells)
* Push Up
* Kettlebell Swing (a dumbbell can be used if a kettlebell is not available)
* Standing Dumbbell Presses
* Alternating Front Lunges
* Standing Dumbbell Curls
A couple of simple nutrition changes may also make a big difference when it comes to weight loss in the 40’s.
* Increase whey protein intake. Studies have shown that an increased protein intake helps to boost the metabolism while also preserving muscle mass and whey protein has also shown the ability to increase growth hormone levels.
* Incorporate intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting helps to put the body’s hormone levels into a fat burning state. The most popular and easiest to follow form of intermittent fasting, is to avoid eating anything between 8 PM at night and noon of the following day.
All food consumption happens in the eight hour window between noon and eight PM.
* Sleep More.
As people age, with busy careers and children, sleep usually suffers. However, a lack of sleep has been associated with man potential health problems.
Specifically to losing weight past the 40 year range, lack of sleep increases cortisol levels. Cortisol is the “stress” hormone and can be responsible for muscle loss, already a problem with aging.
Losing weight after 40 doesn’t have to be difficult. Just include the above rules, such as:
* High intensit resistance training with lighter weights and shorter rest periods
* Increase whey protein intake
* Include intermittent fasting
* Sleep more
If you keep these in mind you will be able to have success. Don’t let age determine your weight!