As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, making it difficult to stay fit and energized. An example is age-related muscle mass decrease, also known as sarcopenia. This condition affects both men and women, leading to decreased strength, mobility, and an increased risk of injury.
There’s good news, though. Regular exercise and strength training can help offset this and other health issues that affect men.
Understanding Men’s Health After 40
Before we discuss the best workouts for guys over 40, let’s dive a little deeper into the specific health-related issues that men often face.
One of the most common challenges is a decrease in testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone that plays a crucial role in building muscle mass, maintaining bone density, and regulating mood. As men age, testosterone levels naturally decline, which can make it harder to build and maintain muscle mass.
Additionally, men in their 40s may have more demanding work schedules and family responsibilities, leaving little time for exercise. Therefore, finding the right balance between work, family, and fitness can be a challenge.
Due to the work/life balance challenges mentioned above, it’s not too surprising that men experience more stress as they age. Stress can manifest in various ways, such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and heart disease, among others. Further, men’s way of coping with anxiety or depression may create additional unhealthy habits, such as excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and more.
How Can Staying Active Help?
Research continues to demonstrate that regular exercise can help improve cardiovascular health, maintain healthy weight, and reduce the risk of chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Exercise can also help boost mood, reduce stress, and improve overall mental health and well-being. Therefore, by incorporating physical activity into their daily routine, men in their 40s can take a proactive approach to their health and well-being, thus increasing their chances of staying healthy and energized in their later years.
Best Workouts for Guys Over 40
Now that we understand the importance of fitness after 40, let’s explore the best workouts tailored specifically for this age group.
Disclaimer: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise routine.
Strength Training Men’s Exercise
Strength training helps build and maintain muscle mass, increase bone density, boost metabolism, and improve overall strength and functional fitness.
Here are some effective strength training exercises for men over 40:
- Squats: Squats are a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. They’re an excellent exercise for building lower body strength and improving mobility.
- Deadlifts: Deadlifts are another compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core—helping to improve overall strength and posture.
- Bench press: The bench press is a classic exercise that primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It’s an effective way to build upper body strength and improve pushing movements.
- Pull-ups: Pull-ups focus on building upper body strength, particularly in the back, shoulders, and arms. They also engage the core muscles for stability.
- Planks: Planks help strengthen the core muscles, which are essential for overall stability and balance. They can be modified based on your fitness level and can help improve posture.
Remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the intensity as you build strength. Aim for 2-3 strength training sessions per week, allowing for adequate rest and recovery between workouts.
Cardiovascular Men’s Exercise
Cardiovascular exercises are crucial for maintaining heart health, burning calories, and improving overall fitness. They help to reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and improve lung function.
Here are some effective cardiovascular exercises.
- Brisk walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week to reap the cardiovascular benefits.
- Cycling: Cycling can be done outdoors or indoors on a stationary bike. It is low-impact and helps improve leg strength and endurance.
- Swimming: Swimming is a full-body workout that is gentle on the joints. It’s an excellent option for men with joint pain or injuries and provides a great cardiovascular challenge.
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT): HIIT workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or lower intensity. They’re a time-efficient way to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn calories.
- Dancing: Dancing is a fun, effective way to get your heart rate up and improve cardiovascular fitness. Whether it’s salsa, hip-hop, or ballroom dancing, find a style that you enjoy and get moving.
Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your cardiovascular workouts. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
Flexibility and Mobility Men’s Exercise
Flexibility and mobility exercises are often overlooked but are essential for maintaining a full range of motion, preventing injuries, and improving overall functional fitness.
- Yoga: Yoga combines strength, flexibility, and mindfulness. It helps to improve balance, mobility, and overall body awareness.
- Foam rolling: Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique that helps to release tension in the muscles and improve mobility. It can be particularly beneficial for men in their 40s who may experience tightness or stiffness.
- Dynamic stretching: Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body through a full range of motion. It helps to improve flexibility, warm up the muscles, and prepare the body for exercise.
- Pilates: Pilates is a low-impact exercise method that focuses on core strength, flexibility, and overall body control. It can help improve posture, stability, and mobility.
Remember to listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard when performing flexibility and mobility exercises.
How To Stay Motivated in Your 40s
Staying motivated and consistent with workouts can be challenging, but it is crucial for long-term success. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:
Set Realistic Goals
Set specific, measurable, and time-bound goals that align with your fitness aspirations. Break them down into smaller milestones to track your progress and celebrate your achievements.
Find a Workout Buddy
Exercising with a friend or joining a fitness group can provide accountability and make workouts more enjoyable. Having someone to share your fitness journey with can help keep you motivated and committed.
Mix It Up
Variety is key to keeping workouts exciting and preventing boredom. Try different types of exercises, switch up your routine, and challenge yourself with new workouts to keep things fresh and engaging.
Schedule Your Workouts
Treat your workouts as important appointments and schedule them in your calendar. Make them non-negotiable and prioritize them like any other commitment.
Track Your Progress
Keep a workout journal or use a fitness tracking app to record your workouts, track your progress, and see how far you’ve come. Seeing your improvements can be highly motivating and provide a sense of accomplishment.
Celebrate your milestones and achievements with non-food rewards. Treat yourself to a massage, buy new workout gear, or indulge in a hobby or activity you enjoy.
Remember, consistency is key when it comes to fitness. Be sure to also listen to your body, take rest days when needed, and make fitness a sustainable part of your lifestyle.
Work with a Men’s Health Expert
Remember, it’s important to first consult with a men’s health expert to ensure that your new workout routine is safe and effective for your specific health needs and fitness level.
At EveresT Men’s Health, our team of experts can provide guidance on proper form, appropriate intensity, and any modifications that may be necessary to prevent injury or aggravating any existing health conditions. Additionally, we’ll help you develop a personalized workout plan that takes into consideration your goals, lifestyle, and any hormone deficiencies that could impact your performance and results!
By working with EveresT, you’ll be able to take a proactive approach to your health and well-being. You’ll also feel confident knowing you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy, energized, and active today and in your later years.
To get started, schedule your consultation at one of our 3 clinic locations.