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Monday, 5 June 2017

How to Get Fit over 40 | 3 Dos & 3 Surprising Don'ts

How to get fit over 40 | 3 Dos & 3 Surprising Don'ts

Heading into your 40s can be a tough time when it comes to health, fitness and beauty.
Your 40s can often be the time when you start to notice major changes, and none of them good!
Health issues can arise, or worsen.
Your figure can change.
Waists thicken and various bits get saggy, crinkly, wrinkly and a bit sad looking.

Of course, I can only comment on health and fitness as someone who:
  • Is basically a lazy bones.
  • Loves food and will never diet!
  • Hates being competitive and can't hit a ball with a bat.
But, now that I am well into my 40's, I need to start doing a little more to help prevent the dreaded middle aged spread.

{Although, I am never going to be on a diet or cut back on the things I love to eat.}

How to get fit over 40 | 3 Dos & 3 Surprising Don'ts

So here are my top fitness tips for women in their 40s, and beyond;

3 Surprising Don'ts

1. Don't have a specific goal.

Yes, not having a specific goal sounds silly doesn't it?  BUT having the pressure of losing 10lbs, or getting to a size 8 for an occasion, can be counterproductive.
With all of this pressure any little set back, or slip up, can lead to feeling like a failure.
Feeling like a failure leads to self-loathing and the "sod it" attitude which never works in our favour, does it?

The only goal worth having, in my opinion, is to say each day "I'm going to do my best"... then get on with doing just that!
Take each day as it comes.
If you miss a class or a run, who cares?
If you have a take-away, a glass of wine and a slice of cake, it's no big deal.

2. Don't bother buying loads of matching gear.

I've read this so many times and it makes me laugh everytime I read it!
Buying a whole set of matching gear to start running, or going to the gym, is a total waste of time and money.
In fact it can make you feel self conscious and a bit "silly".

Stick to the essentials (like buying trainers) and make do with what you already own.
I went to my first yoga class in my old dog walking joggers and a t-shirt. No one even glanced in my direction.
I felt comfortable, which gave me the freedom to enjoy the class.

You can always treat yourself to bits and bobs as you get better and more dedicated your exercise routine.
After a while you will find out what you really need as opposed to what the retailers tell you that you need.

3. Don't expect to be good at it!

During my first yoga class I didn't have a clue what was going on, and was totally rubbish! (and I mean awful!)
My arms and legs were in agony for 4 days afterwards, and the next session was no easier!
It took me a month to feel like I was getting a little better, and even now my hamstrings are still needing work.
But guess what?
It doesn't matter!

I'm bendy in certain ways and stiff as a board in others, and that's okay.
It's perfectly fine to be uncoordinated, stiff or even a bit daft looking.

Exercise doesn't need to be a competition, if you don't want it to be.
Although, if you are competitive, classes and clubs are a fantastic way to be inspired by other people's abilities and strengths, and push yourself a little bit more.

How to get fit over 40 | 3 Dos & 3 Surprising Don'ts

3 Definite Exercise Do's

1. Do it for YOU

It's a real cliche, but only exercise if you want to and it makes you happy.
Only do it if it makes you feel good about yourself.

2. Do it with a friend (or two)

Friends are my salvation when it comes to exercise.
Despite knowing that I am going to feel fantastic after going to a class I still feel like I can't be bothered to go most of the time!
{There is always housework and/or blogging to be done.}
Knowing a friend is waiting for me is HUGE motivation to get off my bum.
And, although we don't talk in the classes, just knowing we are there supporting each other gives me all the boost I need!

3. Do it for fun!

You've heard it before but exercise should be fun.
If you dread it, then feel crap doing it (wishing for it to end) then it is not for you!
Never waste your life doing things you hate.
There are SO many possibilities there is bound to be something you can do that makes you smile.

I recently started going to a Bodypump class on a Saturday morning and, despite the fact it is enormously challenging, I spend the whole class either grinning or grimacing.
Afterwards I am exhausted and sore but feel so proud of myself, and my two friends that go with me.
We prove that being older, mothers, and all the other things we women have to be, we can still kick butt and have fun doing it!

How to get fit over 40 | 3 Dos & 3 Surprising Don'ts

What do you do to stay fit?
Please share in the comments, I would love to hear what works for you.


  1. As a forty something mum of two girls under 3 finding time to exercise is a real challenge!Me and my friends go for a walk to catch up so we get a bit of exercise as well as social time!

    Nicole x

    1. Running around after your girls is probably more of a workout than you think Nicole!
      They certainly keep you on your toes don't they?
      Getting out with your friends for a walk and a good blether is perfect. Good for the body and the soul!
      It sounds like you have a great routine sorted. :o)

  2. Great post with so many true statements. If I am not loving the exercise then I won't do it. I love working out with Kettlebells and have recently started back with them every other day and walking on my off days. I have been participating with on-line fitness group and they really help keep me motivated and accountable.

    1. That sounds perfect Jennie!
      I tried the kettlebells but I think I am too uncoordinated to get the most out of them.
      Being held accountable is so important too, isn't it?
      I would happily hide on the sofa but knowing I have a friend waiting really helps. It's strange because I LOVE it when I get there and get such a buzz afterwards!

  3. Great list of tips! I have never been one to make fitness goals but when I was a regular road cyclist I discovered a very competitive streak. It didn't make me feel good and took away the joy of riding. I sold my pro-ish bikes and now would be happy to pedal a wreck. Whew. I love how you can work out with your friends.

    1. Riding an old bike sounds much more fun Melanie!
      I'm not competitive when it comes to fitness/sport so the red mist isn't likely to fall over me in my yoga class....or I could end up in a right tangle! :oP

  4. FAB post, Samantha, with some really great advice. I've still got super tight hamstrings and I've been doing yoga every day for a few years now... even though I'm a yoga teacher now, it hasn't changed that much lol! But I absolutely love it.... it's changed me physically and mentally <3
    Suzy xx

    1. It's the best, isn't it Suzy?
      I feel stronger and more able to focus than ever before.... long and lean is the aim of the game :oP
      My hamstrings are funny, and every tiny improvement feels like an enormous victory. My yoga teacher says "keep moving to keep improving"... spot on advice! XXX

  5. Lovely post Sam! I've been going to yoga classes here for almost 5 years now and it works wonders for that long lean shape we all admire. I too, love the focus it lends to not only the session but to life in general. Making progress together in a class is so good for bonding and in our small community is a good way to socialise outside of the workplace.

    The main thing is to do something, anything, rather than sit around and moan about a spreading waistline.

    Anna x

    1. Well said Anna! I couldn't agree more. Anything is better than nothing. XXX

  6. Some lovely common-sense and realistic advice, and I agree with all of it!

    I have detested exercise for its own sake all my life. I've tried all sorts of things - gym, swimming, fitness classes, running, yoga - but it took me until last year to finally find some form of physical activity that I didn't loathe. I've been learning karate for just over a year now, and I love it! It's exactly the right combination of physical and mental challenge to hold my interest. It also helps that my husband and I go to classes together, and support each other. I really wish I'd tried it sooner, but at least I've made a start now.

    1. That sounds fun Fran!
      Karate with hubby could be a great laugh.... and keep you both fit.
      I'm so glad you are loving it.

  7. I've done Yoga and Zumba in classes and resistance bands, stationary bike and treadmill (fast walking) at home for 5 years. When I retired from teaching I knew it was time to get back into shape before I turned 60. At 65 it's essential for maintaining a quality of life I want. Sort of "sustaining" really! It just feels good to be fit and strong. Yoga is my favorite for body, mind and spirit. :-)

  8. I do yoga several times a week and try to run a couple of times a week (I say run, but I've started an app which, in the 3rd week, tells me to run for 3 mins and rest etc). It's a start and it works for me. Great tips that are realistic, which I love! #pocolo


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