Most people over forty are usually pretty stable (yeah, there’s exceptions… bad luck to them) but in the main we’ve survived our teens and mad 20’s, knuckled down through our 30’s, and now in our 40’s we’re pretty settled in life.
I’m generalising, but us 40 something’s are half way through a family (or decided not to have one) and almost as far up the employment chain we can go in our jobs – some of us are even lucky enough to have the freedom of starting a new career! That’s me.
At 40’ish, we feel still young enough to mix it with people half our age yet old enough to understand what looming retirement means; however, when we look in the mirror the signs of aging is beginning to become concerning…
Hitting that white line…
Why 40 fit?
That’s where forty something fit comes into play not only do we want to slow down the aging process but we suddenly want the challenge to become as “recreationally fit” as we possibly can. We relied on natural ability and a young metabolism pre-30’s and up to now we’ve been manically head down bum up in raising a family and/or chasing a career but now we’re free and our motivation to be forty fit and beyond is savage!
I have friends, family, and people I know all over the place pushing 40, in their 40’s, or beyond who are suddenly obsessed with getting and staying fit. Yes, I’m also one of these fitness freaks but this doesn’t mean I’m super fit mind you, but I’m trying to be.
And that’s the key, whilst the new vigour in exercise for forty plus is real and our competitiveness is as strong as ever, we’ve come to the reality that we’re past our prime and we’re OK with this fact. However, we still have a lot to prove to ourselves and a little bit to prove to others too. This is why us 40 something’s WILL NOT sit back and let our body follow natures course into retirement and old age like many of our forefathers did or the generations behind us seem like they’re going to.
Steve, a member of our forum, wrote an insightful post in our Exercise, Health, and Well-Being section called “My Fitness Theory.” In his theory, he broke fitness into life periods of where our fitness levels should be at different stages in life. The final stage he talks about is the “Hang in there stage” for those of us who are beyond 40 and whilst the stage description isn’t flattering, the point he makes is if we can at least maintain some type of exercise regime and personal fitness goals we’ll be in better shape to cope when old age inevitably arrives.
I can relate to Steve’s theory and when everything is scrapped back to bare bones, if the main reason for a person not having health and mobility later in retirement is due to inactivity during the previous 20 years then I think that’s a terrible shame.
Many other 40 pluses think the same, and it’s most certainly why our age group is hitting the pavement, pool, and gym. It’s not about vanity (much); it’s not about winning (much); it’s about us and living a stronger and better life in next 40 plus years because that’s still a long time to live.
To be or not to be forty plus fit?
So what does it feel like to be 40 plus and fit or not? I can honestly say I’ve been both and the latter (being not fit after 40) is definitely something to avoid. Due to our slowing metabolism and the aging process affecting every cell, it doesn’t take long for our body to deteriorate through weight gain, heart disease, muscle loss, lung capacity, and the like. Therefore, I personally only needed several months of lapsing into inactivity and over eating to raise concerns which was confirmed by a rise in cholesterol levels.
I’ve nearly always been active throughout my whole life, but this lapse in my forties made me realise I can’t take the foot off the exercise and healthy living pedal for very long at all before I’m potentially in big trouble.
Bottom line – us forty-ish blokes and blokettes can’t rely on our youth anymore to compensate for poor diet and lack of exercise. Those days are over and to be honest we need to work harder than ever to stay fit and healthy with our often creaky knees and joints, sore backs, and general wear from old sports injuries coming back to haunt us now…
The good news is, at 40 "something" we’ve never been better placed in life to make the time for exercise, better eating, and a healthier lifestyle. One could say, we’re in our prime! And, that’s why many of our generation are taking up the challenge to be forty something fit – because we CAN and we won’t miss this opportunity to live the next 40 plus years in the best possible health we can for anything!
Forty something fit, is a growing industry for the recreational fitness enthusiast because we “get it” and we want it. Whether you cycle in your ridiculous lycra suit and over expensive bike, jog with the latest footwear and mobile phone app, or workout at several organised gym programs like your possessed, it doesn’t matter to us as long as our rewards are a slimmer waistline and feeling good. Yeah, alright… the odd “you’re looking great for your age” comment doesn’t hurt either…
We’re 40 plus fit, we feel great, we’re looking good, and we deserve it!
If you’d like to talk about this article or fitness in general why not join our forum (it’s completely free) we’d love to see you there to swap ideas, share achievements, and just chat in general about healthy living.
Mark Valencia – Editor SSM
Respect your body and keep it healthy through regular exercise…