Men's Health Trends for the Over-40 Crowd
You've kept up with your workout and diet regimen -- or lack thereof -- from your 20s, but two decades later, there's no denying it. You're definitely not seeing the same results. You're right, it is harder to stay fit after 40, but why? While what it takes to get and stay fit can be somewhat dependent on the individual, understanding the larger trends can make it easier for you to see how you measure up and where in your fitness routine there's room for improvement.
The State of Over-40 Fitness
Just because your body reminds you that you've gained a couple of decades -- and maybe a few pounds -- doesn't mean you're not healthy. In fact, you may be fitter than you think. According to Men's Health, a 40-year-old man should be able to:
- Run a minimum of 1.5 miles in 10 to 12 minutes
- Do 26 to 39 pushups in a row
- Lift between 1 and 1.5 times his body weight
- Have a vertical jump height of 20 to 26 inches
Does it feel like that's a little out of your reach right now? Or maybe it seems too easy. Either way, this is considered the ordinary fitness level for today's over-40 male, but was it always that way?
How Does Today Compare to Yesterday
With two out of three American adults classified as overweight, it probably doesn't surprise you that men's fitness past 40 isn't trending for the better. In centuries and even just decades past, men were fitter in middle age, but this isn't necessarily men's fault. Thousands of years ago, human life literally depended on how fit men were because they were the sole protectors of the village and had to hunt down wild animals for food. Men were stronger, taller and overall fitter.
Just a few hundred years ago, it was normal for men to spend all day doing grueling physical work, whether they were a skilled laborer like a blacksmith or a farmer working back-breaking hours in the sun. Today's farmers have the luxury of gasoline-powered tractors, and the majority of the modern male population works at a desk or in other areas of employment that provide climate control but little opportunity to build or maintain overall strength. This means they have to work harder to find the time to keep in top shape.
The Biggest Influencing Factors
If you checked off more nos than yeses on the fitness list, and you're feeling less than hopeful about the future of over-40 fitness, don't worry. You're not doomed, and there is hope. Men around the world prove every day that getting older doesn't have to mean getting out of shape, and with a little attention to your lifestyle and cultural influences, you can too. Here are three of the biggest factors to staying fit:
- Stay active. That saying "move it or lose it" is true. It's harder to get fit again than it is to keep fit in the first place. Family life and a demanding career can make it hard, but try to make staying active a priority to keep from having to work harder later.
- Eat real food. Everyone knows that fast food isn't healthy, but it can be hard to fit cooking and meal prep into a busy day. However, eating real, whole food can make a big difference in your risk of age-related illnesses and your energy level.
- Connect with the community. Accountability is a huge part of staying active, and people who workout with others are more likely to stick with it and maintain their results than those going it alone, according to a
If it sounds difficult, that's because it is. But it's also totally worth it. Being over 40 doesn't have to mean resigning yourself to a less-than-best self. If you're ready to take back control of your health and fitness, we can help.