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40 and Fit? Yes, YOU CAN!

Have you vowed to look better at 40 than ever before? Has your 30’s caught up with you and you feel your metabolism changing? Here are some healthy tips to get even more fit and fabulous than you ever were before!

Favorite sports, new activities.

Think about the kinds of activities and workouts that you loved doing when you were younger, or perhaps always wanted to do and never got around to. Take some time and look at what your children’s favorite activities. Perhaps learning to snowboard at 40 isn’t the best idea, but playing basketball or soccer are both great workouts, as are ballet and martial arts. Expand your activities! Not only are you getting an amazing workout at boot camp, but perhaps a ballet or dance class one night a week will add some great cardio and stretching to your routine.

Solid workouts.

While trying new activities is always a thrill, it’s also a good idea to have a solid, regular workout program for developing overall fitness. Programs like Boot Camp and Small Group Training provide an excellent system to get yourself back in shape if you’ve let yourself go, so you can get back to those activities you love to do without the frustration of struggling to catch your breath in the middle of a game, when everyone else around you is raring to go. Remember, you’re as young as you feel, and as aging causes us to start losing muscle mass and bone density, getting back in shape doing something you love is a great way to fight back.

Take a hike and do some yoga.

Try a daily low-impact walk for a great way to get rid of specific sore spots from camp or training. There are several studies showing yoga to be one of the best stretch exercises around at any age, but especially for those of us 40 and over.

Moisturize!

No matter what time of year it is, your skin is more sensitive to humidity levels, and dries out much more quickly. Do some research and find the products that are suited to your skin type—you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly which lip balms and lotions are right for you—and use ’em! For summer especially, make sure they contain a strong enough sunscreen. Keep a little sample-size bottle in your car, another in your backpack or purse, and don’t leave home without it!

Healthy Juices.

And this means serious juice—the kind with dark leafy greens, beets, ginger, carrots, etc. You gotta love a juicer. Why? Because it leaves all the fibery goodness in your cocktail and you can get a heaping plateful of summer-fresh fruits and veggies in one glass.

Vitamins, minerals, herbs, supplements. Feel free to explore the vast world of supplements, vitamins, and minerals.  Do your research and find the mix that works for you.

Avoid late-night meals and midnight snacks.

If you’ve been active on a beautiful long summer day, you’ll be good and ready for bed. If you want the experience to be a restful one, avoid eating a heavy late-night meal. While there are many studies and opinions on the actual long-term health effects of this, the general consensus is that if you do eat just before bed, keep it light and simple.

Get a good night’s sleep.

How many times do we have to tell you this, Campers? According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, sleep needs change over a person’s lifetime, and older adults may produce and secrete less melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. Being active during the day and getting enough exercise goes a long way to not only keeping you healthy, but leaving you feeling more relaxed and, well, ready for bed.

Be proactive and be proud of your active self!

Whether you’ve always been in shape and are now beginning to feel the effects of aging, or were out of shape and reached 40 with more of a beginner’s outlook on fitness, the fact that you are taking steps to get fit and get healthy both inside and outside is a major achievement that takes time, commitment, sweat, and effort. It takes time, Campers! The payoffs are many, including less time feeling out of sorts and less time in the doctor’s office. With all the science and knowledge we have so readily available today, there’s no reason to despair about old age. Age truly is just a number. In fact, a recent 2010 study by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research showed that, overall, people aged 70 and older who had a positive mental attitude about aging and who were physically active reported feeling much younger than their years. Conversely, those who had a more negative attitude about getting older tended to be less active; and reported feeling at least their age, if not older; and reporting more health problems than the younger group did.

Sources: Jeanine Natale

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