Fitness Tips For Men In Their 30s/40s/50s
A lot of men avoid the gym after the age of 30 because they don’t want the hassle of it all. They figure that they’re getting older and their bodies are more delicate, so why bother?
It’s time to realize that exercising doesn’t have to be a chore. Forget about working out for the sake of working out. Instead, make your fitness goals about what you’re trying to achieve in life.
By taking steps now to preserve and enhance your muscle mass, strength, and stamina, you can remain stronger and more active at 50 than many sedentary people half your age.
- Make sure you’re eating right.
Diet is the foundation of health, especially as you age. You should always eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. But your dietary needs change as you age. It’s important to understand the recommended daily amounts of each macro-nutrient (protein, carbs, and fat) for your age bracket.
It’s also important to realize that you don’t necessarily need to eat less as you get older — just make sure you’re eating right. Men in their 30s and 40s need to take in about 2,800 calories a day, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), while men in their 50s require about 2,600 calories per day.
- Prioritize sleep and recovery time.
Sleep is one of the most important factors in muscle recovery, and if you’re not giving yourself enough time for restful sleep, your muscles aren’t going to perform well. Aim for seven to nine hours per night. Being well-rested will help your body recover faster.
- Stretch before any activity or workout.
Stretching helps prevent injuries. Not only will this help you avoid injury, but it may also improve your ability to perform the activity. Use the acronym SALAD to remember the best way to stretch before you exercise. Each letter corresponds to a different action:
S – Stand up
A – Align your body with your legs, shoulders, and hips wide apart
L – Lift your arms above your head
A – Arch backward from the waist
D – Drop your arms to your sides and stretch your back
Breathe out as you go through each movement. Try to hold each position for about 30 seconds.
Choose exercises that target multiple muscle groups at once (like squats) over ones that isolate just one (like bicep curls).
- Cardio workout
Moderate intensity cardio exercises like running on a treadmill or jogging outdoors should be done for 45 minutes, 3-4 times a week. Do some light weight lifting on alternate days. This will help build muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn even while resting. A session of yoga or Pilates at least once a week is a great way to increase flexibility and improve blood circulation.
- Find your motivation.
If you’re looking to improve your health and fitness, it helps to have a goal. Maybe you want to lose weight, be able to run around with your kids longer during their soccer games, or avoid health problems in the future. Choose an event like a 5K race or bike ride, or a specific date (like your wedding) for motivation.
- Start slow and build up.
When you’re not as fit as you used to be (or never were), it’s easy to get hurt or burned out if you try to do too much at once. Instead of starting with your old routine or hitting the gym every day, work out just twice a week for the first month, then slowly increase your time and intensity. And make sure you warm up before each workout so you don’t pull any muscles.
- Try something new.
If you haven’t done much in the past few years, it will feel good just to get moving again – so pick any exercise that sounds fun. Try kickboxing classes, yoga, etc.
- Strength training.
For older adults especially, strength training helps improve balance (and thus prevent falls), builds muscle mass, and increases bone strength, both of which are important in maintaining mobility. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
- Aerobic activity.
Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise over a week. Examples include running, walking, or swimming. Fit in strength training for all the major muscle groups at least twice a week by lifting free weights, using weight machines, or doing body-weight exercises.
Though it’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, there are several key benefits that you can expect from a regular exercise routine:
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Prevention and management of Type 2 diabetes
- Improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Increased strength and flexibility
- Improved mood and sleep
In essence, aging is inexorable, but you can delay the onset of age-related issues.
In your 30s, you’re probably starting to feel like a real adult. Your career is taking off and you’ve got a little more money in your pocket. In other words, it’s the perfect time to start focusing on your health. If you take care of yourself now, you can help prevent physical problems later in life.
After 40, everything from eyesight to muscle mass starts to decline gradually. So it’s important to pay attention to these changes and adapt accordingly.
Slow down: Your body isn’t what it used to be. In your 50s, muscles shrink by about three percent every decade — but regular strength training can slow that process down so you stay stronger longer.