Staying fit after you turn 40 is important. Research has shown that maintaining or increasing your fitness level later in life helps to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.
How many times a week should I exercise?
If you haven’t exercised for a while (or ever), it’s best to easy your way into it so that your muscles and joints get used to it. Exercise in short bursts and gradually increase both the length and intensity of your sessions. Make sure you stretch before you start to avoid injury.
You should try and exercise up to 5 times a week and aim to be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-level activity. This could include doing alternate activities on different days, such as:
- gym workouts, and
- running or fast-paced walking.
The gym sessions will help you to strengthen your major muscle groups. For variety, alternate your sessions between strength sessions and doing high repetitions of light weights or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions.
Aim to do at least 100 steps per minute for 30 minutes when you’re running or doing fast-paced walking. This will help to get your heart rate up and boost your overall fitness level.
In addition to the physical benefits, exercise can boost your mental health as well. For example, by:
- reducing your stress levels, and
- improving the quality of your sleep.
How to keep motivated to exercise
Staying motivated to keep your exercise program going is just as important as starting it. One of the best ways to stay motivated is to set yourself realistic goals for improvement and to reward yourself when you achieve a goal.
For example, realistic exercise goals could be:
- increasing the number of reps you can do of specific gym exercises,
- increasing the distance or speed that you run or walk, or
- losing a specific amount of weight.
Other great ways to stay motivated to exercise are to:
- do physical activities that you enjoy, and
- to train with a friend. Your friend will provide you with company and you can also help to keep each other accountable for your exercise program.
Don’t forget your diet
If you want to stay or get healthy, it’s important to eat healthy as well as to exercise. Don’t undo all your good exercise work by eating poorly. Of course, you can always reward yourself with a ‘cheat meal’ every week if you hit your exercise goal.
Eat in moderation, and try to eat something from each of the five basic food groups each day:
- grains and cereals,
- lean meat, poultry, fish and eggs,
- cheese and yoghurt
If you do, you’ll be eating a balanced diet to complement your exercise routine. And of course, it’s also important to drink alcohol in moderation as well. Current government health guidelines recommend you drinking no more than 4 standard drinks per day and no more than 10 per week.
How we can help
At Searipple Village in Karratha, we can help you to stay fit and healthy while you’re staying with us. We don’t just have great accommodation. We also have an on-site gym and plenty of healthy food options in our dining facilities.