Hitting the 4-0 means bigger responsibilities and major milestones. Part of getting older comes with changes and big life decisions to make, which can get in the way of eating right and regularly working out. Plus face it, the energy one has at 40 can be significantly different from the energy one had at 21. While this may be the case, building muscle past 40, even in one’s 50’s and 60’s, is possible with proper diet and the right type of training and regimen.
Building Muscle After 40: The Gains
Maintaining a healthy weight and staying in good shape, in general, becomes a challenge as one ages. Aging cannot be stopped but one can definitely make gains. The key is training smart. See these simple guidelines below to make workouts worthwhile and more importantly, injury-free.
First things first: Diet
Metabolism slows down as one ages. Choosing what you eat is therefore critical. An important practice is to keep carbohydrate intake in check: before and after workouts are a must. Lessening calories is not necessary but one needs to make sure that they’re eating enough and healthy. Cutting out cholesterol and processed foods is also a wise practice. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits as well as nuts and legumes is crucial.
Ease into your workouts
It would be wise not to let the younger ones lifting heavy weights at the gym to get to you. Going at your own pace is the best rule to apply when it comes to working out. A common misconception is that lifting lighter weights will not build muscles when in fact doing more reps with lighter weights can stimulate as much muscle growth as doing lower reps while lifting heavy. You will want to workout for a longer time than incurring injury which can altogether put your workouts to a stop. However, if you can use heavier weights, mixing heavy, medium and light weights is an efficient way to gain lean mass.
Don’t forget to stretch
Perhaps the most overlooked part of exercising is stretching. Keep in mind that warming up and stretching are two different things. The former is done to gradually wake up the muscles prior to the workout and the latter is done to cool down after exercising. Stretching is specifically important for those over 40 to maintain flexibility and prevent injury. This also helps loosen tight muscles after each workout.
In conclusion, age is not an excuse to stop moving or stop looking good and feeling good. Yes, building muscle past 40 is possible. It’s just a matter of exercising with caution and wisdom as well as observing the right diet.