In your 20s and 30s, your body is very different than it is in your 40s and 50s. In your younger years, it's easier to stay healthy, lose weight, maintain a good shape and pack on the muscles. As you age, it becomes harder and harder.
If you want to be healthy when you reach your 40s and 50s (and 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond), it's time to start forming a few fitness habits now while you're still young.
1. Drink More Water
A lack of water leads to water retention, aging skin, a slow metabolism and many more problems. If you get in the habit of drinking water while you're still young, you can slow the effects of aging.
2. Regular Strength Training
As you age, you lose both muscle tone and strength. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you burn every day. If you want to stay in shape, it's time to start regular strength training. Cut back on the cardio, and start hitting those weights or doing more bodyweight training.
3. Learn the Right Form
Don't take your strength training for granted. While you don't need to worry too much about injuries while young, an older you is more likely to get hurt if you don't work out with the right form. Learn the proper form now.
4. Switch It Up
If you're regularly changing up your workouts, you'll develop your body in a much more well-rounded way. Instead of sticking with the same cardio or strength training routine, get used to changing your workouts on a monthly basis.
5. Refuel Post-Workout
It may not seem important to refuel your body after a tough workout, but the truth is that filling up on protein and carbs within 30 minutes of training will help to replenish energy and cement solid muscle growth.
6. Replace Your Running Shoes Regularly
You may be comfortable in that pair of trainers, but they wear out within six months of regular running. Build the habit of switching them up after six to eight months of use, and you'll avoid a lot of stress injuries that can be common among runners.
7. Fitting It In
If you have a hard time fitting in your workouts now, imagine how much harder it will be when you're older. Start making your workouts a part of your life, no matter how hard it is to find time.
8. Do Pilates or Yoga
You can't just build muscle, you need to improve balance, posture and flexibility as well. Either Pilates or yoga will be an excellent choice to help you stay fit in every area of your life, so add at least a day or two of these workouts to your weekly plan.
9. Enjoy It
If you can learn to enjoy your workout, it will be much easier to stick with it for years to come. Find ways to spice up the routine, such as listening to good music or an audiobook, doing exercise that you love, or reading while you run or cycle.
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.