Getting Fit After 40

Disclaimer: Please consult a physician before performing any exercise(s) or using any equipment listed here.

If you’ve just entered your 40s, welcome to the club!

As you get older, staying or at the very least, trying to get healthy should be at the top of your list of priorities.

Especially fitness training.

So, if you haven’t been doing so already, why not start now?

Just because you’re in, what’s often branded as “midlife” or the “hump”, doesn’t mean it’s too late.

Short of breathing, drinking, eating, and maybe sex, exercise is extremely beneficial for your health… and it’s never too late to start.

Let me repeat, it’s NEVER too late.

Clear evidence has proven that fact time and time again.

Getting fit after 40 is really no different from your 20s or 30s aside from having limited time and added responsibilities in your life – marriage, kids, work, mortgage, etc..,

What You’ll Find Here

All you’ll find here is some actionable advice and/or (hopefully) helpful information.

I’m not peddling any snake oil or shortcuts.

Whether you’re just trying to shed a little weight, build a little muscle, or gain some strength, hopefully, the information you find here will help kickstart your path to achieving feats of physical prowess… or

If you’re just starting out, you’re going to quickly learn that getting started may be difficult.

People just can’t seem to find that motivation to take the first step – whether you find it within yourself or from an external source.

Whatever it may be, finding that motivating factor will be key to helping you take the next step.

Once you get on your way, I can promise you that you will reach a point where it becomes almost addictive and you’ll never want to miss a day.

The Truth About Getting Fit After 40

As with everything else on the internet, you’re going to find some conflicting information out there.

Good or bad, no matter what you’ve read or heard, getting fit after 40 isn’t difficult.

Remember, things evolve… including information.

With a few simple keystrokes, you’ll be able to weed out the BS.

Just be sensible and use your common sense.

Don’t let things deter you.

For example:

Age Isn’t a Factor

“Know that you are the perfect age… Be comfortable with growing older.” – Louise Hay

Your age is just a number.

Don’t let it be a negative factor.

Just because you’re older, doesn’t mean you have to be tethered to the beliefs and stigma about older people and fitness.

You have athletes like Tom Brady (just announced retirement….we’ll see), Tiger Woods, Dara Torres, all in their 40s competing at elite levels in their respective sport and continuing to do subjectively well.

And then you have athletes like Mary Duffy, who at 71 (at the time of writing this article) rack pulls an impressive 325 lbs.

And the ultra-impressive Shirley Webb, who at the age of 82, only started to lift when she was 77 years old and has since won 18 weight lifting medals.

So……….yeah, age is definitely just a number.

Metabolism Doesn’t Slow…At Least Not Yet

Like myself, you’ve likely heard that metabolism slows as we age, right?

Well, not so fast.

Sites like Webmd may indicate that our metabolism slows as we age but new data suggests otherwise.

One such study indicates that your metabolism doesn’t slow down as much or as early as we thought. At least not within the age group we once perceived.

In fact, it appears, our metabolism doesn’t start to decline until we hit the age of 60, regardless of gender.

“Perhaps you’ve been told that it’s all ‘downhill after 30’ when it comes to your weight. But while several factors could explain the thickening waistlines that often emerge during our prime working years, the findings suggest that a changing metabolism isn’t one of them,” -said Prof. Herman Pontzer from Duke University, the other co-corresponding author of the study.

Thinking muscle mass was a factor?

Think again.

Pontzner further states…

“We controlled for muscle mass so it seems it’s because our cellular metabolism is also slowing down. We found the patterns held even when differing activity levels were taken into account,”

So, based on the findings of this study, unless you’re 60 or older, your metabolism won’t be much of an issue… but that’s not a greenlight for you to eat whatever you like.

Muscle Mass Declines

Sarcopenia is one of those unfortunate realities that come with aging…but it can be minimized and even stopped for those that don’t perform in any type of strength training routines.

Some sources indicate your muscle mass may start to decline after 30.

Of course, it goes without saying, if you don’t perform any strength training exercises, your muscles will indeed diminish at some point.

Muscle mass is beneficial for everyone, especially when you’re older.

Aside from preventing everything from drooping, the benefits of gaining muscle mass are many, including improvements in physical functions, prevention of some disabilities, and help with weight.

Best Type of Fitness for People Over 40

Strength Training

Try strength training.

In my humble opinion, it’s medicine.

It’s key to living a healthy, active life regardless of age.

And the benefits are vast, especially for people over 40 – promotion of mental and physical health, bone and muscle growth, and much, much more.

There are a variety of strength training exercises.

We’ll explore a few of the main ones.


Start with weights.

Whether it’s free weights or machines, weights are ideal for strength training.

If it’s your first time and you can’t decide on what to use or buy, go to a commercial gym to try them out.

Many commercial gyms offer free trials and some only charge as little as $10 a month.

Go in and see what works for you and even if you don’t feel comfortable in a gym environment, at least you can try to see what you like and what works so that you can buy the right gym equipment to use at home.

All you need is a half hour or so and about 2 to 3 days a week…unless you want to compete, in which case you’ll need to train a lot more.

Weight training doesn’t have to be complex or disconcerting.

Just focus on one or two muscle groups per training session, e.g., chest and triceps one day, traps/shoulders and biceps the next day, and quads/hamstrings/calves another day.

But if weights aren’t to your liking, try resistance bands.

Resistance Bands

One of the best types of strength training equipment for people over 40 is resistance bands.

They have become increasingly popular within the fitness culture.

They’re small, inexpensive, and a great way to get a full-body workout.

They’re almost as effective as free weights but with one great advantage, its adaptability.

You can use them anywhere – at home or when traveling.

And they can be stored away just as easily.

The only drawback is that bands reach their greatest resistance when they’re extended all the way whereas free weights have consistent resistance throughout movements.

They also come in different resistance levels that equate to the amount of weights so you can mix and match.

Body Weight Exercises

Sometimes, a few body weight exercises are all you’ll need to get your ideal body sculpture.

So long as you have realistic goals and don’t expect to look like Dwayne Johnson, you’ll be able to improve your strength through an assortment of body weight exercises: pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, burpees, etc..,

While it’s important to understand its limitations, there’s plenty of benefits body weight exercises still provide.

For one, it’s free. You don’t need to buy anything, although there are a few pieces of equipment that will help.

Secondly, like resistance bands, you can do it anywhere.

Literally… anywhere.

You can use anything: your furniture, the surrounding environment, your house, etc..,

This means everyone can benefit from bodyweight exercises…everyone.


And if strength training doesn’t motivate you, why not try cardio?

Depending on the overall condition of your health, your fitness level and goals, cardio may be an excellent option.

There are countless cardio exercises to choose from but for the sake of this article, I’ll just post my favorite as I think they’re the most effective.

These can be done exclusively or in conjunction with strength training exercises… provided you have the energy.

Jump Rope

Try jump roping or/aka skipping.

And if you don’t know how, learn.

This video is an excellent tutorial for jump rope beginners.

Skipping is a great alternative to running in my opinion and it’s easy on the knees.

If your goal is to stay or get trim, it’s a surefire way to burn calories fast.

Just a minute of jump roping is equivalent to running a mile which translates to about 100 calories.

This chart breaks down various activities and the time it takes to equate to 1 mile with each.

Heavy Punching Bag/Boxing

If lifting or jump roping doesn’t motivate you, maybe you should give boxing a go…or more specifically, hitting heavy bags.

Heavy bags are probably one of the most underutilized tools in fitness.

Not only does it increase strength, it’s high intensity provides one of the most intense aerobic exercises, provided you put in the effort.

You can’t slap the bag or give it baby punches and expect miracles. You need to punch and/or kick the bag with some effort

You’ll also be amazed at just how incredibly satisfying it can be for your mental health.

Just a few hard sessions will eliminate your stress.

I would also highly recommend buying gloves or at the very least, hand wraps.

Hand wraps secure your wrists, protect your knuckles, and keep your fingers tight.

You’re much less prone to injury if your hands are wrapped correctly.


This is, literally, the easiest form of cardio.

If you’re simply looking for something that’s less intense and doesn’t require anything except a pair of tennis shoes… and some clothes…how about good ole fashioned walking.

A mile or two a day will do wonders for your health, regardless of age.

Studies on the benefits of walking have shown that walking for as little as 3 hours a week can have a significant impact on your weight.

So, go ahead and splurge and treat yourself to a treadmill or just grab your house keys and your dog and take a stroll around your neighborhood.

Taking Supplements

Some people swear by them, others swear them off.

Supplements can be a total coin-flip so it’s best to be wary of which ones you take.

Research…research…research…and do more research.

Although there’s arguably enough history to show little to no side effects, I still don’t like the fact there’s no standard regulation to monitor what goes into them.

There are, however, third party labs that test dietary supplements and certify them.

Labs like NSF test for contaminants and ingredients in supplements.
However, only a handful of manufacturers post their certifications since there are no obligatory laws.

Most choose not to do so for a number of reasons and that in itself is reason enough for me not to use them or at least those made by that particular manufacturer.

Always look for independent lab certifications.

Now, that being said, here’s a short list of what I would recommend for those over 40.

Tongkat Ali

So, it would appear we’re in that magical age where some of us begin to go through some hormonal imbalances.

But unlike our adolescent years where they surged, they tend to decline as we get older.

Plenty of over the counter supplements claim to correct or alleviate that problem.

But one in particular that has proven to be effective, is a plant called Tongkat Ali.

With a plethora of other names including Longjack, the plant is indigenous to Southeast Asia and has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries in that region.

Whether you take it in pill or powder form, it has been proven to boost testosterone in men and estradiol in women.

Amino Acid

For gym fans, amino acids are the go to supplement for muscle development.

But for older folks like us, they do more than just increase muscle mass, they also help with improving overall function.

Amino acids should be paired with some form of strength training program in order to be effective.