Updated: Jun 30, 2019
It's no secret that as we get older, both men and women find it more and more difficult to keep the waistline trim and keep our eyes open after 9pm.Climbing any stairs that cross your path is like a tough mudder and running for a bus is just a stupid, stupid idea. BUT, it doesn't have to be that way...
More and more men and women of all ages are hitting the gym with determination and vigour. So is this a fad or a permanent lifestyle trend? I'd like to think it's the latter.
I think the first question is why does this happen as we get older? Is it just the ageing process? Is it genetics? Or could it be the simplest answer....that we simply don't move the same as we did when we were younger?
Let's think back to when we were in our late teens, early twenties (and try not to cry) and how much we did on a physical level. We walked a LOT more. We walked from pub to pub, then on to a nightclub and possibly stumbled home afterwards.
We may have played football on Sundays with the lads, or spent the day walking round the shops and doing lunch with the girls. Dancing on a Friday and Saturday night, walks in the park with our new boyfriend or girlfriend...we did more on the lower end of the physical scale or the N.E.A.T scale.
The meaning of NEAT is Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. In Layman's terms this basically means any activity that wouldn't necessarily get your heart rate high enough to class it as exercise. Things like walking to the shops, house cleaning, light gardening, a spot of painting or building a bloody IKEA bed!! Anything that makes you move, but not to the point of breathing too much heavier. On the flip side of this we have E.A.T
Now unfortunately EAT isn't a new form of exercise where you lose weight by eating tons of food (though imagine eating more than you do now and actually losing weight, that WOULD be a thing wouldn't it...)
No, EAT is Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and, if you were paying attention, you can probably guess that EAT is where you burn your calories through more structured, higher intensity exercise... Zumba class, body pump, resistance training, strength training etc...
So with this in mind, we then look at the barriers that stop people from exercising and improving their lives.I know a lot of people have a lot on their plate if they have children, a job and a house to run, it's tiring and the last thing most people want to think about is going to do exercise. It's much easier to pour a glass of wine and watch your favourite TV program then go to bed, ready to do it all again the next day. We are in an age right now that allows us to almost disconnect from the reality of the outside world and plug in to the mostly fake so called reality of iPhones, Facebook and (cough cough) 'reality TV'.
We live in a time where everything is now and i think we have lost that understanding that sometimes you just have to wait for things. With companies like Netflix and Now TV people are able to binge watch programs and get their fix. Which brings me to, what i think, is a massive barrier to people succeeding on a fitness journey of any kind....It takes time, and a lot of people can't deal with that.
Out of every 10 potential clients that i speak to, probably 2 grasp that their success won't happen in 2 weeks, or 10 weeks or in some cases 6 months. PT's that offer life changing 6 week transformations are, in my opinion, only out for your money. If a PT can't be dead straight and honest with you then they're not worth your time.
So how do you get fit after 40? The same way you get fit at any age, with hard work and consistency. There are so many excuses that have made their way onto the fitness scene in recent years, such as a broken metabolism, lack of insulin response, too much of an insulin response, an addiction to sugar and sugar damage causing fluctuating insulin response and, my favourite, 'i just can't seem to eat right for my body type'.
These are absolute fabrications and scaremongering tactics used so that the general public will buy training programs that promise a fix, fat burners, weight loss shakes and other nonsense...I also hear the 'i don't eat a lot which means i store a lot of fat' excuse....Just think about that for a second.
If that was true then people with anorexia would be obese! Anorexia is an awful condition and a true visual representation of a human body going through starvation. So when Dave from down the pub says that he stores fat from not eating enough it's quite obviously not true. Dave stores fat because he eats too much and doesn't exercise.
It takes a little willpower, a little knowhow and a first step to get you to where you want to be. Slight changes can be made in the beginning to your diet and believe me, a little can go a long way. Simply changing soft drinks to sugar free can massively improve your daily calories. Look at the foods you eat and add up what you eat on a normal day. If those calories are above 2,500 for a man, 2000 for a woman, and you're not engaging in regular exercise, then you are most likely in a calorie surplus and will continue to gain weight.
To put it in perspective, a pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. If you eat 350 calories over your daily allowance for ten days, thats a pound in weight.I highly recommend My Fitness Pal for counting calories and tracking your food. You can find it in the app store on your phone and it's free to download, or if you're currently using a laptop or desktop then just CLICK HERE.
Starting a new fitness routine, or simply wanting to take control of your diet can be a daunting prospect. If you have never been in a gym you can go and speak to a PT, most offer free consultations where they will talk through your goals and get to know you a little better. Some will even offer a free session, a 'try before you buy'.The average price of a PT in the UK (dependant on where you are in the country) is around £30 an hour, with an average of 2 sessions per week. The number of sessions is completely up to you and if a PT won't accommodate you then i would urge you to look elsewhere.
If that doesn't sound like something you would like to try then there is the option of online personal training/coaching. This method of training is growing massively year after year, and for good reason! Online training is quick and simple to sign up for, most online trainers just ask you to answer some questions on sign up, then simply pick your plan and that's it! They will then design a plan for you to follow and check in with you on a designated day.
Online training is a fast growing market as consumers are realising the cost difference between face to face and online services. See for yourself HERE
There should be no barrier to anybody at the age of 40 that stops them from getting in better shape and feeling great. Yes it will take time, but the rewards are fantastic. More energy, better sleep pattern, mental awareness increase, leaner body...who wouldn't want that?
It CAN be done, all you need is to take that first step and be consistent. At blueprintpt we offer individual training packages tailored to the client as well as motivation, nutrition advice and regular check ins to answer any questions.Please feel free to contact us through the website.
Are you approaching a milestone and in need of help? Comment and let me know.