Starting Exercise When You’re Over 40

If I polled 100 people, I imagine round about 100 people would tell me they would like to be fitter, healthier and slimmer.

However, the actual act of attaining that – of starting a new exercise regime – is not so easy. Of those 100 people, significantly less would be feeling confident about actually doing it.

We all struggle to find the time; we have commitments with work, family, kids and everything else. Even if we do have a gap in the diary, gathering enough energy to actually get to the gym is another question.

Then once you’re there, you’re unsure what to do, don’t want to injure yourself or look stupid. It might be a decade or 2 since you last set foot in a gym or made any real attempt to workout. That’s a lot of time building the habit of not exercising.

My aim in this post is to help set your expectations, make you feel comfortable, and importantly, motivated, to go to the gym and get your fitness routine off the ground

Why?

First things first, before we worry about what actually happens at the gym, we need the motivation to get there, right?

Well, going back to my poll at the start, everyone wants to be fitter, healthier, slimmer – in theory.

Why?

What is the real reason you want to do this? Finding your ‘why?’ is the single most important thing you will ever do for your motivation.

If you have a real sense of purpose for why you are doing this, it makes getting out of bed an hour earlier, skipping the pub in favour of the gym, or dragging heavy legs around when they’re sore; so much easier.

Perhaps your energy and focus levels are tanking, you can’t work like you did even just a couple of years ago. It’s affecting your business, your income and the knock on effect for your family.

Perhaps you can’t keep up with the kids any more and just the thought of playing with them puts you in a coma on the sofa.

Whatever is your driver, you need to tap into that, use it on a day to day basis, to give you a gentle (or not so gentle) kick up the backside.

Spend a few minutes now reflecting, think about all of the reasons that you want to workout and write them down. What is the one really important thing? Be honest with yourself here. It might be that you want to be trim, to feel confident being a demon in the bedroom again – that’s fine. Whatever is your real motivator is what is important. Find your ‘why?’.

Now, once you know what is driving you, the reason why you want to do this, we get to the actual doing.

The single hardest thing, is starting. Never again will it be as hard as it is on day 0.

Let’s be honest, at our age, we’re pretty set in our ways. We have our routines and don’t like to break them. Not to mention all of the commitments and things going on, it looks impossible to start, so most of us don’t.

Remind yourself of your ‘why?’.

Now, flip the perspective and start asking the question “how can I do this?”, rather than identifying reasons that you can’t.

ind a way and start. I promise you, the domino effect will kick in from there. You need to take imperfect action. If you can only get to the gym once per week, that’s a good start. It’s better than not going.

Don’t let perfectionism stop you from taking action. Do whatever you can do. If you can only get a couple of 20 minute workouts at home to start with – start with that. Look at your nutrition, drink more water and try to sleep more. It’s a good start.

You can always build on your start. Momentum is the key. “An object in motion stays in motion”. Set something in motion and you will find everything becomes much easier.

I repeat, the very hardest part, is starting. Just start in any way that you can and you’re on the way to success.

If you need help starting, or if you know that you need the accountability and professional guidance of an expert, get in touch. There will be never a ‘right time’, but the best time is right now. 40Perform offers personal training in St Albans and Hertfordshire for those 40+ looking to work on their fitness goals.

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