Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Keeping Fit After 40

I recently found the photo above on Pinterest with a caption that said, "She's 40!" It made me think that being in shape and keeping fit past 40 must be some sort of big accomplishment, especially after seeing some of the comments that women posted on the photo. There is no doubt that it made me feel proud to be over 40 and still be in good shape. So I am going to post the picture below on Pinterest with a caption that says, "She's 43, and she's me." I should also note that this picture was taken 2 months ago and that just happens to be 2 months before my 44th birthday.

So how do I do it? How did I keep fit in my 40s? Well, there really is no magically secret. It's all about self discipline, good nutrition, and working out. OK, maybe genes have something to do with it too, but I don't think that should be an excuse to give up and not try to strive for the best health you can achieve. Not everybody can be pencil thin, but many people can be strong and fit if they didn't use the crutch of having 'fat genes.'

I've spent most of my life trying to be as healthy as I can be. I'm always concerned about what I eat. This doesn't mean I sacrifice and never have sweets and fattening foods. In fact, I often do. But I'm always completely aware that 80% of what makes up my body composition is what I eat. Making good choices is key. And yes, I have a sweet tooth and love my dessert, but I've learned that a bite or two can be just as satisfying as eating the whole serving. When I do splurge on the dish of ice cream of chocolate bar it's often because I just competed a long bike ride or hike. I always feel the need to either earn the treat, or pay for it afterwards.

And it's not just avoiding sweets and fatty foods that is important. I think it's just as important, if not more important to strive to put as much good nutritional food into our bodies as possible. We are eating to fuel our bodies and just like at the gas pump, we have to decide upon the quality of that gas we are putting in. How our cars run and how are bodies run is a direct result of the fuel.

Avoiding candy and carbs is one thing, but going out of our way to eat the "super foods" is another. So much of the America diet is just empty calories, giving us no nutritional value. It is really a challenge in today's age to hunt down the foods that are actually good for us. It takes effort, and unfortunately it costs more, but it's a necessary step in keeping fit.

Eating right and routine exercise are essential in keeping fit. There is no doubt, it just keeps getting harder and harder to do as you get older and the trick is not to stop. It's all about priorities and habits. Build yourself some good ones and just don't quit.

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