Over 40 and Unstoppable: Your Ultimate Blueprint to Fitness and Well-Being
Shawn Lehner

As someone who recently crossed the threshold into their 40s, I understand the excitement and anticipation that comes with this new chapter of life. It's a time of reflection, growth, and a renewed focus on health and well-being. In this comprehensive guide, I'll not only share my own journey but also the collective wisdom and experiences that have shaped the fitness and wellness strategies for both myself and the individuals I coach – all of whom are navigating the dynamic landscape of being fit over 40.

Entering your 40s is an exciting phase of life, rich with opportunities to embrace fitness and well-being in new and meaningful ways. While the journey may come with its own set of challenges, the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle are immeasurable. Together, we'll navigate the intricacies of staying fit, vital, and full of energy as you journey through your 40s and beyond.

Section 1: Understanding Fitness Over 40

The Physiology of Aging and Fitness:

As we age, our bodies undergo natural changes that impact our fitness levels. It's essential to recognize these changes to tailor your fitness routine effectively:
  • Metabolism Matters: Metabolism, the body's calorie-burning engine, slows down as we age. This can lead to weight gain and challenges in weight management. Embrace strategies such as portion control and regular physical activity to support a healthy metabolism.
  • Muscle Matters: Muscle mass naturally decreases with age, which can impact overall strength and metabolism. Incorporate regular strength training exercises, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, to preserve muscle mass, increase metabolic rate, and enhance functional fitness.
  • Bone Health: Aging is associated with a decrease in bone density, making bones more fragile and susceptible to fractures. To maintain strong bones, prioritize calcium-rich foods like dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods. Weight-bearing exercises like walking, dancing, and resistance training also contribute to bone health.
  • Hormonal Shifts: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during menopause for women, can impact energy levels, mood, and body composition. Consult with healthcare professionals to explore hormone optimization options, which can help manage these changes and support overall well-being.

Setting Realistic Goals

Shifting your focus from aesthetics to holistic well-being can lead to more sustainable and fulfilling fitness goals:
  • Embrace Functional Fitness: Instead of solely pursuing a certain appearance, focus on functional fitness that enhances your ability to perform daily activities with ease. This approach encourages well-rounded exercises that improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, balance, and flexibility.
  • Goal Setting: Set achievable objectives that align with your unique health circumstances and aspirations. Consider working with a fitness professional to design a personalized plan that caters to your fitness level, interests, and long-term well-being.

Section 2: Creating a Balanced Fitness Routine

Embracing an Active Lifestyle:

As you embark on your fitness journey beyond 40, it's essential to embrace an active lifestyle that supports your overall well-being. The age-old adage "a body in motion stays in motion" holds true, especially as you navigate the changes that come with aging. Here's how you can keep your body moving and promote long-term health:

Daily Steps Goal

One simple yet effective approach to staying active is setting a daily steps goal. Aim to accumulate at least 10,000 steps per day. Walking is a low-impact activity that can be easily incorporated into your routine. By hitting this goal, you ensure that your body stays in motion, promoting circulation, joint health, and overall vitality.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise is a cornerstone of fitness. It enhances your heart health, improves endurance, and helps manage weight. Consider incorporating both Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your routine:
  • LISS Cardio: LISS involves moderate-intensity, steady-paced activities such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. It provides a great option for those looking for a gentler form of cardiovascular exercise that still delivers benefits.
  • HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training alternates between short bursts of intense activity and periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. HIIT can be highly effective for boosting metabolism, improving cardiovascular fitness, and burning calories. However, if HIIT feels too aggressive on your body, opt for LISS to avoid strain.

Strength Training

Strength training is paramount for maintaining muscle mass, bone density, and overall functional fitness. Incorporate resistance exercises into your routine using bodyweight exercises, free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines. Focus on all major muscle groups to ensure balanced strength development.

Flexibility and Mobility

Maintaining flexibility and mobility becomes increasingly important with age. Engage in regular stretching routines or activities like yoga to improve range of motion, prevent injuries, and support joint health.

Recovery and Rest

Remember that recovery is an integral part of your fitness journey. Allow your body adequate time to rest and repair. Prioritize quality sleep, manage stress, and consider activities like meditation or gentle stretching to aid recovery.

Tailoring Your Exercise Routine:

Your fitness routine should be tailored to your individual needs, goals, and physical condition. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Professional Guidance

Before embarking on a new exercise program, especially if you're new to fitness or have any underlying health concerns, consult with experienced coach or a qualified healthcare professional. They can provide insights into your specific needs and limitations.

Progression and Adaptation

As you progress in your fitness journey, gradually increase the intensity, duration, and complexity of your workouts. This helps prevent plateaus and keeps your body challenged.

Holistic Approach

Incorporate a mix of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, flexibility work, and mindful practices. This holistic approach ensures that you're addressing various aspects of your physical fitness and well-being.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to your body's signals. If a certain exercise or intensity level doesn't feel right, modify or switch to an alternative activity. Your fitness journey is unique, and it's crucial to prioritize safety and well-being.

Enjoyment and Sustainability

Choose activities you genuinely enjoy. The more you look forward to your workouts, the more likely you are to stick with them. Variety can also help keep things interesting and prevent boredom.

Building a Sustainable Fitness Routine

Sustainability is key to long-term success in your fitness journey. Here's how you can build a routine that you can stick to:

Consistency Over Intensity

Consistency trumps occasional bursts of intense effort. Aim for regular, moderate-intensity workouts rather than sporadic, high-intensity sessions.

Gradual Progress

Avoid the temptation to dive into a rigorous routine right away. Gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts to allow your body to adapt and avoid burnout or injury.

Set Realistic Goals

Set achievable short-term and long-term goals. Celebrate your progress and recognize that fitness is a lifelong journey.

Accountability and Support

Consider partnering with a fitness coach or workout buddy who can provide motivation, guidance, and accountability. Sharing your journey with someone else can make the process more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Mind-Body Connection

Incorporate mindfulness into your fitness routine. Pay attention to how your body feels during exercise, and use your workouts as an opportunity to relieve stress and focus on the present moment.

Incorporating Fitness into Your Lifestyle

As you navigate your 40s and beyond, integrating fitness into your daily life becomes essential. Here are practical tips for making exercise a seamless part of your lifestyle:

Prioritize Movement

Look for opportunities to move throughout the day. Take the stairs, walk during phone calls, or choose active hobbies that you enjoy.

Schedule Workouts

Treat your workouts like important appointments. Block out time on your calendar for exercise and stick to it.

Functional Fitness

Focus on functional exercises that mimic movements you use in daily life. This enhances your ability to perform everyday activities with ease and confidence.

Involve Your Social Circle

Engage in physical activities with friends or family members. It's a great way to bond while staying active.

Stay Adaptable

Life is full of changes, so be prepared to adapt your fitness routine as needed. Whether you're traveling, experiencing a busy period, or facing other challenges, staying adaptable ensures that you can continue prioritizing your fitness journey.

Section 3: Nutrition and Diet

Eating for Optimal Health

Nutrition forms the cornerstone of a healthy and vibrant life, especially as you embrace the journey of fitness over 40. Your dietary choices play a pivotal role in providing your body with the essential nutrients it needs to thrive. Here's a deeper dive into how you can optimize your nutrition for optimal well-being:

Balanced Diet for Longevity

A balanced diet is the foundation of your overall health. Prioritize a colorful array of whole foods that encompass a variety of nutrients, ensuring you're nourishing your body with the building blocks it requires. Include:
  • Lean Proteins: Choose sources like lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, and plant-based protein options like tofu and tempeh. Protein aids in muscle repair, metabolism, and hormone regulation.
  • Fiber-Rich Foods: Whole grains (such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat), fruits, vegetables, and legumes are rich in fiber, promoting healthy digestion, regulating blood sugar, and aiding weight management.
  • Healthy Fats: Incorporate sources of healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. These fats support brain health, hormone production, and overall cell function.
  • Abundant Fruits and Vegetables: These are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Aim to fill half your plate with colorful produce to support immune function, heart health, and vitality.
  • Hydration: Adequate hydration is paramount. Beyond the baseline guideline of one gallon of water (or close to your body weight in ounces), tailor your water intake based on factors like activity level, climate, and individual needs.

Nutrient Timing

Strategically timing your meals and snacks can enhance your fitness journey:
  • Pre-Workout Nutrition: Fuel your workouts with a combination of carbohydrates and protein about 1-2 hours before exercise. This provides energy and supports muscle performance.
  • Post-Workout Nutrition: Within an hour of exercise, consume a protein-rich snack or meal to aid muscle recovery and growth.

Mindful Eating

Practicing mindful eating can foster a healthier relationship with food:
  • Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating. Listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues.
  • Chew Thoroughly: Chew your food well to aid digestion and promote a sense of fullness.
  • Eat Slowly: Savor your meals and give your body time to signal when you're satisfied.

Hydration and Supplements

Staying hydrated and considering supplements can enhance well-being:
  • Stay Hydrated: Hydration is essential for digestion, circulation, temperature regulation, and overall bodily functions. Aim to drink water throughout the day and increase fluid intake during physical activity. Keep in mind that the guideline of a minimum of one gallon (or close to your body weight in ounces) of water daily is just a baseline. Hydration needs can vary based on individual factors such as activity level, climate, and lifestyle. Listen to your body and adjust your water intake to meet your unique needs.
  • Supplement Wisely: Consult healthcare professionals before taking supplements. Consider options like vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and multivitamins to address potential nutrient gaps and support overall health. Proper supplementation can also be informed by routine blood work markers, which provide valuable insights into your specific nutrient needs.

Recommended Supplements for Optimal Well-Being

To support your fitness journey and overall health beyond 40, consider incorporating these additional supplements into your routine, in consultation with healthcare professionals:
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These essential fatty acids contribute to heart health, brain function, and joint mobility. Look for a high-quality fish oil supplement rich in EPA and DHA.
  • Vitamin D: Often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D is crucial for bone health, immune function, and mood regulation. Especially important for those with limited sun exposure.
  • Magnesium: Magnesium supports muscle relaxation, energy production, and sleep quality. It can be beneficial for managing stress and promoting relaxation.
  • Probiotics: Gut health is essential for overall well-being. Probiotic supplements promote a balanced gut microbiome, aiding in digestion and immune function.
  • Collagen: Collagen supports joint health, skin elasticity, and connective tissues. It can help maintain the health of your bones, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Turmeric/Curcumin: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric or curcumin supplements can assist in managing inflammation and promoting joint health.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is an antioxidant that supports cellular energy production, heart health, and antioxidant defense. It may also help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
  • B Vitamins: B vitamins, including B6, B12, and folate, play a crucial role in energy metabolism, cognitive function, and nerve health. They may also support cardiovascular health.
  • Calcium: Adequate calcium intake is essential for bone health and may help prevent osteoporosis. Consider a calcium supplement if your dietary intake is insufficient.
  • Vitamin K: Vitamin K is important for bone health and blood clotting. It works alongside calcium and vitamin D to support bone density.
  • Zinc: Zinc is involved in immune function, wound healing, and maintaining cognitive health. It also supports the health of the skin, hair, and nails.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that supports immune function, collagen synthesis, and skin health. It may also help protect against oxidative stress.
  • Iron: Iron is important for oxygen transport and energy production. If you have low iron levels, a supplement may be beneficial, especially for menstruating women.
  • Selenium: Selenium is an antioxidant that supports thyroid function, immune health, and may have a protective role against certain chronic diseases.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative damage. It may support heart health and cognitive function.
  • Joint Support: Consider supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and L-glutamine to support joint health, reduce stiffness, and maintain mobility.
  • N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) or Glutathione: NAC is a precursor to glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that supports detoxification and cellular health.

Remember that individual needs can vary, and it's essential to consult with your coach or healthcare professionals before adding new supplements to your routine. Routine blood work and health assessments can provide valuable insights into your specific nutrient needs, helping you make informed decisions about supplementation.

Exclusive Supplement Discounts:

As a reader of this guide, you have access to special discounts on high-quality supplements from Nutrastop and Norse Fitness:
  • Nutrastop: Elevate your nutrition game with Nutrastop's premium supplements. Use the code "SAVAGE" at checkout to enjoy an exclusive discount on your order, helping you make the most of your wellness journey. Visit them att www.nutrastop.com
  • Norse Fitness: For those seeking fitness-oriented supplements, Norse Fitness has you covered. Take advantage of the discount code "SAVAGE" to save on your Norse Fitness purchases and support your active lifestyle. Check Norse Fitness out at www.norsefiitness.co

These supplement options, combined with a balanced diet, mindful hydration, and strategic supplementation, can contribute to your overall health and vitality as you navigate your fitness journey beyond 40.

Embracing a comprehensive approach to fitness and well-being over 40 empowers you to lead a vibrant and fulfilling life. By understanding the physiology of aging, setting realistic goals, and integrating a balanced fitness routine, nourishing nutrition, mindful self-care practices, routine blood work, hormone optimization, gut health assessment, and strategic supplementation, you embark on a journey of well-being that enriches every aspect of your life. Your commitment to prioritizing health, seeking professional guidance, and incorporating high-quality supplements provides you with the tools and support you need to achieve your fitness and wellness aspirations.

Section 4: Mind-Body Connection

Stress Management

Managing stress is crucial for holistic well-being:
  • Mindfulness Practices: Engage in mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
  • Balancing Act: Chronic stress negatively impacts hormone levels, sleep quality, and overall fitness progress. Prioritize stress management techniques to support your physical and mental health.

Quality Sleep

Prioritize sleep for recovery and overall vitality:
  • Sleep Habits: Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a calming bedtime routine. Optimize your sleep environment by minimizing noise, light, and electronic devices.
  • Restorative Sleep: Quality sleep is essential for hormone regulation, muscle recovery, and cognitive function. Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night to support your overall well-being.

Section 5: Overcoming Challenges

Time Constraints and Scheduling

Balancing fitness with a busy life requires effective time management:
  • Prioritize Self-Care: Schedule regular workout sessions as appointments that are non-negotiable. Consistency is key to long-term success in achieving and maintaining fitness goals.
  • Incorporate Activity: Find creative ways to stay active throughout the day, such as taking short walks, using stairs, or practicing quick stretches during breaks.

Adapting to Physical Changes

Address physical changes with tailored solutions:
  • Joint Health: If you experience joint discomfort, consult a healthcare professional or fitness expert to develop exercise modifications that minimize strain while still promoting strength and flexibility.
  • Fitness Professional: Working with a certified personal trainer or fitness coach can provide expert guidance on adapting your fitness routine to accommodate physical changes and limitations.

Section 6: Seeking Professional Guidance

Routine Blood Work and Hormone Optimization

Incorporate routine blood work and hormone optimization into your wellness strategy:
  • Holistic Approach: Routine blood work offers valuable insights into your health status, including cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and hormonal balance. This comprehensive assessment helps you make informed decisions to improve your overall well-being.
  • Hormone Optimization: Hormone imbalances can impact various aspects of your health, including energy levels, mood, and metabolism. Collaborate with healthcare professionals to explore hormone optimization options, ensuring a personalized approach that supports your vitality.

Gut Health and Advanced Testing

Prioritize gut health with advanced testing for holistic wellness:
  • Gut-Body Connection: The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in digestion, immune function, and overall health. Advanced testing, such as GI Maps, provides insights into your gut's composition and function, guiding targeted interventions for optimal well-being.
  • GI Maps Testing: Consider undergoing GI Maps testing through certified clinics like RyzeHRT. This comprehensive test assesses the diversity of your gut bacteria, identifies potential imbalances, and helps tailor dietary and lifestyle recommendations to enhance gut health.

Certified HRT and Gut Clinic: RyzeHRT

Discover the benefits of partnering with a certified clinic like RyzeHRT:
  • Comprehensive Care: Certified clinics like RyzeHRT offer specialized expertise in hormone optimization, wellness, and advanced testing. Their team of professionals can guide you through personalized strategies to achieve optimal health.
  • Your Coach: As a dedicated fitness professional, I offer coaching services along side of RyzeHRT, integrating fitness expertise into your wellness journey. My goal is to empower you with tailored guidance and support to help you reach your fitness and well-being goals while maximizign your functional and optimal health.
  • Family Involvement: RyzeHRT is not just a clinic; it's a trusted hub for comprehensive wellness. My wife Veronika Lehner also contributes her expertise as a consultant, ensuring a holistic and family-focused approach to your health journey. Along with the founder and a good friend of mine who is also a well know coach Matt Cusano and Erin Renzelman as director of operations.

Exclusive RYZEHRT Discount:

As a valued reader, you have the opportunity to receive a special discount on services provided by RyzeHRT. Use the code "SAVAGE20" during your consultation or appointment booking to avail a 20% discount on select services. This exclusive offer is our way of empowering you to take charge of your health journey. You can vist RyzeHRT at www.ryzehrt.com

As we conclude this comprehensive guide to thriving in your 40s and beyond, it's worth reflecting on the journey you're about to embark upon. The principles, insights, and strategies shared here are not limited by age; they are timeless pillars of well-being that can enrich your life at any stage. So, why wait until you're 40 to apply some of these things to your daily life?

A Lifelong Investment

While this guide is tailored to those who have crossed the threshold of 40, the wisdom it imparts holds immense value for individuals of all ages. The practices of mindful nutrition, purposeful movement, regular self-care, and informed supplementation transcend time. By adopting these practices early on, you gift yourself the incredible benefit of a longer, healthier, and more vibrant life.

Building Resilience

Starting sooner means cultivating resilience that will serve you well as you age. Nurturing a strong foundation of fitness and wellness provides a buffer against the challenges that come with time. By embracing these principles now, you're not merely investing in your future health—you're nurturing your present well-being, fostering a sense of vitality and empowerment that can positively impact every aspect of your life.

Inspiring Others

When you choose to prioritize your health and well-being from an early age, you inspire those around you—your friends, family, and even future generations. Leading by example, you become a beacon of wellness, showing others that it's never too early to make choices that enrich their lives and set them on a path to lasting vitality.

So, regardless of your age, whether you're in your 20s, 30s, or beyond, consider incorporating some of the practices outlined in this guide into your daily routine. Take a proactive stance toward your health, fitness, and overall well-being. As the saying goes, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." Don't wait for a milestone birthday to embark on a journey of self-care and thriving. Start today and watch how the cumulative effects of your positive choices shape a life filled with vitality, resilience, and joy.

Remember, you're not just preparing for the future; you're living it—one purposeful step, one nourishing meal, and one mindful moment at a time.

Here's to a lifetime of wellness and well-being! Thanks for reading.

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