When you wake up on your birthday thinking about how far off you are from turning 40…only for that time to creep up on you like a tiger stalking its prey. The anxiety, beads of sweat rolling down your face in the sheer panic of it all. Really though?
Are things so bad hitting middle age mediocrity or does life really begin at 40? In the first of an ongoing series, we explore health and fitness after 40 from a man who’s already hit this milestone. His name is D Calabona and he will be sharing his knowledge and tips on keeping the reaper at bay, as well as ideas and holistic methods of combating father time.
Perpetual Motion Emotion – Keep it Moving
As the clock strikes midnight on a damp night in Birmingham England (after an awesome Chemical Brothers gig) I take a deep breath and was waiting…waiting for this overwhelming feeling of disappointment or feeling of fear to rush over me like a wave of stagnant water washing up on Blackpool beach.
Strangely enough it didn’t come. I exhale and felt an ease sink into my pores that I never thought would. I felt confident, I felt content, I felt at ease. I had just turned 40. So what next?
Should I throw the towel in and put my feet up in front of that highly attractive ultra 4K TV to watch classic “A Team” episodes or should I keep pushing forward and see what a 40-year-old in 2020 can do? If you are wondering I opted for the latter.
One mantra I live by is that I MUST keep moving, I can never stop, if I do I feel disgusted with myself. I wouldn’t consider how I train to be too demanding or anything unorthodox.
The one thing I wouldn’t do is work so hard to the point of exhaustion, this is not an absolute deal breaker (ADB) but personal preference. I don’t want to train one day and be out for a week because of it. This is something I found out the hard way over the recent couple of years. For me, the warming up and warming down before and after is as important as the session itself, be intelligent with how you train.
Although I have started to sprout hairs in all kinds of new orafices, remember to take care of that body, appreciate and respect it (unless you are living in Altered Carbon) as getting older you are more likely to feel that twang of the hamstring or the tear of that shoulder. Workout but do it swiftly and efficiently, have intensity but don’t red line with too heavy a weight. Think about those joints and I always don’t workout longer than 30 minutes if possible (workouts to follow in future posts).
The steady decline
The steady decline of testosterone in men after 20 years isn’t the end of the world and levels still remain respectable at 40. You may notice one or several of the following if there is any kind of deficiency:
- Sleep apnia
- Physical weakness
- Sexual problems
Should you feel any symptoms of the above its worth consulting with your doctor to see if you can be or need treatment.
With many years of martial arts training under my belt and the carrying of knocks and niggles for years during, the care and treatment of our joints must be taken into consideration. Strength and elasticity decreases making injury inevitable should you not warm up or down.
Don’t push too hard when warming up as it is just that, ease into the exercise you are doing and make sure your heart rate is elevated to the point you feel warm and ready for action.
I would never stretch back in the day, now I can feel the difference if I don’t for a few sessions. It really does make that much difference. Take time to stretch and even think about taking up yoga. I have been a yogi for nearly five years and my flexibility has increased no end. Having regular sports massage I am probably as flexible as I’ve ever been.
With the introduction of CBD for helping recovery, inflammation and sleep I feel as fit as a fiddle (I must be old to have said this).
Targets Are For Losers
We should all have a goal to aspire to, whether it’s just walking to the shops or training for a triathlon. Just because you hit four zero doesn’t mean you should not start exercising. Life expectancy is higher than its ever been, so put that wham playlist on, get your tracksuit on and get moving will ya!
Set manageable targets that you are capable of doing. Remember it’s all progress and the fact you made the effort to put those leggings on under your shorts and walk to the shops is a big deal, even if you look a complete fool. If you can train once a week do that, just make sure you stick to it. Then progress from there. Being consistent is the most important thing, as once you get in that mental zone for training, you’ll be more concerned When your not at the gym.
If you’ve read this far it’s a good indication you’ve got what it takes to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle at the tender age of 40. Just because your body is in steady decline doesn’t mean we have to shut up shop. Just remember to train slightly different to that young gent on the bench press with a fake tan and a new set of pearly white teeth. Go easy on him, you were like that once.
This past year has shown me that age is just a number and one thing youth can not give you is life experience. I’m at such peace with myself mentally and I have also been considered a “wise owl” by a mentor which I found a real compliment.
The current crop of 40 somethings have the opportunity to really push the envelope as to what a 40-year-old can be. I know we won’t disappoint, so come on, grab some hemp cream for those knackered old knees and get ready to warm up.
Remember that you don’t stop because you get old, you get old because you stop.
Till next time.