Turning 40

Resistance is vital
Resistance is vital

No not me, you. That ship sailed for me a couple of decades back. But as I was approaching that age I was starting to think about how I would stay healthy. I had two kids, I was working as a journalist and just leaving the heavy drinking madness of the 80s and 90s behind and thinking how I was going to stay alive if I ever planned to be 60.

So. You’re in your late 30s, you might even be in your 40s. God forbid you might be older, does that even happen to people who are interested in living a life? (Trust me when you get to your 60s you are not going to rather be dead, you will be planning how to be a strong, fit 70-year old). Have you put on a pound or two? Is that stopping you doing things. Are you a bit unhappy about your fitness levels? Could you really run for a bus if you had to? Can you touch your toes? Do a charity run if your mates were signing up? Have you thought: “You know I really should do something about this”?

That’s probably the key point. Realising that you want to (or have to) really sort something out or you’re going to be trapped in dadbod or mumbod for the rest of your life. Just maybe something ominous is going to happen in a few years when a doctor frowns, turns away from your test results and says, “The thing is…” at some checkup in a few years.

It probably doesn’t have to be much but you know all the books and wellness websites say adults need 150 minutes of moderate” exercise a week to stay healthy and you haven’t run or been in a gym for years, let alone contemplated the notion of picking up a weight. My DEAR, the sweat!

So now you’re back to square one, even worse because you’re freaked out about knowing where to start and thinking “150 minutes? are you effing kidding?” Ah, but fret not. You’ve already taken the most important step. All you have to do now is find something you enjoy doing and stick to it. Not so easy during lockdown, when all the gyms are shut and you can’t enter a charity race or event.

It really doesn’t have to be Couch to 5k, You don’t have to sign up to Zoom exercise classes. Even though they weren’t even a thing a year ago. Just move a bit. Walking is going to be the best. A bit of stretching. A 10 minute jog. Even jogging on the spot or star jumps for 10-15 minutes. I bet you’ve got a pair of 5kg dumbells in a wardrobe or a few stretch bands somewhere. A skipping rope? Top fun.

Ah, but Keiron, I hear you say, how will I get fit doing that? The answer is you will have made a start. If you don’t already have any manifest issues like high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes or arthritis there’s no reason you can’t follow a C25K programme. If you can run 5k you can run 10k. Resistance is vital. Pick up something heavy sometimes. And STRETCH! Your posture will improve and you will move like a 30 something, not a 40 something. Most of all, have fun!

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How’s your running going? Mine was fine. On September 12 I did a 10k run at Kew Gardens, about an hour, off my pb of 57 minutes but nothing dramatic.