Bodybuilding can help you Look and Feel Young Again

Dec 17
16:07

2007

Sandra Prior

Sandra Prior

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One of the most important things you can do after you turn 40 is to engage in regular physical activity.

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If you are 40 years of age or older and don’t exercise,Bodybuilding can help you Look and Feel Young Again Articles you stand a good chance of developing a variety of ailments that could plague you the rest of your life: cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. But the good news is that a simple workout routine and a good nutritional program can prevent – even halt – some of these health crises. Even walking and other everyday activities like yard work can be lifesavers.

By the time you reach 40, you become more concerned about living longer. You don’t drive as fast, and you worry about health insurance. You try to avoid fights, and your contempt for your expanding midsection increases. At 40, a man or woman with no history of exercise may begin displaying the telltale signs of premature aging.

For the unexercised body, the erosion of muscle sets off a chain reaction that undermines physical abilities and functions that many take for granted. Suddenly, a flight of stairs makes your heart race; you cramp when you run; three push ups are your limit; your blood pressure rises and metabolic rate falls; your heart works harder because the blood vessel muscles lack the necessary tone to pump your blood; your bone mass declines; your flexibility diminishes causing injuries to sneak up on you; and you need reading glasses (eyes have muscles too).

If you are crossing that threshold into middle age and have never worked out, you are on your way to becoming a patient. You need an exercise and diet program. See your physician to get the go ahead for a fitness regimen. A basic physical examination might uncover symptoms or illnesses that could have an impact on your exercise program.

You might need an electrocardiogram or an exercise stress test, but usually there is no need to have a stress test if your heart isn’t acting up. By age 40, you may have non-specific changes in your electrocardiogram. Any evidence of a slight enlargement of the heart may triple the risk of a heart attack. In healthy people, the test produces too many false positives, indications that something is amiss when its not. If someone in your family has died of heart disease before age 55, or you have diabetes, hypertension, or are 30% or more overweight, a stress test is advisable. Barring a serious abnormality, you will more than likely get the okay to exercise from your doctor.

Overweight

The fatter you are, the greater the load on your circulatory system. And with extra weight, you increase the risks of such added health dangers as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and strokes. Being fat and 40 compounds the threat. Being 30% over weight can chop years off your life expectancy. On the brighter side, returning to a normal body weight any time after 40 – and maintaining it – puts you back on track for a normal lifespan.

Getting Started

When starting your exercise program, avoid working out in a very hot or very cold environment. The body’s ability to regulate temperature decreases with age, increasing the possibility of heat exhaustion or low body core temperature. Over time, exercise helps to restore the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Also, the sense of thirst decrease with age. Avoid dehydration by drinking water before, during and after a workout.

The initial conditioning should last about six weeks. You may need your physician’s continued emotional support as you make the transition from couch potato to an active lifestyle. As a bodybuilding beginner, you may want the aid of an experienced instructor, or a licensed private trainer if you can afford it. Don’t flounder around in a health club that doesn’t offer consistent guidance for novices.

After some time as a beginner, you’ll enter the improvement phase. Here, all the major physiological adaptations to exercise occur. If you continue with your steady workouts, it won’t be long before you reach a satisfactory level of muscularity, strength, cardio-respiratory fitness and decreased body weight. Both strength and aerobic training should be part of the program to provide optimum benefits.

Along with exercise, you should follow a virtually fat free diet. Although nutritionists and health professionals recommend reducing fat intake to 30% of daily calories, even less is better. You’ll have to replace those pizzas and dinners at fancy French restaurants with a natural food regimen. Purge your house of offending snacks, everything high in fat, salt, sugar and caffeine. The craving for junk food will soon disappear.

It has been proven time and time again that even if you’re over 40 and out of shape, a world of muscle, health and fitness can be yours. It requires a change of lifestyle, but over time, the only thing you’ll miss is bypass surgery.

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