Almost 40? Then it’s time to find exercise that works for you

We all know that daily exercise is beneficial to your overall health, and in particular heart-health, but when you work a full-time office job, have kids to feed, chores to fulfil, a long commute and some hundred-and-one other things to do, finding the time and energy to hit the treadmill is far from appealing. 

Excuses like ‘I’m too busy’, ‘too old, ‘too tired’ are all too common but it is this mentality that causes one to neglect decent nutrition and structured exercise, and this only puts that person at risk of developing conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and other serious health problems. 

Cancer Research UK predicts that 70% of millennials will be dangerously overweight by the age of 40. Research published in February 2018 by Prof. Linda Bauld also suggests that those born between 1980 and the mid-1990s are set to overtake baby boomers as the group with the highest proportion of obesity. While her recommendations to cut out junk food and eat a healthy diet are nothing new, the growing links of obesity and cancer may shock those who thought being overweight was only associated with health conditions such as osteoarthritis, blood pressure and diabetes.

Although this doesn’t make happy reading, the great news is that for the vast majority of people, maintaining a healthy weight is still, simply, a choice. Lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise, stopping smoking and eating a healthy diet are the answers that need to be taken seriously. 

When I was 45 I realised I needed to address my expanding waistline and commit to getting fit! I followed the Forever F.I.T. Programme and this helped me to change the way I looked and felt in just 69 days. Completing this programme definitely helped to change my mindset and I’ve continued to build on this fitness over the last three years – I’m even learning to swim so that I can take part in the full distance Ironman triathlon I committed to this summer! For me, three years on, fitness is a way of life, not just something I do for 30-40 minutes a day – but you have to start somewhere!

Did you know that it takes four weeks to notice your body changing, eight weeks for your friends to notice and twelve weeks for the rest of the world? 

I recently went to see my physio for my monthly sports massage. He’s approaching his 40th birthday, has a young family and is working hard to build his private practice. Looking down at his middle, he asked me how I find the time to keep fit. When I reminded him of the theoretical risks attached to being overweight, I explained that although fear of illness may get you started, it won’t sustain you. Sometimes simply setting your alarm clock to go off half an hour earlier each morning can make all the difference, but the best thing to do when it comes to maintaining regular exercise is to find an activity you enjoy. You should also remind yourself that you are setting an example to your children, family, colleagues, clients, etc. That’s what I do and that’s why I do it. I want to inspire my son to be the best version of himself and I’m so proud to see how determined he is to get in to the GB climbing squad for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I can’t climb but I can support, inspire and cheer him on every step of the way.

Written by Mike Butterworth

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