The Importance of Fitness for Men Over 40

older man working out

Listen up, men. We hear you. The internet is full of workout and nutrition articles targeted toward women. But what about the guys out there, looking to drop a few pounds and live their best lives?

We asked fitness celebrity, husband, father of two (soon to be three) and 40-plus-year-old cover model, Rusty Joiner to share how he keeps health and fitness at the core of his busy lifestyle. 

"I want to get in the best shape of my life, but I'm over 40. Is it even possible?" That's a question Joiner has heard too many times to count. And his response is always the same. "Yes! Yes, you can get in the best shape of your life—for the age you are now."

"Men over the age of 40 have to re-define and re-evaluate what that means," he says. "As we age, we have to change our approach, and at 40 and beyond, our approach can't reflect the same youthful intensity we once had." 

As the years tick by, the value of your workouts increases, and the need to add more detail becomes clear. In fact, Joiner says men should be focused on adding more to their workouts as they age to help stay healthy and prevent injury. 

"Adding more exercise to your repertoire can help prevent common age-related conditions, such as a decrease in muscle mass and lowered bone density," he says. 

To avert these changes, Joiner says men must learn how to approach training with pre-existing injuries in mind. "We have to make the necessary adjustments that our injury history will allow us to engage in without re-aggravating those injuries," he says. This requires you to be smart, trust your body and do the research you need to help you design a program to fit your fitness goals.

By keeping consistent in your routine and staying committed to your approach, you can set yourself up for success.

When moving into new training methods, proceed with caution. "Know that your body type, especially at this new age of 40-plus, doesn't respond the same to injury or recovery time," Joiner says. 

Ultimately, we're all trying to avoid injury. In fact, the No. 1 deterrent to getting in the best shape of your life is an injury. "Take your time and build slowly toward your fitness goals and educate yourself on new training techniques before you jump in with the rest of the group, and simply push through like us men like to do and then pay for it later with a nagging knee or shoulder for weeks to come," he says.

Why Consistency Matters 

Joiner has a simple philosophy when it comes to health: Stay consistent, eat well, get proper rest and have fun. Life over 40 can and will be the best shape of your life. That said, he does believe there is one key element that drives our motivation and ability to stick with a fitness program. 

"Over the years I have given a lot of advice, but consistency  is the greatest advice I can give," Joiner says. By keeping consistent in your routine and staying committed to your approach, you can set yourself up for success.

So, if you have a limited amount of time, and you want to stay consistent with your fitness routine, what should you focus on?

One minute of exercise is better than no minutes.

According to Joiner, shifting your workout from the amount  of weight you're lifting to the intensity  of the workout is critical, especially as you age. "It's nearly impossible to lift the same amount of weight we did when we were younger, and in fact, there is no need to now," says Joiner. That's why he frequently tells men that staying fit and injury free will trump any size gains you're seeking.

Continue reading on page two. 

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