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5 Ways To Recover Faster From Exercise In Your 40s

No longer a spring chicken.

Some days these words mean very little.

But some days, you feel the full brunt of it.


Well working out in your 20’s or 30’s isn’t anything like working out in our 40’s. And by working out, I mean hard.

So ask yourself.. are back to back classes at the gym now followed by extreme fatigue, and the inability to even get out of bed? Are you so fatigued you fall asleep mid task? Well, to me, the rule of thumb should be that exercise should energize and uplift you, not make you feel trashed for days. Different folks have different levels of fitness as they enter their 40’s so you just need to know, which type you are. The idea is never to over do it.

Here are some tips on how to recover faster from exercises in your 40’s..

1. Sleep More & Hydrate More

Sleep is the body’s way of healing. When you were 20, you needed less sleep to recover than in your 40’s, that’s for sure. So get as many quality hours in as possible, even if it means sleeping earlier than before. Many important physiological processes occur during deep sleep. Most deep sleep occurs during the first two sleep cycles with the greatest amount of deep sleep typically occurring in the first cycle. Human growth hormone is released in a pulsed manner during deep sleep and interruption of this stage abruptly stops release of this hormone. In adults growth hormone promotes cell repair that is necessary after the ill effects of stress. Also, good ole H2O is critical for rehydrating when the body experiences fluid loss, such as when we sweat. If you’re working out for longer than an hour or doing a particularly intense exercise (like running a marathon or participating in a tough training session), you’ll need to replace electrolytes too of course. In your 40’s you will find that you fatigue more easily if you are dehydrated, than you did in your 20’s or 30’s.

2. Reduce exercise time

This is a no brainer but you will be surprised how pride keeps you from admitting you’ve just had enough, or one too many hardcore classes at the gym. Exercise increases cortisol, and as you get older it affects your adrenals and metabolism. Now, instead of hours and hours at the gym and back to back gym class sessions, I do 20 minutes of resistance training, followed by a 40-minute run and that’s it. Outdoor running, unless training for a marathon, has been reduced to 10KM and 21KM sessions max.  Of course the 30KM runs come back, once in training for an FM (full marathon), but till then, I am happy taking it easy.

3. Check your micro and macronutrients

Eat the right stuff ie. the good stuff within 30 minutes post workout. Macronutrients are the structural and energy-giving caloric components of our foods that most of us are familiar with. They include carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that are essential for good health. The quantity and quality of these nutrients vary greatly, depending on not only what types of food you eat, but also the quality of those foods. Processed foods tend to have more macronutrients than natural foods at the expense of micronutrients. This is because processing food strips the foods of many of the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals and gives the food a longer shelf life. So cereal grains, breads, candy and sweets, dairy products, much of fast foods and other processed foods give you tons of calories without much micronutrient content. So you’re better off skipping the stuff that comes in packages that can sit in your pantry for months and not spoil. Eat lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grains instead.

4. Add more recovery days

Back in the day, I used to work out 7 days per week, and hardly felt worse for wear. These days, Even 4 days of intense workout can shatter me. Now, the best compromise is working out every other day to ensure I get a day to properly recover from my workouts. On off days, I do yoga or foam rolling to stretch my muscles, helping to further recovery. I feel energized and fitter than before for sure.

5. Eat and drink natural anti-inflammatories

A potent natural anti-inflammatory is turmeric – you can buy turmeric supplements at the pharmacy. Also fruits high in antioxidants and flavonoids like blueberries and cherries can help in the recovery process and reduce inflammation.

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