“Don’t worry about getting old, worry about thinking old.”
-Sue Fitzmaurice, author
I so identify with this quote! When I hit 40 I kept saying to friends...I don’t feel 40! After months of celebrating many 40th birthday parties, my girlfriends and I came to the conclusion that it was more important to think young then worry about getting old. Think YOUNG! What a concept. I started to relate this theory to fitness at 40 and how my mind set is what keeps me moving.
The reality is that we still have the same energy we had at 30, but in most cases by 40 we are expending it differently. We have busy careers, growing families and many commitments related to all those things. So our energy is generally spent managing our lives. Many days, my mind is ready to quit before my body. Exercising helps me manage my daily stress. I know that is the same for many of my friends. I am fortunate to have a group of women in my life who exercise for that purpose (and to stay healthy of course), who keep me motivated and sane.
The other side to all of this exercise talk is variety. Lets be real – our bodies face different challenges, and gravity after 40. Our hormones tend to dictate where we carry our weight, all while making it hard to lose or maintain our weight and muscle. So adding variety to our exercise routine is key. Specifically adding weights and body weight based moves to our routines, is key to building and maintaining muscle and burning fat. I choose Crossfit to offset my running days and help me build muscle.
I know there are many articles and theories about the pros and cons of Crossfit. Many think we “drink” the Kool Aid and/or that it is a cult. I get it- people who Crossfit do speak a different language. I am not paid spokesperson (nor a fitness expert) – I do not get paid to speak my opinion on this subject. I truly find Crossfit and these types of exercises, to be the best way to build muscle, burn fat and get in shape. For me, after several years of going to Crossfit, and then taking breaks from it, I have found what works for me. I enjoy the intensity of the short burst workouts, the feeling of the lifting weights (even though they are light), and the successful feeling of a hard workout.
I don’t go crazy lifting heavy weights, and I scale the exercises depending on how feel and what else I have done that week. I am only in competition with myself – and even if I am the slowest person there, I am THERE! I do the workout, I sweat, I hurt (in a good way) and I socialize. For one hour, that is my time.
I am not telling you to run out and join your local Crossfit box, buy the special sneakers and start competing! What I am saying is find what works for you. Many of the Crossfit exercises can either be done at home with some basic equipment (kettle bell, jump rope, etc.) or at your local gym. Many gyms and programs offer Crossfit type workouts at beginner levels.
So, on those cold early mornings when I drag myself out of bed to meet the girls for a run, or head to my local Box (Victor CrossFit), I remind myself to ignore the stiffness and the creaking sounds, and get moving! Don’t be afraid to try new things, challenge your body and get out of your comfort zone. And always remember if you THINK young, you will feel it!!!
About this blogger:
Beth is a 40 year old (almost 41) wife, a grateful mother of twin girls (they did a number on her body though), freelance marketing consultant, and runner, (kind of), in a love/hate relationship with her Crossfit trainers. Oh and a big fan of wine!