Feel Young After Forty: Three Proven Ways

February 23, 2022 by Lazer Brody

You can look and feel young past forty. Even if you have neglected your health and fitness in the past, you can still make a new beginning.

As Long as the Candle Burns

Don’t consider yourself over the hill. No way! Rabbi Israel Salanter (1810-1883) once walked by the shop of a shoemaker who was working way past midnight. He approached the shoemaker and said, “My brother, look how late it is. Why are you still working?” The shoemaker replied, “As long as the candle is burning, it is still possible to mend.” Cherished friends, as long as you’re still living, you can “mend” too. Let’s get going!

No Magic Solutions

Modern lifestyle like poor eating choices and lack of exercise hastens aging. But here’s the good news: if you eat properly, exercise properly and make a few adjustments to your lifestyle, you can look and feel young well into your senior years.

To maintain your youth, your health and your overall well-being, you can’t eat, exercise or live the way you did in your 20’s. If you’re a person over 40 who shuns exercise and proper nutrition principles, I have no magic solution for you. As long as you don’t suffer from an irreversible health problem, you can maintain fitness while looking and feeling young by taking action in three important ways:

  1. Exercising properly, in quality and quantity.
  2. Eating properly, in quality and quantity.
  3. Lowering stress levels.
Proper Exercise After 40

After 40, it’s time to change priorities and choose functional fitness and good health over bulging biceps and 6-pack abs. The best indications of functional fitness are climbing a few flights of stairs two-at-a-time without a shortness of breath and simply waking up in the morning with no pains. Here are a few simple pointers to prevent burnout and injuries after 40:

  1. Choose quality over quantity: instead of 100 pushups in terrible form, go for 10 slow ones with perfect pushup form with total range of motion. Proper form (keyword!) while doing proper exercises does wonders for the body whereas improper form and improper exercises are especially damaging after 40.
  2. Stay away from ego and fad exercising: the web still hosts a crowd full of the 6-Pack-Ab-Pushers who are still peddling sit-ups and crunches. The vast majority of physical therapists and exercise physiologists shudder from these type of back-busters. They impose extremely large compression forces on the discs and vertebrae of the spine, especially in the lower back. Go for gentler, more effective exercises like the plank and its variations.
  3. Train smarter, not harder. Generally speaking, until age 65 or unless you have a cardiac condition, a twenty-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout can be just as effective, if not more, that three hours in the gym. Such exercises not only burn fat while working but have an afterburn, which is bonus additional energy your body expends after you’ve finished exercising. This is known in exercise physiology as EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Even after 70, you can do a HIIT-style walk that will earn the burn by walking two minutes at normal pace, then thirty seconds at accelerated pace for twenty minutes. That totals eight rounds of 2.5 minute cycles. This is the type of cardio workout that’s great to do on Friday, so that your body will continue to burn calories on Shabbat.
  4. Be consistent, but not boring: 15 minutes of bodyweight exercise 4-5 days a week is far better than a weekly 3-hour session in the gym. Do resistance (bodyweight or weightlifting) workouts on one day followed by a cardio (jogging, biking or walking) workout the next day. Varying workouts prevents both monotony and burnout.
  5. Exercise frequently: instead of coffee breaks, take a plank and/or pushup break. Shun the elevator and walk up the stairs. Leave the car in the driveway for any task that’s less than a fifteen minute walk from your home.
Proper Eating After 40

Fast food, junk food, and additive-loaded manufactured food murder fitness levels and accelerate aging, as do overeating and fad dieting. Low fat and low carb diets are terrible because the body depends on quality fats and quality complex carbs rather than low levels of fats and carbs. The key to proper eating comes from King David, who says in Psalm 34:15, “Leave the bad and do good.”

Throw away simple carbs – especially white sugar, white flour and sugary beverages. Substitute them with complex carbs. My favorites of which are quinoa, whole-grain rice, buckwheat and oats. Baked potatoes and yams are also fine, especially if you eat them with their skin. Examples of quality fats are salmon, avocado and cold-pressed natural oils such as coconut, olive, sesame or flaxseed. Eggs, fish and poultry are great choices for protein. Veggies and fruit should make up the majority of what you consume. In general, Vitamin D, Zinc and calcium play big roles in maintaining youth and fitness, Also, we need to get as much sunlight as we can. The following foods are fountains of youth:

  1. Natural herbs – ashwagandha is fantastic, and so is fresh ginger, garlic, turmeric and fenugreek. If you can’t obtain the fresh roots (or seeds, in the case of fenugreek), use the powdered form. These herbs are staples in the Middle-Eastern and Indian diets.
  2. Seeds and nuts – almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds should be regulars in your salads and meals.
  3. Eggs
  4. Vitamins – if you eat healthy and naturally, with plenty of fresh veggies in your diet, you won’t need vitamin supplements. But, if you live in a climate without much sunlight or if you don’t get sufficient sunlight exposure (15-20 minutes, at least two hours after sunrise or 2 hours before sundown), then a Vitamin D supplement is important.
Lowering Stress Levels After 40

Cortisol, the stress hormone, is public enemy #1. Cortisol murders weight-loss, accelerates aging and is conducive to storing fat because the body thinks that it’s in survival mode. Don’t overwork and don’t over-exercise, for both are counter productive. There is no better stress-buster than emuna. Try the time-proven wisdom of 3 Words of Emuna and the Trail to Tranquility. They’ll pave your way to great health of body, mind and soul.

Also, join us weekly on our Emuna Hour lessons on Zoom. That way, you’ll be lowering your stress levels dramatically in a few weeks. All of you have to do to receive your weekly personal invitation is to subscribe to our newsletter here. Thanks to our wonderful donors and sponsors, all the materials on this site as well as participation in our live Zoom lessons are absolutely free of charge. Stick with us, and blessings for your health and vitality until your 120th birthday!

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