• Ben Yates

Getting fit at 40

It's never too late to reap the benefits of healthy living.

No-one wants to get out of bed in the morning stiff as a board and taking a half-hour to straighten up your back.

Do you get out of breath walking upstairs or struggle to carry one shopping bag from the car when you have 15 to go.

Unfortunately, if we don't start to look after ourselves, we have that to look forward too as we age.

This study shows that regardless of what age you begin increasing your physical activity, there is the same reduced risk for mortality and improved quality of life.

Although there are clear benefits to exercising right through life, engaging in 150 minutes of moderate activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity can reduce risk of mortality by 32% to 35% in the 40-61 years of age bracket.

So getting in shape at 40 is definitely not too late.

Here are our 20 tips for getting fit at 40

Talk to your GP : As we age, it makes sense to check in with your doctor every now and then for a check-up. Before you start any fitness programme get yourself booked in for a general once over and make sure you get the green light to kick on.

Moderate your alcohol intake :

Reducing the amount you drink can not only have hidden benefits like reduced risk of developing long-term health issues, but you might also feel the benefits, like losing weight, increased energy levels and generally feeling better.

Motivate yourself :

The best motivation comes from within.

You'll quickly find that external reasons don't last and motivation will wane without having that inner reason driving you on.

But quite simply, if you need a reason to get and stay fit, how about living better, for longer?

Stick to exercise guidelines :

Adults are recommended to do a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity every day.

Start by walking for 30 minutes a day, or break it up into 3 x 10 minute walks a day, you'll quickly find that you improve if you stay consistent.

Ask for help :

Speak to a recommended personal trainer near you for advice and support in getting started.

A qualified personal trainer will be able to advise you on how to set up an exercise programme, make healthy additions to your diet, whilst holding you accountable for doing what you said you would in the early days.

On your bike :

Cycling helps to strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles and is an efficient and effective way to burn calories and aid fat loss.

It also puts less impact and stress through your joints, which is great if you have joint issues or an injury but still provides an excellent aerobic workout.

Take the stairs :

Any situation where you opt to walk rather than take the lift or escalator will benefit your fitness, energy levels and calorie burn.

Choosing the stairs burns more calories than a normal walk and will help improve your leg strength.

Your body is your personal gym :

Not ready for the gym yet? No problem.

Bodyweight exercises are a great way to build muscle, get stronger, improve your balance, build bone density and help reduce body fat.

A home workout that includes bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, sit-ups, step-ups and planks, for a minimum of two sessions a week will achieve the benefits of this