Don’t give up: staying in shape over 40

It has been proven that physically active adults have a lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Doing sport is always healthy, but the years go by and you have to adapt to your body’s needs and possibilities.

There are many advantages to doing sport after the age of 40. People do sport for many reasons and each person must find his or her own. However, no matter how fit you are, the years go by, and it is important to take breaks and check-ups, knowing your own limitations, as injuries become harder with age.

Extending one’s sporting life is a positive thing, as long as it is done wisely. It has been shown that adults who are in good physical condition and who are physically active have a lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Importance of medical check-ups in sport

Anyone over 40 years of age who is going to start a physical activity should undergo an examination. The check-up will ensure that the heart is healthy, since, when doing high-intensity exercise, it can favor the appearance of arrhythmias or angina pectoris. In addition, if there is any alteration that had gone unnoticed, it can lead, in extreme cases, to sudden death, according to experts in cardiology.
Although these cases are very rare, prevention is very important, hence an electrocardiogram and a complete physical examination should be performed. If abnormalities are found, an in-depth investigation will be carried out.

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Prudence and common sense in sport

Above all, each person must know his or her body and listen to its needs, and be prudent. It should be taken into account that those who do intense sport at an advanced age may have a shorter life expectancy than sedentary people.

It is necessary to know where to start from. If the person is sedentary, the important thing is to start gradually, with low intensity exercises. A good start would be to walk at a brisk pace, about ten minutes, at least five days a week. This alone will improve physical condition, lower cholesterol levels and allow better control of blood glucose levels. Afterwards, the intensity can be increased, always making sure that it is well tolerated.

Cardiac symptoms of excessive sport

It is essential to listen to the heart, since from the age of 40 onwards, and especially in men, the chances of suffering injuries increase.
Some of the signs that indicate that the heart is having a bad time are:

  • Some discomfort in the general area of the chest, which increases in intensity with exertion
  • Feeling of disproportionate fatigue
  • Sensation of loss of consciousness and alterations of the cardiac rhythm.

In general, if at the end of the training session there is a feeling that it could not be repeated, it is a sign that the intensity must be lowered, since the body has been demanded beyond its possibilities.

It is important to exercise, as strength decreases with age and physical fitness declines. If physical fitness is not maintained throughout life, it will be difficult to get out of bed or off the couch, for example, at the age of 75. However, the most important thing is common sense: know yourself and exercise consistently. The important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself, without feeling pain or overexertion.