Skip to content

Forty ways to stay fit

Vierzig Wege fit zu bleiben

Forty ways to stay fit

Fight the 40

Forty. This is the age that society generally considers to be the threshold for the beginning of old age. This number is quite arbitrary, but we can't deny that somewhere around the fourth decade of life, athletic ability begins to abruptly decline. Things generally don't seem to work as well as they used to.

The only choice is to bravely carry on and hope that, against all odds, you might still be able to extract some anemic joy from the rest of your feeble days.

Of course, there could also be an alternative. You could simply say no to supposed decrepitude. You could fight. You could choose to continue functioning as the testosterone-laden man you've always been. If you decide to do this, then this guide can help you.

Training

1 - Don't worry about changing things after you turn 40.

Assuming that you are an experienced strength athlete who has just turned 40, you don't necessarily need to start training differently regardless of your goals.

If I'm honest, I'm getting tired of hearing people ask me how they should train after they turn forty. You don't need to train lighter or less often. Do the rest of the stuff below and you won't have to change a damn thing about your workouts - except maybe pay a little more attention to recovery.

2 - Pay attention to fluid movements.

The ability or inability to move freely and without pain isn't just something old farts should worry about. A lack of mobility often begins to show its arthritic face in your forties, but few men do anything about this until they've reached the mobility of an old dry stick.

As bad as it may sound, you might want to think about taking a yoga class. Or you could consider Tai Chi, Jiu Jitsu or stretching. Whatever you decide to do, choose one of these options, grit your teeth and get started. The true measure of youthfulness is often the fluidity of movement.

Hormones

3 - You need to maintain testosterone levels that are in the normal to high normal range.

After working out and eating healthy, this is the best thing you can do for yourself.

As you get older, the levels of desirable hormones start to decline and often the levels of undesirable hormones rise at the same time. This is the nature of things. The primary hormone whose levels begin to decline is, of course, testosterone.

Not only willtestosterone help you look and feel younger - low testosterone levels have also been linked to heart disease. A meta-study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association looked at over 100 testosterone studies and concluded that low testosterone levels are associated with a variety of potential diseases:

  • A higher risk of cardiovascular disease
  • A narrowing of the carotid artery
  • Abnormal ECG
  • A higher incidence of heart failure
  • A higher incidence of angina
  • An increase in BMI
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Insulin resistance
  • More abdominal fat
  • A higher mortality rate from all causes of death including heart disease

4 - Get your testosterone levels checked.

Ask to have your total testosterone and free testosterone levels tested. Even if the results indicate normal testosterone levels, you can more or less ignore them and just use them as baseline values. We are more interested in the symptoms of low testosterone levels.

Signals that your testosterone light is starting to "flicker" include an unexplained increase in body fat, loss of muscle tone, inability to progress during your training sessions, weaker or absent erections, difficulty concentrating or declining memory, depression, a lack of "appropriate aggressiveness" (being powerful and assertive when the situation calls for it) and general signs of premature aging.

5 - Use testosterone replacement therapy.

If you exhibit any of these symptoms, you should consider testosterone injections, which are the crème de la crème of hormone replacement therapy. 100 milligrams per week is sufficient for most men.

6 - Inject your testosterone subcutaneously (under the skin).

Subcutaneous testosterone injections have recently been shown to be more effective than intramuscular injections because there is less aromatization (less testosterone is converted to estrogen) and less scar tissue formation in the muscles.

7 - Monitor your estrogen levels too.

As you get older, more and more testosterone is converted to estrogen. When estrogen levels rise uncontrollably, the risk of degenerative diseases skyrockets. The rate of arteriosclerosis increases. Strokes occur more frequently. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases. Emotional disorders become more prevalent. The risk of prostate cancer increases.

And it doesn't stop there. Erectile function suffers. Waist circumference increases. It becomes harder to build muscle. And most importantly, high oestrogen levels significantly increase the risk of mortality.

When scientists monitored the estrogen levels of 501 men suffering from heart failure, they found that men with estradiol levels (the most potent form of estrogen) that were in the normal range (between 21.80 pg/mL and 30.11 pg/mL) had the fewest deaths over the three-year study period. Men with the highest levels (above 37.99) experienced 133 percent more deaths during the same period.

However, the men with the lowest oestrogen levels (below 12.90) were the worst off, with 317% more deaths in this group. So estrogen levels certainly play a big role when it comes to the health of your heart, as well as the health of a variety of body systems and bodily functions.

8 - Have a watchful eye for visible symptoms of high estrogen levels.

These include:

  • An increase in belly fat
  • A loss of muscle mass
  • Low libido, decreasing erectile function
  • Fatigue
  • An increase in fatty tissue in the nipple area
  • Depression, emotional disorders
  • Symptoms in the urinary tract associated with benign prostate enlargement

9 - Have your estrogen levels checked.

Ask your doctor for a comprehensive laboratory test of estrogen levels. The (American) laboratory codes for such tests include:

  • LabCorp "Sensitive Estradiol" - code 140244, 500108
  • Quest Diagnostics "Ultrasensitive Estradiol" - code 30289
  • ARUP TMX - Code 93247
  • Mayo Clinic "Enhanced Estradiol" - Code EEST

10 - Make sure your estrogen levels are in the optimal range.

Normal lab values for male estrogen levels look like this - but as long as the value is somewhere between 22 and 28 pg/ml, everything should be in the green:

  • Age 40-49: 24.7 pg/ml
  • Age 50-59: 22.1 pg/ml
  • Age 60-69: 21.5 pg/ml
  • Age 70-80: 21.9 pg/ml

11 - Avoid xenoestrogens whenever possible.

Xenoestrogens are environmental chemicals that mimic estrogen. These chemicals - primarily heavy metals, synthetic chemicals like DES and DDT, and industrial chemicals like phytalates - are increasing and accumulating in more body tissues with each passing year.

These chemicals are found in foods, adhesives, fire retardants, cleaning products, drinking water, perfumes, waxes, household cleaners, lubricants - in other words, almost everywhere.

Although we do not yet know the exact extent of the damage caused by these chemicals, there have been numerous reports of biological abnormalities in both animals and humans in recent decades (mutations, indeterminate sexual organs, reduced fertility, more people listening to jazz music, etc.).

In 1992, a team of reproductive specialists from Copenhagen announced that sperm counts in the industrial world had fallen by 50% since 1938. (This means, in a sense, that you are probably only half as male as your grandfather).

What's more, there's plenty of evidence that these chemicals are part of all of us. Scientists have found that 75% of samples taken from 400 adults contained significant levels of industrial xenoestrogens, while 98.3% of samples contained DHT and its derivatives.

To make matters even more worrying, different xenoestrogens appear to interact synergistically, amplifying their effects. To avoid these unhealthy chemicals, here's what you should do:

  • Buy organic produce
  • Store your food in glass containers instead of plastic containers
  • Remove plastic wrap before heating food in the microwave
  • Use purely organic detergents and household cleaners
  • Use all-organic cosmetics and skin care products
  • Avoid plastic whenever possible and don't drink water from bottles that have been in the sun for a long time.

12 - Avoid phytoestrogens.

While xenoestrogens are man-made monstrosities, phytoestrogens are found in plants. Xenoestrogens accumulate in fatty tissue, while phytoestrogens are metabolized and excreted relatively quickly. This means that phytoestrogens are not nearly as problematic as xenoestrogens.

Nevertheless, you should be careful not to consume too many of these pytoestrogens, as they are similar to oestrogen on a molecular level and can therefore act like oestrogen. Phytoestrogens can be found in a variety of foods, with the largest amounts found in soy products and soy protein. Avoid these products if possible.

13 - Combat high oestrogen levels through your diet.

Many vegetables contain indole-3-carbinol, which reduces the effects of oestrogen. This chemical is found in useful amounts in broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and other cabbages.

Calcium D-glutarate is also a powerful estrogen fighter that helps the body eliminate estrogen before it is reabsorbed. You can find useful amounts of this compound in grapefruit, apples, oranges and the same vegetables that are rich in indoles.

However, these fruits and vegetables cannot easily regulate estrogen levels that are completely out of control. At best, they can shift the amount of estrogen metabolites in the body in your favor. At the same time, you should avoid foods that shift the amount of estrogen metabolites to your disadvantage, such as soy products.

14 - Combat high estrogen levels with supplements.

Because elevated estrogen levels are such a big problem, the supplement industry has spent a lot of time researching this problem and looking for solutions. Here are the vitamins, nutrients and compounds that have the most powerful effect in normalizing estrogen levels:

  • Boron (boron) reduces levels of free estrogen.
  • Curcumin reduces the effects of the aromatase enzyme that converts testosterone into oestrogen.
  • Fish oil and especially DHA reduces the number of oestrogen receptors.
  • Green tea appears to inhibit aromatase.
  • Resveratrol reduces the activity of the aromatase enzyme.
  • Zinc reduces the activity of oestrogen receptors.

Cellular energy and health

15 - Take care of your mitochondria.

Mitochondria are tiny little organelles which, as the word suggests, are a kind of tiny organ. Their main function is to supply cells with energy. Without mitochondria, your eyes would not have enough energy to follow this sentence. A cell can contain a single mitochondrion or up to hundreds or thousands of mitochondria, depending on its energy requirements.

Metabolically active cells such as liver, kidney, heart, brain and muscle cells have so many mitochondria that they make up 40% of the cell, while other non-stress cells such as blood or skin cells have very few mitochondria.

The mitochondria also control when a cell lives and dies - a process known as apoptosis. If enough cells commit suicide (apoptosis) frequently enough, it's like a butcher cutting off a pound of salami - slice by slice, causing the salami, or in our case the liver, kidneys, brain, immune system cells and even the heart, to lose mass and effectiveness. This is the reason why the diseases of ageing occur.

The organs that are hit the hardest are those that are rich in mitochondria, such as the muscles, brain, liver and kidneys. Specific mitochondria-related diseases range from Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes, various pathological types of muscle weakness to Syndrome X.

Take a look at heart patients, for example. In general, they have a 40% reduction in mitochondrial DNA. And as proof that the mitochondrial deficit is passed on from generation to generation, it should be mentioned that the insulin-resistant children of type II diabetics, although young and slim, have on average 38% fewer mitochondria in their muscle cells. Mitochondrial dysfunction has even been shown to be an indicator of prostate cancer progression in patients treated with surgery.

Certainly, mitochondria play a critical role in the development of a variety of diseases and maintaining a high level of normal, healthy mitochondria could well eliminate many of these.

16 - Use supplements for mitochondrial health.

  • Coenzyme Q10 supports mitochondrial function.
  • Nitrates (found in spinach and beetroot) improve mitochondrial efficiency.
  • Vitamin D improves oxidative function in the mitochondria.
  • Baby aspirin acts as a mild respiratory decoupler.
  • Indigo-3G® (cyanidin-3 glucoside) mediates mitochondrial division.
  • PQQ may induce proliferation of cellular mitochondria.
  • In addition to its anti-estrogen and pro-testosterone properties, resveratrol increases mitochondrial size and mitochondrial density. It also protects the mitochondria from oxidative stress.

Nutrition

17 - Eat protein - lots of it - with every meal.

Your goal is to eat between 1.5 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day. Of course, this is not the same recommendation I would make for someone who is 25 years old and wants to build 40 pounds of muscle - it is the recommendation for those who want to live a long and healthy life.

Furthermore, you should avoid meals that consist only of carbohydrates or carbohydrates and fats. This means that the days of bagles with a little cream cheese are over. If you insist on a bagel, then you should eat it with smoked salmon or turkey or in the form of an egg sandwich.

If you want to have a salad for lunch, make sure it has plenty of chicken in it. Dinner should consist of steamed or grilled vegetables with olive oil, accompanied by 120 to 200 grams of meat (fish, beef, poultry, pork, etc.).

You will probably need a high quality protein supplement to support your protein intake. It's best to choose a combination of casein and whey protein. And don't skimp on price. When it comes to protein powder, you often get what you pay for. You should also avoid protein powders that contain dubious additional supplements. Stick to a simple protein powder instead.

Add a few scoops to water or milk to meet your protein needs. Drink one or two servings with milk before going to bed so you can build lean muscle tissue all night long.

18 - Eat plenty of protein before, during and immediately after your workout.

Amino acids including the branched chain amino acids(BCAAs) provide up to 15% of the muscle energy needed during a training session, but the use of BCAAs can increase by up to 500% depending on the intensity and duration of the workout.

If you don't get this protein from your diet, your body will cannibalize your muscles. However, you can stop the cannibalism by consuming the right types of protein before, during and after your workout. And when you conserve muscle protein and negate protein breakdown, you prepare your muscles for recovery and remodeling, also known as growth. The best way to do this is to consume a protein and carbohydrate-rich drink before and during your workout.

And while most people know the value of consuming another protein and carbohydrate-rich meal post-workout, it's important that you consume this meal during the first hour or two after your workout.

19 - Eat plenty of fiber.

Consume at least 20 grams of fiber per day from sources such as beans, vegetables, fruit, oatmeal, whole grain bread, etc. If you can't get enough fiber from whole foods, consider a fiber source such as psyllium husk or Metamucil.

20 - Avoid foods that are sold in a box.

Before the 18th century, very few people suffered from diabetes. And then came the invention of the high-speed mill wheel. Before this invention, flour was coarse. The bread that was baked from it looked as if it was filled with wood chips. It was therefore slow to digest. But after the mill wheel appeared on the scene, bread was baked from fine flour. It was easy to digest. It caused a rapid rise in insulin levels like after eating cotton candy. By the end of the day, diabetes began to show its ugly face.

It's not much different today. A food sold in boxes is generally made of highly processed carbohydrates and these are the cause of much of the obesity in this country. Stay away from these. Buy whole, fresh foods whenever possible.

21 - Try to buy meat from grass-fed cattle.

Let's be clear. "Grass-fed" is often a scam. All cows are initially grass-fed before being put into fattening plots for the last few weeks of their lives. There they are fattened up with corn, which changes the quality of their meat. Look for terms like "100% grass-fed" to make sure the meat you're eating has the right ratio of healthy fats and contains higher amounts of vitamins.

22 - Don't eat anything your grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

The key message is this: most foods that you wouldn't immediately recognize as food, like things that come in tubes or weird packaging, are criminally low in nutrients. They often replace one "bad" food (like fat) with another and the result is something pretty pathetic.

Consider dairy products, especially low-fat or fat-free milk. They remove the fat, but to maintain the creamy texture, they add milk powder, which contains oxidized cholesterol. In addition to this, removing the fat also removes all the fat-soluble vitamins, which then have to be added in artificial form. And if you drink it, these vitamins will not be absorbed unless you consume some fat along with the milk! Yes, drink whole milk, but not so much of it as it has a higher calorie density.

Similarly, traditional bread is made with flour, water, yeast and salt, whereas something like Sara Lee's "Soft and Fluffy White Whole Wheat Bread" contains about two dozen chemical ingredients. Stop eating weird Frankenstein foods.

23 - Eat sauerkraut.

A good part of how you think, feel and function is based on your digestive tract, or more specifically, the bacteria that live in your gut. So we need to help populate the gut with bacteria and do something to feed those bacteria. And this is where sauerkraut comes in, which is made by allowing shredded cabbage and salt to ferment over several weeks.

And adding a little bit of this to your daily diet could help improve just about every aspect of your health from digestive health to heart and skin health. Buy only the refrigerated stuff. Make sure not to cook it, as this will kill the good bacteria it contains.

If you insist on meeting your gut bacteria needs with yogurt, at least avoid the stuff with sugar as this will feed the competing bad gut bacteria. Buy yogurt that doesn't look totally industrialized and has a distinctly different taste than a Dairy Queen Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard. Eat the stuff your grandmother would recognize as yogurt.

24 - Forget multivitamins.

Multivitamins in the form of supplements taken to meet predetermined nutritional needs don't work - and scientific research proves it.

These products use a "one size fits all" philosophy. They're all based on a bell curve, and while this might fit a 70-pound city employee named Phil who lives in Akron, Ohio, it might not apply to real athletes, bigger (or smaller) people, or you.

There are also many possible interactions. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and therefore best taken with food. Iron should not be consumed with coffee or tea as tannins interfere with absorption. Iron also impairs the absorption of zinc and copper. And vitamins A and E can counteract the absorption of vitamin K.

And then there is the problem of phytates - compounds found in whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. These are problematic as they impair the absorption of trace elements. In parts of the world where consumption of phytates is high and consumption of meat and seafood is low, you can see epidemic mineral deficiencies manifesting in developmental delays, mental deficits, dwarfism and hypogonadism.

Last but not least, multivitamins are manufactured without looking at the big picture. Science has shown that there are 24 essential vitamins and minerals and it's easy to see how simplistic, two-dimensional thinking could lead to the assumption that you can simply isolate these substances, put them in a pill and feed the world.

However, we have seen that this usually doesn't work. People do not get and stay healthy by consuming multivitamin products. Perhaps these nutrients are not meant to be taken in isolation and on their own. Perhaps they need to be taken with whole foods to be truly effective. Perhaps these nutrients need to work together with other (or perhaps even all) micronutrients and phytochemicals found in a whole food source to be effective.

25 - Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Eat plenty from the cornucopia of fruits and vegetables. Throw two handfuls of raisins or frozen berries into your oatmeal or cereal. Have apples, bananas and bags of plums on hand as snacks. Have spinach leaves on hand to throw in the pan before you make your scrambled eggs. Chop and slice all the veggies you can find into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil, cover with aluminum foil and either throw on the grill or in the oven for half an hour. The key is variety and volume. Buy fruits and vegetables you've never heard of. Make it a rule to include new fruits and vegetables in your diet every week.

Supplements for overall health and longevity

26 - Take certain chelated minerals.

If you are an athlete, then you sweat and therefore probably suffer from a deficiency of zinc, which along with selenium maintains high testosterone levels and immune system function. If you're just an old person, then you probably suffer from a magnesium deficiency and magnesium alone is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, ranging from nerve function to protein synthesis.

Certain minerals such as chromium and vanadium help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and insulin levels - and it would take another 10,000 words to explain. Suffice it to say that these minerals are often in short supply and athletes would do well to take them preferably in chelated form.

27 - Use vitamin D3.

If you are able to spend 15 to 30 minutes in the sun every day fairly naked without getting skin cancer or looking like an old rotten glove, then you can do without vitamin D supplements. Otherwise, you should be taking 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day to benefit from better cognitive function, better immune health, and better health while reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

28 - Take coenzyme Q10.

CoQ10 is what's considered a pseudo-vitamin because it's essential for life, but it's not essential for life to supplement it. Nevertheless, you should consider taking 90 to 200 mg per day with food to reduce plaque buildup in the arteries and fuel the mitochondria.

29 - Swallow resveratrol.

This compound may or may not directly increase your life expectancy - we're not sure yet. However, it may protect us from insulin resistance and heart disease and act as a potent estrogen antagonist and aromatase inhibitor. Take 1800 mg daily.

30 - Use cyandin 3-glucoside.

This substance, found in colored berries and fruit, regulates the master chemical switch known as AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase). This master switch plays a major role in determining how fat you get and how long you will live. Take 2400 to 3600 mg per day before meals.

31 - Consume omega-3 fatty acids.

We live in an omega-6 world and it's killing us. Nature intended for us to have a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in our bodies, but because of our fast food lifestyle, this ratio is more in the 20:1 range in favor of omega-6.

Therefore, inflammation runs amok in our bodies and the best way to stop this is to reduce the amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and swallow those beautiful amber colored fish oil capsules. Take up to 12,000 mg of a combined DHA/EPA formula once a day.

32 - Take CLA.

Conjugated linoleic acid - or CLA - is a fatty acid found in higher amounts in meat from grass-fed cattle. Since most of us don't eat much meat from grass-fed cattle, we probably suffer from a deficiency of this important fatty acid. Numerous studies have shown that CLA is a powerful cancer fighter and also plays a role in normalizing blood pressure and fighting cardiovascular disease, in addition to helping with osteoporosis, inflammation and even improving body composition. Take about 1000 mg per day (products containing both CLA isomers are best).

33 - Eat liver.

Organ meats are the most nutrient-dense food on the planet. Learn to eat it.

34 - Sprinkle herbs and spices on your food.

They don't get a lot of attention, but herbs and spices have almost the same nutrient density as organ meats. Stock your pantry with a variety of different herbs and spices and use them on everything in the amounts your taste buds can tolerate.

35 - Rely on curcumin.

Curcumin is one of those supplements that sometimes seems too good to be true, as this stuff pretty much does it all. It helps improve cardiovascular health, reduce body fat, relieve pain, kill several types of cancer cells and lower estrogen levels, among other things. Take 1000 mg per day to maintain overall good health and more if needed to relieve pain. Make sure the formula you use contains additional ingredients that make curcumin more absorbable.

36 - Use superfoods.

This product is the alternative to multivitamins for thinking people. It consists of a variety of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables that have been freeze-dried and pulverized. As a result, superfoods contain all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables.

37 - Give Saw Palmetto a chance.

The research showing that Saw Palmetto protects the prostate is not conclusive. We're not sure that it can relieve the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia or that it lowers PSA levels. However, we are fairly certain that it lowers DHT levels while increasing testosterone levels.

The latter benefits and the possibility that it helps with the former problems have convinced us that it's worth adding to our health list. Take between 160 and 320 mg per day.

38 - Consume iodine.

People who live near the ocean are not usually deficient in iodine, as they are likely to eat quite a lot of fish and seafood. That's not the case for Kansas land lubbers. Some time ago, virtually everyone who lived far from the ocean suffered from an iodine deficiency, so the Morton Salt Company began adding iodine to their salt. As a result, iodine deficiency soon became a thing of the past.

However, with more and more people using exotic sea salt (which is often deficient in iodine) or not eating salt at all due to all the doctor's recommendations or eating almost exclusively in restaurants (most of which do not use iodized salt), iodine deficiency has returned.

This is very bad, as iodine is crucial for human health. If you suffer from dry skin or have trouble staying slim, you could be suffering from an iodine deficiency. The same could be true if you suffer from mysterious fatigue or unexplained autoimmune diseases or depression. This nutrient also plays a key role in heart disease and various types of cancer. The recommended daily intake is only 150 mcg per day, but you can take up to 6 or 12 milligrams per day for a short time if you suspect you have an iodine deficiency.

39 - Drink green tea.

Green tea may be the one drink that lives up to the hype surrounding it. It protects almost every organ system in the body and also burns a significant amount of fat. One cup contains about 50 mg of the active ingredient (epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG), but you need between 400 and 500 mg per day to achieve useful fat-burning effects.

40 - Use low-dose aspirin.

Aspirin is one of the oldest drugs and if it was only marketed today, the health authorities would probably never approve it as it can cause stomach bleeding in some people. Nevertheless, aspirin is a real wonder drug. It prevents platelets from sticking together, it reduces inflammation and it appears to prevent bowel and prostate cancer. It also acts as a mild respiratory decoupler, which prevents excessive free radical formation. A single 80 mg tablet per day is all you need.

From TC Luoma | 02/24/17

Source: https://www.t-nation.com/living/keep-kicking-ass-after-40?utm_source=tnation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly_dose-170226

Previous article The definitive guide to preventing muscle loss