If the statistics tell us anything we can go on here, it's that you're either married and have been for some time now, or have recently been through a divorce. Maybe you're starting to date again after a long time. You may have some kids at home, a mortgage and other bills which weigh on you a bit. You have stress from work; you eat out more than you eat at home. Your parents aren't in need of care yet, but will be soon enough. You're getting too little sleep and seem to never have enough hours in the day.

Does this sound a bit like your life? Your 40s are the years where life gets complicated. There are a lot of commitments to keep and a lot of debt to worry about. You'll also have less energy than you did on your 20s and 30s – so it's hardly a surprise than more than half of people in your age group don't get enough exercise.

However, your 40s are also the years where things start to catch up with you. If you are one of those 50+ percent who don't get exercise, you've probably also put on some weight. By your mid thirties, you begin losing muscle, which slows your metabolism. So that diet you had in your 20s and 30s which kept you slim isn't going to cut it anymore. In fact, you'll start to gain 3 to 5 pounds a year; meaning by the time you reach 40, you may have gained as much as 50 pounds!

This weight is likely around your middle and maybe on your arms as well. Gravity and muscle loss are not being kind to you. Even if you get some exercise, you find that you're not getting the same results you did when you were younger.

I'm not trying to get you down here. To start looking and feeling better you first have to take an honest look at yourself. If you've ever been lost, you know this – you have to figure out where you are to figure out where you're going. Once you know where you stand, you'll be in a good position to act.

Anyone telling you about a fitness program will always urge you to consult with a physician ; this is good advice in general and also covers them in case you injure yourself. If you are in your 40s, please do go see your doctor first. You should have a thorough checkup; cholesterol level, blood pressure and neurological or gynecological exam; the works. Get weighed and ask your doctor what the ideal weight is for you, as well as determining if there is any exercise you should avoid.

Don't let the findings bother you too much. This is the decade where you can decide if you want to age well or not. You're not old yet; if you're feeling aches and pains, it is very likely not due to age but inactivity! You aren't older than you want to allow yourself to be.

Your 40s are a crucial time – there is still a chance to undo the abuse you've put yourself through. Your body will recover if you get active; it's what it was designed for. With exercise and proper diet, you'll regain your energy, your youthful figure and feel better overall. You can reduce your risk of cancer and many other diseases – including heart disease and diabetes.

Without exercise though, decay will begin. You'll get heavier and it will get harder and harder to exercise at all. You'll have a much higher risk of cancer. You'll also risk heart disease and even worse, you'll both look and feel terrible!

I don't mean to be harsh here, but it needs to be said. What is at stake here is nothing less than your health. You don't have to be overweight and have no energy. You don't have to feel old and slow. You can reverse what time has done, to a large degree and outperform people twenty years your junior ; but only if you're willing to get up and take action.

Don't let aging win; stand up and take the first step on the path to better health.

Exercise is the most important element in living a long, healthy and happy life. While a 20 year old can neglect all of this and remain in good shape, this is not the case for you. Get some exercise; you'll thank me for it later.

Author's Bio: 

Leon Edward focuses in optimizing Brain Health and Fitness especially as one ages. Writings also help others in mindset for success and general self improvement.

Leon Edward website, ebooks Optimize Mind Brain Power for Success, models super achievers - Helping Others Succeed in life no matter what... , with self, in business, financially, in relationships;

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