The Health Benefits Of Exercise After Age 40


I have this great friend of over a decade and he has remained buff and healthy since I’ve known him ( early 2000 till date). Well he’s a professional sports physiotherapist.

After I turned 40 I discovered that although I am slim, I was becoming winded more frequently than in years gone by. So I reached out to him and asked him the basic things I can do to remain fit even in my 40s and beyond.

Being the lecturer that he is, he took out time to give a somewhat detailed lecture(for a layman lol). Seeing as to how beneficial the lecture was, I decided to share it with you my good friends.

Health Benefits Of Exercise After Age 40 – Introduction

Yes you are 40 and I need you to know that your fourth decade is actually your best. You will realize that you are wiser and should be happier if you are doing things right. If you notice, your body will also be undergoing some changes that comes with the age and status. I want to use this opportunity to enumerate some of these changes for you.

Physiological Changes from Age 40 and above

  • Takes longer for you to recover from injuries
  • Prostate enlarges in men
  • Testosterone production drops
  • Fertility starts to decline
  • Vision problem starts
  • Memory issues
  • High risk of Hypertension
  • High risk of diabetes
  • High risk of heart diseases
  • High risk of cancer
  • The bone density decreases
  • High risk of stress fractures
  • Muscle mass declines
  • Your menstrual cycle gets wacky
  • Urinary tract infections becomes more frequent in women
  • It’s harder to get pregnant
  • You experience vaginal dryness
  • Tooth decay increases
  • Your penis appears smaller
  • Sexual appetite starts waning
  • Reduced Immunity
  • Frequent digestive issues
  • You sleep less
  • It’s harder to lose weight
  • You  become aware of being shorter
  • Sense of smell and taste change
  • Skin becomes more wrinkled
  • Hair starts to grow in weird places and also reduces
  • You experience more aches and pains
  • Your hangovers become more intense
  • Teeth becomes less sensitive

Differences between Exercise and Sport

Exercise is a form of physical activity done primarily to improve one’s health and fitness.

Sports is complex, institutionalized, competitive activity and these very characteristics works against moderate and rhythmical exercise. (CDC 1999)

Common Reasons We give not to Exercise

•        I don’t have the time

•        I don’t like to sweat

•        I’ll look silly

•        It hurts

•        I don’t know what to do

•        It’s not important

•        My health won’t permit

•        Gyms are too expensive

•        I am too old now

Why Exercise?

A retrospective study of over 122,000 patients over 13 years by researchers in Cleveland revealed that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease. (JAMA, 2018)

Do you know?

•        13.5 million people have coronary heart disease.

•        1.5 million people suffer from a heart attack in a given year.

•        250,000 people suffer from hip fractures each year.

•        Over 60 million people (a third of the population) are overweight.

•        50 million people have high blood pressure. (WHO, 2003)

Do you know that ……

•        Child Obesity has reached epidemic proportions all over the world

•        Children eat more and exercise less

•        More time is spent watching TV and playing computer games

•        Poor dietary habits coupled with lack of exercise leads to significant increase in levels of coronary heart diseases and type 2 diabetes.

How Physical Activity Impacts Health

•        Helps control weight.

•        Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.

•        Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.

•        Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.

•        Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure

•        Causes the development of new blood vessels in the heart and other muscles.

  • Help to maintain homeostasis which is the state of balanced health in the body.

Health Risk of Physical Inactivity

Leading Causes of disease and disabilities associated with:

1.       Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

2.       Stroke

3.       Obesity

4.       Type II Diabetes

5.       Hypertension

6.       Colorectal cancer

7.       Stress and Anxiety

8.       Osteo-arthritis

9.       Osteoporosis

10.     Low back pain

What Can Exercise do for you?

• Reduce the risk of the three leading causes of death: Heart Disease, stroke, and cancer

•        Control or prevent development of Disease

•        Enhance Mental Abilities

•        Improve Sleeping Habits and Increase Energy Levels

•        Lift Depression and Help Manage Stress

•        Control Weight, improving self-image, appearance and health

Types of Exercise

I.        Anaerobic Exercise

health benefits of exercise after age 40
  • Oxygen is not used for energy
  • Intense physical activity in which the body’s supply of oxygen to produce energy does not meet demand.

Types of Anaerobic Exercise

•  Strength Training + muscle size+ tendon, bone, and ligament strength + your lean muscle mass throughout.

*+ Basal Metabolic Rate (minimum amount of energy needed to maintain normal body functions)

Increase muscle mass = Increase basal metabolic rate= increase in loss of fat

II. Aerobic Exercise


Continuous activity that uses oxygen

•        Blood supply to muscles and ability to use oxygen

•        Cardiovascular/ cardio respiratory function (heart and lungs)

•        Threshold for lactic acid accumulation (soreness)

•        Resting blood pressure for people with high blood pressure

•        Body fat and improved weight control

Types of Aerobic Exercises

•        Jogging

•        Brisk Walking

•        More than 30minutes of continuous activity


•        Less than 3000 steps                     Grossly Sedentary

•        Btw 3000-5000 steps                       Moderately Active

•        Btw 5000-7000 steps                       Moderately Active

•        10000 steps and above                    Very Active

Steps to Fitness

•        Write Your Personal Fitness Goal

•        Pre-participation Checklist

•        Start Moving!

Pre-participation Checklist

                                                                                                YES               NO

1.       Has a doctor ever said you have heart trouble?                    ___            ___

2.       Do you suffer frequently from chest pains?                         ___             ___

3.       Do you often feel faint or have spells of severe dizziness?   ___             ___ 

4.       Has a doctor ever said your blood pressure was too high?  ___               ___

5.       Has a doctor ever told you that you have a bone or joint problem,                                        such as arthritis, that has been or could be aggravated by exercise?  ___         ___                

6.       Are you over age 65 and not accustomed to any exercise?     ___           ___

7.       Are you taking any prescription medications, such as those for  heart problems or high blood pressure?                                                ___            ___                                                              

8.       Is there a good physical reason not mentioned here that you should not follow an activity program?                                                       ___             ___         

If you answer “yes” to any question, we advise you to consult with your physician before beginning an exercise program.

Ok, Now What?

Create an Action Plan:

1.       Decide what you want (your goal)

2.       Visualize achieving this goal

3.       Write it down

4.       Include details

5.       Reread it often

6.       Reward yourself

The F- I – T Principle

Frequency (how often)

Intensity (how hard)

Time (how long)

F – I – T for Aerobic Activity

F – 3-5 times each week

I – keep heart rate between 60-80% MHR

T – Exercise continuously for minimum of 20 minutes.

F – I – T for Anaerobic Activity

F – 3 to 4 times each week

I – keep speed near 100% for 10 seconds to 2 minutes

T – Repeat your intervals 15-30 times with rest between

3 Parts to a Workout

1)       Warm-Up: 3 – 5 min. then stretch 10 minutes

2)       Work-Out: 20 – 30 min., 3 – 5 times per wk.

3)       Cool-Down: gradually; “pooling”

Health Benefits Of Exercise After Age 40 – Final Tips for Being More Active


•        Park the car farther away from your destination.

•        Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

•        Play with children or pets. Everybody wins.

•        Take fitness breaks

•        Perform gardening or home repair activities.

•        Exercise while watching TV

•        Keep a pair of comfortable walking or running shoes in your car and office.

•        Exercise Safely and Wisely

•        Drink extra water

•        Always warm-up & cool-down before and after your workout

•        Wear comfortable clothing

•        Pay attention to any discomfort you may feel during exercise

•        Follow your doctor’s recommendations concerning medications you may be taking.

Health Benefits of Exercise After Age 40 – Conclusion

Exercise has been proven to be one activity that impacts positively on the human body. It’s been shown to delay the ageing process and improve bodily functions.

The human body is made for movement however, this issue of movement is a road less travelled by many after the age of 40.

This is because we become more comfortable, we can now afford domestic help and subordinates who are always at our beck and call. In addition to that we have kids who are old enough to run errands, enough money to buy cars or pay for cabs.

What’s more we can now afford all the exotic meals we used to crave that was impossible to have in the previous decades because of paucity of funds.  

The phrase “if you don’t use it you lose it” is very applicable to the human body. The moment you stop moving the body stops producing all the necessary hormones and strength that helps in balancing the body and keeping it healthy because the body believes you do not need it and you begin to lose fitness.

My advice to everyone in this age bracket is for us to find a form of exercise that we love to do that won’t feel like a burden or work. Find a partner who will do it with you so you don’t become bored. Make it a part of your daily activity so that you can easily achieve your objective.

There are a lot of smart watches now that you can invest in to be able to monitor your physical activity in a day. Do invest in them.

Dayo Ogunkunle

Dayo Ogunkunle is a Specialist Sports Physiotherapist who is currently the Head of Sports Physiotherapy Division in the Sports Medicine Center of the Federal Ministry of Youths Sports Development (Nigeria). He is an associate lecturer to so many universities that offer Physiotherapy in Nigeria. His skills have taken him to all the continents of the world. He is also dedicated to his vocation and this has won him many commendations and accolades.

Life After 40- A Paradigm Shift

Enter the 40s!

When I was a little girl, I always dreamt of being a big girl. I fantasized about a wedding and all the paparazzi and fanfare that go into the day.

As I turned 18, I began to develop a sense of purpose. I knew that my life consisted of more than a husband and children.  My university days were filled with a certainty that I was fulfilling purpose. In spite of all the ups and downs I experienced, I still believed that I was making a positive impact in my sphere of influence.

Fast forward to the year I was to turn 40! I had braved the 30’s as a single woman, endured the trials and enjoyed the triumphs. And I felt I was ready for the 40’s.

Then that day dawned; the day I turned 40.  And I realized I wasn’t as ready as I thought. It hit me real hard! Physically, I didn’t look a day older than 30 (I gat pictures to prove…tongue in cheek).

But where it mattered (in my mind and soul) I felt wow! This is it! Where do I go from here?

 Realities of Life After 40

Like I said, I felt that I was prepared for my 40’s but when it came… Phew!

I’d had some health, career, financial and emotional issues before then. But now they seemed to have grown in magnitude.

Wait a minute. Did I tell you that I was scheduled to go in for a second surgery a month after my 40th birthday? Is that a sob or a sigh I hear from someone? Don’t cry for me just yet. That’s not the end of my story. (Watch this space; there’s more glory ahead!)

True, life presents us with a lot of hard facts by the time we turn 40. We’ll discuss some of them. But know that there’s always a pro and con to every situation in life.  We must always learn to look out for the good.

Health in Life After 40

There are so many articles both offline and online on health issues after 40.  From mental health, to cardiovascular health, to cholesterol and high blood pressure issues; the list goes on. They are almost too many to enumerate.

You are advised to watch what you eat, exercise regularly and get a good night’s sleep; among other expert advices. These advices didn’t seem too relevant when you were 30 or less. But now it seems to be the “holy grail” for life in the 40s and beyond. Sounds trite but that’s the reality of life on the fourth floor (wink).

Truth be told, you have a lot to be thankful for if all you have to deal with is watching what you eat, exercising regularly and sleeping well.

Some folks have a lot more health issues to deal with at this point in their lives 

Body Issues of Life After 40

Hmmmmm! this part is very painful; especially for ladies. A friend and I saw one of our old buddies (same age bracket) and he was looking buff.

She goes “it’s not fair” why do men become more dignified with age and women just age? I’ve heard that many times and though I may not be of the same opinion, that’s one reality of the 40s for women.

The once petite babe of the 90’s now has a rounded stomach and some stretch marks. Trophies from 2, 3 or 4 trips to the labor ward and 3 to 12 months of breastfeeding. Wrinkles start to appear on a once smooth face and the single ladies start freaking out about ever getting married.

Tall, dark and handsome now has some grays at the temple and a one pack (solidly in the midsection lol) that he does his best to hide.

These are actually the least of body issues; we know there are more serious body issues.

Well no matter how wonderful your genes are. No matter the level of discipline you maintain in every area of life. You can never look the same in your 40s as you did in your teens and 20s… Deal with it!


Mmmmmh not an expert on this but let me tell you what I heard. I heard that the get up and go in this department is not as it was in the 20s (especially for guys); just repeating hearsay.

But I’m sure all of us have experienced or are experiencing one issue or the other in this area. I hope we know that sexuality covers a wide range of issues? Just checking…

Mid Life Crisis

Tell me about it! Emotions and moods swing from one end of the pendulum to the other. People make crazy decisions that even they are in awe of.

 Some people’s marriages break up due to a lack of understanding of what’s happening to them.  Others wreck careers and relationships that have been built over the years. While some folks go into depression; the list goes on

Mid life crisis manifests in different ways. Each individual experiences it in unique ways. Some even experience it without knowing what they are going through.


This is usually a tough season for mid lifers who have kids. At this stage most families are seeing kids through college or preparing to. Some others also have mortgages and some debts that are not fully paid off.

If you are unfortunate to be unemployed at this age, you find that the competition to get a job is stiffer. Some 40s plus have had to take a pay cut just to have regular incomes. Those who couldn’t get jobs have had to resort to self employment and entrepreneurship.

All these coupled with preparing for retirement are serious financial realities.


By  mid or late 40s, many folks are well advanced in their careers. Some begin to plateau while others fight to stay relevant in the fast paced corporate world.

Those who are not so fortunate feel that they can’t start anything at this point in their lives. Is it even possible to start dreaming again at this age? Can one start a new career after 40?

Preparing for Life After 40

 Throw Out All Rules

We have talked about some of the realities of life after 40. There are so many research findings and studies on preparing for life after 40. So much so that many people are confused by conflicting advises and opinions. 

What does one do in the face of all these ideas, theories and positions? Do I bury my head in the sand like the ostrich and believe that life would sort itself out? Is there any authority on how one should prepare for life after 40?

Can I share a life changing truth with you? Read all the articles, research findings, books and all on life after 40. Attend all the seminars, conferences and events that you can. Listen to financial, health and marriage advice.

Finally, throw them all out!

From the Inside Out

Preparing for life after 40 starts from the inside out. Remember our rule about coming back to what the bible says about every issue?

Yep! We are back to the basics. The bible says that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7 KJV).

You need a paradigm shift to embrace and live the good life even till you are 120!

Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life( Proverbs  4:23KJV) World English Bible translates it thus ” Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it is the wellspring of life”

You need to watch what goes into your heart and what takes up residence in you. Every day, we build strongholds in our minds one thought at a time.

So many people live in morbid fear of ageing, fear of not meeting goals or targets. Or not living up to societal expectations. Stop already!

It is imperative that you understand that your life is yours to live for God and not society. Am I saying you should be irresponsible and not plan your life? Definitely not!

You totally need to prepare for life after 40 but with one thought in mind; God is the author and finisher of your faith.

We are so obsessed with goal setting and planning that most of us leave God out of the equation. Ponder Proverbs 16:9 for a minute (I’ll show different translations)

Contemporary English Version

We make our own plans, but the LORD decides where we will go.

New Living Translation

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

Berean Study Bible

A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

New International Version

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

English Standard Version

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

King James Bible

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.


For the 40s and above living their dreams, I rejoice with you and ask that you share your success stories with others. Not as a yardstick or standard for living but as encouragement.

If you are in your 40s already and didn’t plan your life, it’s never too late to dream again, set goals and start over.  You can pull down wrong mindsets that have told you that a fool at 40 is a fool forever. Your story can be that life begins at 40; With God all things are possible.

But if you are yet to hit 40, blessed are you. Hopefully, you do not have many regrets like some ahead of you. And can begin or continue to build up positive strongholds that would withstand the onslaught of midlife.

Did you think I was going to give you some “expert” ideas on how to plan for mid life? Ooops! Sorry. I just wanted to bring you back to the basics.

But not to worry; stay with us as we shall be bringing expert advice, tips and what to do at this point in your life.

We would also be sharing bible passages that would help build your faith and establish positive strongholds and mindsets.

Enjoying Life After 40

I’m in my 6th soon to be 7th year on the 4th floor of life. Have all my expectations been met? Am I living my dream without regrets or what ifs?  Not entirely.

But one thing I can confidently tell you is this; life can indeed begin at 40.

God can restore all that’s been stolen from you. I was blessed by this line from The Insight Daily devotional by Pst Temi Odejide.

“So he (God) might not give you back exactly what or who you lost (so do not fixate). But he is committed to giving you something or someone better if you open your heart and mind and let him. Man is totally impotent to restore time but my God is master of time and space. Trust him and watch him put it all back together again.

I hear someone say “but I wasted my youth” Remember the prodigal son? (Luke 15:11-32).

Another may say “life has been so unfair to me” Remember Ruth? (Study the entire book of Ruth in the Bible).

Yet some other may say “I had a bad start in life and could never catch a break” Consider Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).

Hindsight they say is 20/20 but it doesn’t have to impede your progress. You do not have to live in regret, bitterness or even past glories.  You can employ the lessons of the past to enjoy the present and future.

Do you have stories, experiences, comments or questions? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.