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How to get - and stay - fit over 40

Most of us expect to gain weight as we age. We cut ourselves slack if we run slower, lift less weight or lose muscle tone as the years tick by. But should we? Maybe not. It is actually possible to stay very fit and lean in your 40s and beyond.

3 tips to stay fit over 40

Getting in shape and keeping a lean, fit body is possible after 40, but you need to pay special attention to your diet and exercise program. In addition, you need to pay attention to changes in your lifestyle. Use these tips to get started.

  1. Connect with your doctor. Even if you are very fit and very active, it's important to connect with your physician about changes to your health. Whether you like it or not, your medical profile changes with age. For example, women should learn about changes that will come with the onset of menopause. Get the facts so you can plan the right diet and exercise plan for you.
  2. Revamp your workout program. If you're one of those exercisers who sits on the elliptical every day for 40 minutes at a moderate intensity level, it's time to change things up. Your workout plan needs to be more deliberate and more varied in order to maintain a fit physique. Get into the weight room and lift heavier weights, do high intensity intervals, try new forms of exercise to challenge your body.
  3. Evaluate your lifestyle. Researchers who study weight gain in menopausal women haven't been able to confirm that aging causes weight gain. Why? Because our lifestyles change as we age. We often become more sedentary when the kids move out of the house, our social lives quiet down and we become more relaxed in our living style. In order to prevent weight gain that comes with age, stay active all day long and stay competitive in the gym.

I recently talked to a panel of experts, celebrities and pros about staying fit over 40. They talked to me about the diet strategies, workout techniques and lifestyle choices that they make to stay lean and strong in their 40s and beyond.

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