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Muscle mass decreases from about 45% of your total body weight in your youth to about 27% by the time you reach age 70.
Low muscle mass leads to slow metabolism. Slow metabolism triggers fat gain. This means you burn fewer calories when you are past 40, in your 50s or 60s and continue to do the same activities and the same number of them, which you did when you were in your 20s or 30s. It is more difficult to burn calories and sustain muscle mass when you are over 40. 

So here's what you need to do to stay fit and strong after 40.

1. Get Gym Membership and Start Lifting Weights 4-5 Days a Week

Strength training is the key to healthy ageing. Exercise helps you look and feel younger and stay active longer. 

It helps you build muscle, improves your sleep, makes you strong, improves your flexibility and most importantly boosts your self-confidence.

You should read:
30-Minute Strength Training Circuit for Beginners
- 10 Fun Ways to Burn 300 Calories

2. Eat Protein Rich Foods in Every Meal

Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body. Muscle, hair, skin and connective tissue are mainly made up of protein. It helps your muscles repair and recover. It helps fill you up. You won't feel hungry for a long time. It helps you get 'flawless' skin and 'healthy' hair. 

Few protein rich food options are meat, fish, chicken, eggs, lean beef, lamb, turkey, whey protein, milk, cheese, paneer, tofu, curd, yogurt, lentils (Indian dal), spinach (palak), chickpeas (channa), kidney beans (rajma), sprouts, mung, broccoli, soybeans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, figs, almonds and walnuts.

3. Food is Not an Enemy But Wrong Choice of Feed Is

Learn to make wise food choices. Choose appetisers that contain vegetables, fruits, meat or fish. Prefer whole-wheat options wherever possible. Avoid maida. Eat oil-free or butter-free food whenever possible. 

You should read:
- 25 Healthy Snacks Under 100 Calories
- 10 Natural Sports Drinks to Boost Your Performance

4. Stop Blaming The Hormones

Yes, hormones are altered after 40s and it can attribute to weight gain. But rather than focusing on this, make fitness milestones your new goal. 

Increase your fitness level so you can defy altered hormones and beat the bulge. Make exercise mandatory.

5. Do Not Become Your Own Worst Enemy

We can all list hundreds of reasons for not working out but by doing so we are creating a barrier to our own fitness. Lose your excuses and make time for your fitness. 

6. If You Have Knee Pain, You Can Do Water Exercises.

These exercises are done in a swimming pool and they do not require swimming skills

Water workouts give you moderate fitness because water is 12 to 14 times thicker than air and offers resistance in every direction. 

Water exercises are more ideal for 40+ people faced with age-related health concerns because you get the same benefits as land-based exercises, but without the risk of joint tear or muscle tear. 

7. Increase your Testosterone level

Testosterone naturally begins to decline naturally after the age of 30. It dips about 1% per year for the rest of your life, and can jump to 2% after the age of 40.

Testosterone is what makes you a man. It is the sex hormone that is responsible for making males male.

Testosterone helps:
-Increase muscle mass and strength
-Reduce fat
-Stimulate sperm production
-Empower sex drive
-Maintain bone strength

You should read it:
- How to Increase your Testosterone level naturally

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Written by Sapna Vyas Patel , PhD in Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sapna writes simple, easy to understand articles that are based on pure scientific evidence. She is one of the most popular fitness professionals in India and is followed on social media by fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, trainers, and professionals.

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