Total Body Fitness: The Best Ways to Be Fit at 40 & Beyond

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For many people, ensuring you can age confidently is about having greater control over your physical strength. The biggest issue for most people after 40 years is that their bodies are slowly winding down, so they’ve got to ensure that they do enough to maintain and then build whatever they deem necessary to their overall health, whether it’s mobility, cardiovascular fitness, or strength.

Total Body Fitness

We must find a catch-all solution that can define and strengthen our bodies while providing the minimum effective dose. It’s a lot to ask, but there are many great ways to develop this total body fitness, including the following:


Boxing MenPin
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People that try boxing for the first time are surprised at how much of a workout it truly is. The common misconception is that boxing is just about working for the hands. Still, boxers focus on various techniques—not just hand speed but quick footwork—to avoid punches and overall movement.

Combine this with hitting a heavy bag that overtime builds power and endurance and supplementary exercises that tend to comprise a general boxing workout (for example, skipping rope, push-ups, and long-distance running), and you’ve got one hell of a regime that can sculpt you into something fitter, stronger and a beast of a man.

While you may opt for boxing training in a professional setting, there’s certainly a way for you to do it at home by investing in punch bags, speed bags, and other Hayabusa boxing gear while also utilizing some fantastic YouTube boxing tutors. Some of the best YouTube boxing tutors include:

  • World Class Boxing with Tom Yankello
  • Coach Anthony
  • Andy Wake
  • Tony Jeffries 

The latter is especially good at breaking down the basics with easy-to-follow sections. 

Kettlebell Training 

Kettlebell Workout MenPin
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There is somewhat of a mythology around the kettlebell. Brought into prominence in the early 21st century by Russia’s Pavel Tsatsouline, kettlebell training has become a fantastic way to develop all-over fitness, specifically through two movements. The kettlebell swing can target most of your body, and the Turkish get-up fills the gaps in between. These two movements form the Simple and Sinister protocol for anybody, starting with the kettlebell. 

Many people think that they need to get muscular, and something like the kettlebell can build muscle, but more importantly, it builds strength. After 40, we must focus on being stronger, but when we’re in our 20s, we can easily pummel our bodies in the gym and bounce back. Instead, we’ve got to look at that overall body fitness with a minimally effective dose, which is what the kettlebell does in spades!

Compound Movements with Weights

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Many people go to the gym and look at building something like their biceps to maintain fitness, but compound movements are undoubtedly king in strength training, whether it’s through free weights or resistance bands. You only need five basic movements:

  • Squat
  • Chest press
  • Shoulder press
  • Bent over row
  • Deadlift

These are all you need to create a proper compound workout. A compound workout means you are working more than one body part. Even if you feel like you need to have more bicep strength, this is covered in the chest press.

You can undoubtedly add isolation movements if you want to accentuate something like your calves, but you will cover all bases when you do it right. There are plenty of excellent compound workout protocols, and the best place to begin is the 5×5 routine which breaks down the frequency and volume.

Martial Arts

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Martial arts’ appeal for total fitness lies not just in the physical exercise but also in the richness of the experience. Two-hour karate, taekwondo, or Muay Thai sessions provide a comprehensive workout, striking a balance between intensity and skill acquisition. These martial arts contribute to mental strength in addition to their physical benefits. Karate and taekwondo, for example, can enhance overall body strength. Yet, making considerable waves in the current martial arts scene is Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

It focuses on grappling and submission techniques that improve your mental focus and flexibility while giving you a greater understanding of your strength. Many people hit the gym and think that if they can lift X amount, that’s how strong they are, but you’ve got to apply this to some form of real-world scenario.

Lots of celebrities do Brazilian jiu-jitsu; in fact, Tom Hardy has been caught on camera a few times recently taking part in it, and even Mark Zuckerberg has hit the mat! Many people speak about the benefits of Brazilian jiu-jitsu as an incredibly sobering routine because it instantly exposes your weaknesses, forcing you to develop a more rounded approach to strength.


Man SwimmingPin
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There is a reason why Michael Phelps used to consume 10,000 calories a day! His overall swimming routine can send most of us running back to the changing rooms in tears, but swimming is the Trojan horse of fitness workouts because it covers so many bases. Swimming can be a fantastic resistance exercise when attempting to swim against the tide. 

It’s a fantastic cardio workout because you’ve got to learn how to time your breathing, and it also makes you realize how unfit you are quickly. A beginner workout can be 20 to 30 laps (500 to 750 yards/meters), with an intermediate clocking in 35 to 50 laps (875 to 1,250 yards/meters) and an advanced swimmer hitting 60 laps (1,500 yards/meters) in one 30 minute workout in a 25 yard or meter swimming pool. For those just starting, swimming can instantly give you an understanding of where to aim.

Final Words

Developing overall body fitness in flexibility, mobility, and strength becomes critical as we age. Rather than chasing the muscles, if you opt for one of these workouts and stick to it while increasing the intensity, you will get that level of fitness you need while also developing the body you want as a lovely byproduct!

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