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Cardio For Men Over 40: You Don’t Just Have to Slog It Out On the Treadmill!

By: Holly Smith, D.O. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

cardio for men over 40

Cardio for men over 40 is important to fitness and overall well-being — but it doesn't have to be a burden or something you dread!

Engaging in cardio exercise as you get older is essential for so many reasons.

Aerobic exercise promotes heart health, improves endurance, and decreases the risk of chronic diseases.

Cardio for men over 40 can build lean muscle mass and increase your calorie-burning potential, which will help you shed pounds and stay in shape.

A lot of guys dread cardio because they think of staring at a wall while grinding it out on a treadmill or walking for miles on end.

However, cardio goes beyond just walking or running.

While these are great aerobic activities, there are plenty of other exercises to keep you engaged and motivated to work out.

Aging is inevitable, but this does not mean that a high level of fitness and health cannot be maintained.

Exercise and physical activity can significantly lessen, or in some cases prevent, declines in muscle metabolism and function.

For this reason, exercise is even more important in men over 40.

It is never too late and you are never too old to become the healthiest and fittest version of yourself.

Get started today with the best cardio for men over 40!

Put away your preconceived notions and check out these cardio exercises that don't suck!

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Best Cardio For Men Over 40

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If you want to get your heart pumping and burn serious calories while also building muscle, then HIIT workouts are the way to get it done.

Plus, HIIT has been found to increase free testosterone levels in older males.

While any workout will burn calories, the higher the intensity of the workout, the more energy your body will burn after your workout has ended.

This is called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC for short.

So if you are short on time, all you need to do is turn up the intensity.

This means that even a shorter cardio workout will still be high in fat burning and strength building.

Plus, these workouts are way more engaging than the monotony of a treadmill.

HIIT involves doing intervals of an exercise at the hardest effort you can sustain for a given period of time.

You can do pretty much any exercise you choose during these intervals.

This gives you the opportunity to train multiple muscle groups so that you will build lean muscle while simultaneously burning fat.

Research has even shown that HIIT is effective at increasing muscle size over a three-week period of time.

And while you don’t want to rely solely on interval workouts to build muscle, this shows that on days when you can’t get to the gym to lift weights, HIIT is still an excellent alternative.

This bodyweight HIIT workout can be done in 6 minutes at home without ANY equipment!

 

Cycling

Cycling is another great cardio activity for guys over 40, especially if you have any joint or knee issues.

Biking puts a lower impact on your knees and ankles, which helps decrease pain and injuries in these joints.

Plus, it's a fun and versatile way to add aerobic exercise into your day.

If you live near bike paths or routes, cycling is a great way to get out and explore the outdoors.

You can challenge yourself on hilly mountain bike paths or even use biking as a way to commute to work.

You can also try out spinning classes at your local gym if you really want to push yourself.

While it may seem intimidating at first, these workout classes are aimed at all levels of fitness.

But you are sure to get your heart rate up and leave in a puddle of sweat afterward!

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Swimming

Swimming has a long list of health benefits.

For example, swimming has been found to decrease cardiovascular risk factors and lower blood pressure.

Plus, swimming improves lung capacity and endurance while also increasing muscle strength, especially in your upper body and core.

Swimming is also a perfect cardio exercise if you suffer from arthritis or joint pain since it is a low-impact activity.

During swim workouts, you build strength and cardiovascular endurance without excessive pounding on the hard ground.

Since swimming is more gentle on your joints, this means you can swim more often without worrying about aggravating knee or hip pain.

This will lead to improved cardiovascular endurance without the high risk of injury.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Studio Classes (Aerobics)

Most gyms have a list of aerobic classes that are offered on a daily basis.

These range from low-impact yoga and Pilates to high-intensity boot camp classes.

Any of these aerobic workouts are great for guys in their 40s.

Not only will these classes get your heart pumping, but they are also fun!

Plus, when you have a whole class around you participating this is even more motivation to keep going even when you feel exhausted.

Being able to push yourself through hard reps will improve your fitness and keep you coming back for more!

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Running/Jogging

OK, we already covered how boring a treadmill can be.

But that doesn’t mean that running still isn’t a great form of exercise to burn calories and improve cardio fitness.

Plus, running can be enjoyable. It’s all about how you approach it

Running or jogging outside, instead of indoors, is a great way to stay in shape and enjoy nature.

You can even join a running group or invite friends to come along with you to motivate you along the way.

If you have to do your runs inside, you can make your running workouts more engaging by turning them into sprint or interval workouts.

This adds variety to an otherwise boring run and bumps up your metabolism even more. This is basically HIIT for runners.

A study out of the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that two minutes of sprint intervals produced similar EPOC compared to 30 minutes of continuous running at a lower intensity.

For example, try out this killer interval treadmill workout for men over 40:

Running Intervals

  • For the first 5 minutes, start walking or jogging at an easy pace where your breathing is slightly increased.
  • Increase the incline to 1-2% so by the end of five minutes you feel warmed up.
  • From 5:00-7:00 minutes: Increase the speed to 6-7 mph while maintaining the incline at 1-2%.
  • From 7:00-9:00 minutes: Increase the incline to 3-4% while maintaining the same speed
  • From 9:00-12:00 minutes: Reduce your speed to 5-6 mph, but maintain the incline at 3-4%.
  • From 12:00-15:00 minutes. Increase your speed again to 6-7 mph and, if you can, increase the incline to 4-5%. This will be the hardest part of the workout.
  • From 15:00-20:00: Cool down! Gradually reduce your speed and incline until the end of the workout.

If you find the speeds too fast or too slow you can adjust to your level of fitness.

It's all about getting your heart rate up and improving your cardiovascular fitness.

Even though 20 minutes may not seem like a lot, when you push yourself during these HIIT intervals you will see amazing fitness benefits.

And you won’t even dread being on the treadmill!

When you run at a higher intensity you also burn more calories as a result.

Plus, you will continue this burn up to 24 hours after a tough workout.

Running also builds your leg muscles and strengthens your core, which will improve your overall athletic performance in all other activities.

See the program 38,000 guys over 40 are using to get results like these

Rowing

While rowing isn’t as mainstream of a cardio activity, it provides an excellent total body workout.

Not only does it work your core, upper and lower body, but it is a lower impact than running or plyometric workouts.

Plus, rowing burns more calories than most other aerobic exercises.

Research has found that the caloric expenditure of rowing estimated from the O2 cost of a 6-minute rowing ergometer exercise was calculated at 36 kcal/min, one of the highest energy costs so far reported for any predominantly aerobic-type sport.

Most gyms are equipped with rowing machines. Like treadmills, it can get a bit mundane to simply sit and row for long periods of time.

But just like running, you can make these workouts more appealing by adding intervals.

For example, start with a 5 minute warm-up at an easy pace, then do one of these intervals:

Workout 1

  • Row at a max effort for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of easy rowing.
  • Repeat these intervals 10-15 times.
  • Rest for 2-3 minutes then repeat once more through for an awesome half-hour workout.

Workout 2

  • Row at a moderate to hard effort for 4 minutes, then row easy for 2 minutes.
  • Repeat this 3-4 times.
  • Then, cool down for 5-10 minutes.

best exercise for men 40+

What Are The 5 Best Muscle Building Exercises For Men 40+?

best exercise for men 40+
The secret to building age-defying muscle in your in 40s, 50s, & 60s is to modify the best muscle building exercises (bench, squats, rows) to make them safe on your joints…

Cardio At Home

Don’t forget, you can get in some great aerobic work at home without formal workouts.

You can incorporate cardio at home with your kids during everyday activities.

For example, playing outdoors with your kids is an awesome way to spend time with your family while also staying active.

Shooting baskets in the driveway, kicking around a soccer ball in the backyard, or just going for an evening walk are ways to include cardio without ever having to leave home.

There are so many ways to incorporate cardio into your fitness routine to lose weight, gain strength, and lead a higher quality of life.

And with so much variety available, you never have to be bored when choosing your workouts.

Whether it be a killer HIIT session in your living room or playing in the backyard with the family, you can find the best cardio for men over 40 to suit your needs and help you lose weight and gain muscular strength and endurance.

Holly Smith D.O. - Osteopathic Medicine, B.S. - Dietetics, NASM-PES Certified Trainer

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Holly is board-certified in nephrology and internal medicine, has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, and is a certified personal trainer with NASM-PES certification.

Holly is a keen runner, triathlete, and fitness and nutrition enthusiast. She has completed four full ironmans, twelve marathons, countless half ironmans, Olympic distance triathlons, half marathons, and numerous other road races.

Holly joined the Fit Father Project in May 2019 as a regular writer, contributing articles on health, wellness, exercise, and nutrition.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on cardio for men over 40.

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