Health has no age limit. As boxers (and athletes), we put time and sweat into our workouts with the goal of bettering ourselves physically and mentally. But what happens when your body stops cooperating and seems to be actually hindering progress on your fitness goals?
As we age, our bodies change and don’t perform at the same degree as in our youth. One way our bodies evolve over the years is a slow down in metabolism. We train hard, but if our metabolism slows down, so might our strength.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the small health and lifestyle changes we can make to keep ourselves healthy and strong. Because the truth is, you can (and should!) box at any age!
Why Does Our Metabolism Change After 40?
Metabolism is how much energy our body uses to maintain itself. Our Basal Metabolic Rate is the number of calories required to keep our body functioning at rest. This rate is determined by several factors: your basal metabolic rate, how much you exercise, and your muscle-to-fat ratio.
As we age, this rate drops, often leading to weight gain and muscle loss.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, hormone levels drop after age 40, which sparks an insulin rise in our bodies. Insulin is the hormone that helps our bodies process and use sugar. At the same time, our thyroid levels drop. Thyroid hormones help us burn fat, which gives our body energy. A decrease in thyroid hormones signals a decrease in our body’s ability to burn fat. Together, these changes leave us hungrier and burning fewer calories.
5 Ways To Give Your Sluggish Metabolism A Reset
While unfair and frustrating, a decreasing metabolic rate is not the end of the world. Why? Well, to demonstrate, here are five (5) ways boxers over 40 can kickstart their metabolism.
1. Eat Food High In Fiber
Diet plays a huge role in your metabolism and overall health! An easy way to combat a metabolism drop is to stock up on high-fiber foods that keep you full and feeling satisfied for longer. High-fiber foods include:
2. Choose Lean Proteins
Protein maintains and builds muscle. And, obviously, we want strong muscles to feel good during our boxing workouts. Since our bodies naturally lose muscle mass after age 40, it’s important to incorporate lean protein into every meal to combat muscle loss. But we also want to include plenty of protein in our diet because it supports metabolism by increasing the TEF (Thermic Effect of Food). Healthy proteins include:
Lean meat (chicken)
Fish and seafood
Beans, peas, soybeans, and lentils
Nuts & seeds
3. Vary Your Fruits And Veggies
Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on your counter, and grab a piece every time you walk by! For lunch and dinner, challenge yourself to make your plate as colorful as possible with veggies of every color – the iron found in kale, spinach, and other leafy greens is an essential nutrient for a healthy metabolism.
4. Add Some Spice To Your Food!
A 2015 study showed that a compound called capsaicin can help improve your metabolic rate. This compound can be found in fresh or dried chili peppers. Adding a few flakes of spice to your meals may help increase your metabolism and reduce hunger – Say good-bye to late-night snack cravings!
5. Move Your Body
Cardiovascular exercise stimulates metabolism, helping you burn calories. Whether you’re a longtime boxer or are looking for a fun new cardio workout, hitting the heavy bag is a great high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout that will shake up your exercise routine and wake up your metabolism.
Do these at-home boxing workouts to boost your metabolism, build muscle strength, and improve your cardiovascular health:
We've Got Your Back
If you’re struggling with a slow metabolism, or just want a fun way to add more movement into your day, check out the FightCamp Blog or YouTube Channel for more at-home boxing workouts for beginners and athletes of all ages. You’ll also find more nutrition tips and answers to all your boxing FAQs straight from our FightCamp Trainers. Make this year your healthiest one yet! Start your at-home boxing and wellness journey today!