I have always worked out and tried to keep in fairly decent shape. That said, after 40 I started to suffer from chronic aches and pains. It got to the point where it was hard to get up from a seated position or even to reach down and tie my shoes some mornings. I usually loosened up some over the course of the day but things like getting in and out of the car and other simple tasks just weren’t as easy as they used to be. Keep in mind that I wasn’t really overweight and I was staying active so I thought I was doing all the right things. That was until I found out that some of the workouts I was doing were actually making me have some of the aches and pains. I switched to fasted exercises every morning and functional body weight exercises twice a day (most days). I cut out cardio and ADDED some carbs back to my diet and it made all the difference.
Morning Routine (10-15 Minutes of Exercise)
So by far the biggest difference for me is getting up (3:45am) and doing fasted exercises (working out after sleeping and at least 5 hours since eating anything). There are a lot of different exercises that you can do but I do the following for about 15 minutes pretty much right after I wake up:
I usually get through that routine 3-4 times (it’s not about speed but slow, controlled movements). You can swap out a number of different types of crunches, squats, and planks to not get bored. The important thing is to get your motor running first thing and to get your body warmed up for the day.
Eating Throughout The Day
Breakfast – So in the morning I usually have egg whites on tortillas or oatmeal with almond butter in it. Just don’t go crazy on breakfast and keep it reasonably clean. I am striving for a bit of protein and yes some carbs first thing after my fasted workout.
Lunch – My lunch generally consists of chicken, brown rice, and some broccoli. I can just as easily do a wheat wrap with chicken breast and veggies as well. In general it’s clean eating but I do eat some carbs just better carbs (no fries, chips, etc.).
Dinner – My dinner is usually meat and veggies. I may sometimes have brown rice again but the main thing I try to get in is some meat (protein) and veggies.
Snacks – I generally snack on almonds, walnuts, pecans or some other kind of nut. I try to avoid peanuts and cashews though as much as I can.
Coffee – black with some truvia or some sort of no calorie sugar substitute. Actually eating clean is easy for me but not drinking cream in my coffee is a challenge (I don’t do it though as much as I love it).
Fruit – I’ll eat it but try to stick to berries (strawberry, blueberry, etc.).
Evening Routine – Longer Workout
So 4 or 5 times a week I add a longer evening workout routine. This is generally speaking some sort of tabata with body weight exercises. I have A LOT of different routines that I do but I’ll give you one example one (all of this is without resting).
REPEAT 5 TIMES
Once I am done with that I’ll generally do a plank tabata or some other type of ab work (honestly I only do this extra work about 2 times a week). It’s important though because I have found that planks are one of those things that you lose endurance for pretty fast if you don’t do them regularly.
For me, making all of these changes and dropping the heavy cardio or lifting exercises I had been doing helped me lean out considerably (close to single digit body fat percentage). In addition most of the aches and pains I used to experience are gone. So for me it’s nice to look better but the real value is in feeling better. Those aches and pains can really get old and completely change your attitude. For me, I have to credit the fasted exercises in the morning a lot but I’m sure my diet and evening exercises help as well. I don’t know if this will work for you or not, but I suspect it won’t hurt most to give it a shot and see how they feel and/or how it goes.