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Fathers who are over 40 years old have a lot of changes happening in their lives. A lot of these changes are medical-based. After 39, you are no longer considered a spring chicken. There is a reason for this. Apart from the obvious lack of sleep and free time, there are other differences you will begin to notice that take you further away from your childless, youthful, carefree days. If fitness used to be a major element of your lifestyle, it will soon become apparent that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to maintain the same way of life while still being a father, especially as you advance in years. As difficult as it may be, it might time to accept that what was once the norm for physical fitness, is no longer possible. 

One rule of thumb that is easy to overlook is not taking the time to stretch, either before or after a workout. This could be because of time constraints or the belief that the workout sessions of your younger days still apply. There are two types of stretches – dynamic and static. It matters a lot which one you perform on cold muscles versus after being warmed up. Dynamic stretches are meant to prepare your body for a vigorous workout – they are repetitive and entail a lot of motion, though not necessarily strenuous. The idea is to warm up the muscles for the workout ahead. Static stretching is performed after a workout in order to increase flexibility and to avoid cramping. Static stretching should never be done to cold muscles because it increases the risk of injury.

Comparing yourself to others or to your much younger self is another mistake that fathers over 40 tend to make. The only person you should be competing with is the person you were yesterday, and even then it should be done in the spirit of friendly competition. You should be your number one supporter, making every day as productive as possible, but also cutting yourself slack if you don’t make all the right choices. 

What you put into your body is just as important as how much you exercise. The expression you are what you eat is true. If you eat whole grains, vegetables, and protein you will have more energy and feel better. If you choose processed foods, you will feel sluggish and fatigued. You are no doubt less likely to maintain a fitness regimen if you are too tired to make it through the day.