Thursday, July 29, 2010

How do you stay in shape after 40?

I am VERY often asked by friends and colleagues the simple question of “how to stay in shape” given the demands of work, family, travel, and all the rest...

It’s a tough question to answer because it doesn’t help very much to tell someone to “eat right and exercise” - because everyone knows that - it is more the “HOW” of what exactly do DO that gets in our way.

I just answered an email from an old college buddy (not that he or I are actually “old” - so let’s just get that straight right up front)...He asked, “Let me know what you suggest for a 45-year old trying to keep the “glory days” from ending on the roads and the ice rink.

Here is my reply:

John - Here is a quick type of circuit workout that I rely on, especially when low on time and when traveling...They are intense enough to make a difference in your fitness and quick/easy enough to do anywhere and not represent an “obstacle” based on time or equipment constraints.

For eating, I use this approach (myself and in several research studies) that I call the “Helping Hand” (I also write about this in more detail at - it is pretty self-explanatory based on the graphic below and enables you to “count calories” without really counting - pretty much every meal you would create using the Helping Hand ends up at about 400-600 calories. Do this at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and you average out to about 1,500 calories per day (eat a 4th time if you’re exercising that day).

Hope these help - and let me know if you have any questions...


Cal Circuit

Exercises = 8

Work Time = 24min (3 sets)

Warmup – 2min

Cool-down/Stretch – 2min

Rest = 1min between sets 1 & 2 (2min total)



WarmupJumping Jacks (whole body warmup)

Set 1 – 45 seconds ON / 15 seconds OFF

            1min H2O break

Set 2 – 50 seconds ON / 10 seconds OFF

            1min H2O break

Set 3 – 55 seconds ON / 5 seconds OFF

Cool down / Stretch


1.     Sit Jacks (abs)

2.     Bent-over Rows – 60# bar (back)

3.     Jumpies (legs)

4.     Pushups (chest)

5.     Squats – 60# bar (legs)

6.     Upright Rows – 60# bar (shoulders)

7.     Burpies (whole body)

8.     Curls – 60# bar (arms)

Hope that helps a few people - Thanks for reading,



Shawn M. Talbott, Ph.D.

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

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