It’s all fun and games until you hit 40. What changes happen to your body when middle age approaches?

Dr. Robert Janowitz worked as a family medicine doctor for 38 years before joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield as a medical director. He has heard it all when it comes to patients worrying about their health and weight as they reach their 40’s.

Always fit and in good health in his youth, Dr. Janowitz shares his own story about lifestyle changes that he had to make when he discovered that family genetics played a role in developing high blood pressure in his life.

Dr. Janowitz gives us some advice on our changing bodies as we age. Watch our video and learn more.

Middle age: a time to move.
There’s a growing “body” of evidence that exercise may be the key weapon against weight gain in middle age and beyond.

Bodies change with age. We tend to lose muscle and gain fat. Regular activity burns calories and builds muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns throughout the day.

One study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders found that the more women exercised after age 45, the less weight they gained. Active, non-obese women were about twice as likely as their inactive counterparts to maintain their weight over 10 years.

Regular exercise also helped men keep weight off. 45 to 60 minutes of moderate activity every day will is enough to keep it trim.

And even if you weren’t very active when you were younger, starting an exercise program later in life may help your heart.

Doctors in asked 700 people ages 40 to 68 about their activity levels since they were 20. Over 300 of them had existing heart disease.

People who were couch potatoes during their 20s and 30s but started exercising in their 40s, or even later, cut their risk for heart disease in half. These exercisers had lower risk for heart disease than people who were active before 40 but then stopped exercising.

So what are you waiting for? Shake a leg! What’s your favorite exercise?