27 May 2021
By Tom Collins
This May, as three-time Olympian Derval O’Rourke turns 40, she reflects on this milestone with joy and excitement. Believing that life is to be celebrated and embraced, Derval encourages us to live our best and healthiest lives.
Irrespective of your stage in life, it can be difficult to stay fit and healthy when balancing a hectic schedule, juggling work and family. All too often with the chaos of daily living, a healthy lifestyle takes a backseat. As a busy mum of two Derval knows how hard it can be to carve out that all important ‘me time’, which is so important for both physical and mental health.
Wishing to show women that you can prioritise yourself and fit a healthy lifestyle into your daily routine, Derval created Derval.ie. Suitable for all, no matter your age or fitness level, Derval.ie offers its 10,000 members; beginner & advanced home workouts, weight management advice & support, 400 simple & healthy recipes, Yoga, Pilates and much more.
Speaking in relation to turning 40 Derval comments, ‘I’m excited for my upcoming birthday, to blow out my candles and most importantly to enjoy a delicious slice of cake! Age is not something to fear. Throughout my life I have embraced everything that has come my way, and forged my own path to ensure that my physical and mental health remains a priority. When I retired from professional sport seven years ago, then started my family, my eyes were opened to the juggling act that many people face. To some people changing career in your 30s seems like a crazy step, but I welcomed it with open arms. Age is to be celebrated, it should not place roadblocks in our path or enforce limitations. I hope that with the support and motivation of my healthy lifestyle platform, Derval.ie, that my members can see this too.
‘As we mature our bodies begin to change. Bringing some awareness to how you need to navigate your diet and exercise regime will pay off big time. It’s so easy to get frustrated but there is so much you can do to feel fantastic’ says Derval.
For those knocking at the door of 40, or already VIPs of the 40plus club, Derval shares her top food and exercise tips for staying fit and fabulous.
Fit at 40:
- It all starts with mindset. Accepting the changes you are going through and meeting yourself where you are at is the first step to successfully continuing to exercise through this decade of your life. Attempting to force your body to do things it did 10 years ago can lead to burnout, injury and frustration!
- Try to do the majority of your training while working in your aerobic heart rate zone. This means your heart rate is not overly elevated and so the body can start to use fat for energy.
- Incorporate one or two strengthening workouts into your weekly routine so that you maintain a strong musculoskeletal system to support the rest of your exercise and prevent injury.
- Watch your form during exercise to improve tone and avoid injury. More is not always better, aim for less reps but perfect form.
Food at 40:
- As muscle mass and metabolic rate naturally decrease, you must maintain a good level of protein intake at each meal and with all snacks. Combine fruit with a handful of heart healthy nuts, veg or wholegrain crackers with houmous or nutbutter and add legumes to soup recipes.
- As your oestrogen levels drop, the body struggles to maintain good calcium content in the bones. Therefore, you should eat three portions of calcium rich foods per day and avoid relying solely on dairy products for these. Try to include 1-2 portions of plant-based calcium sources as these are much healthier for your heart, bowel, brain, immune system…the list goes on!
- Take a Vitamin D supplement, particularly during the autumn and winter months, or if you are on medication for high cholesterol as these medications affect your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D and therefore calcium.
- Cut back on sodium to combat any hormone related bloating or fluid retention. When adding salt to your food, keep it to a minimum and use pink Himalayan rock salt as it contained a more balanced mineral content.
Commenting on what is next for Derval.ie, O’Rourke says, ’My new online shop is a big focus for me at present. When all non-essential retail closed due to Covid-19 last year I found my members struggling to source items, which for them, were essential to maintain a healthy mind and body. To address this void, in November I launched my online shop, which is stocked full of Irish health and wellness products. Supporting local Irish brands, and giving a platform to some of the smaller, more niche companies was key for me. I am now proud to say that we stock more than 15 Irish brands and this portfolio is growing constantly. You won’t find anything in the store that I haven’t tried, tested and love. ‘
Derval’s online store stocks dietitian approved products, workout equipment, wellness journals, inspirational prints, activewear by top brand Irish brand FitPink, along with gifts and self-care items for both men and women.
While ‘happy birthday to you’ will be heard sung in the O’Rourke household this May, Derval also wishes to extend these celebrations to her supporters through her offerings, either when they join her Derval.ie community or purchasing from her online store. Therefore, from until Monday 31st May, Derval is offering discounts across her entire online store, with up to 40% off certain items and free shipping on all products.
For those wishing to take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle and sign up for annual membership to Derval.ie (€90), they will receive Derval’s book bundle as a free gift. This bundle, worth €50, contains three of Derval’s books; a signed copy of her cookbook Food for the Fast Lane, her Healthy Lifestyle Journal and Pause Mindfulness Journal. To shop these amazing discounts, or to sign up for a free seven-day trial, visit www.derval.ie today. For more information, and to stay up-to-date with new Derval.ie offers and health challenges connect with Derval online at Facebook/dervalorourke or Instagram/dervalo.rourke