Being physically active after 40 is something that women should take seriously. Mostly because recent studies suggest that exercise alone can help you avoid the aging of the body, and maintain normal functioning of the internal organs. Do you have any idea what exercises you should incorporate?
Most women over the age of 40 feel like they don’t have enough time to do it all – family, friends, commitments at work, focus on the health of your loved ones, household cleaning, bills, vacations for the family, charity work, setting up retirement funds, insurance, etc. Doing all this makes it difficult to take care of your own health, doesn’t it? It’s especially difficult to find time to exercise, right? But, you have to keep the focus on your health as well!
Now that you have decided to find time for your own well-being, you need to find the right workout. When planning an exercise program, you should take into consideration that you no longer have the energy as before. But, worry not! It’s never too late to regain your energy and health!
If you have been stagnant for years, you need to start training both, your mind and body. To start exercising at the age of 40, you should keep the following in mind:
– People lose muscle mass and bone density after the age of 40. Also, women are more prone to heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and obesity. Thus, this might be the perfect time for you to start with physical activity.
– Start with 30 minutes a day, so that your body can build resistance to diseases. Try fast-walking, cycling or swimming. Also, you can start by taking long walks, and little by little, walk faster and faster.
– Cardio exercises are your best fit. They make the heart beat faster and dilate the blood vessels, and therefore, the muscles receive more oxygen. As an additional benefit, the brain releases endorphin, improve your mood.
– Another form of training is with weights. This type of exercise will help you increase bone density, correct bad posture, and strengthen your arms and legs.
Recommended Exercises For Women Over 40
1. Cardio Exercise For The Heart
Health experts and certified trainers recommend 150 minutes per week of cardio exercises, with moderate intensity, to women of all ages. Women over 40, who have just started exercising, should start very slowly. For example, with a routine of 10 to 15 minutes of exercise at a time. The moment you start feeling comfortable with the exercise, gradually increase the pace and intensity. The ultimate goal is a 30-minute workout, 4 days a week.
2. Strength Training To Fight Arthritis
Female muscle strength reaches its peak between 20-30 years of age. And, it remains almost stable for 20 years. But, if you’re over 40, your goal should be to maintain that muscle mass so that it does not diminish as the time goes by. Thus, you should incorporate strength training for each muscle group 2 times a week, with a minimum rest interval of 48 hours.
Strength training is also good for reducing the risk of arthritis and chronic joint pain.
3. Cardio And Weight Training Against Osteoporosis
Bone loss occurs predominantly after the age of 50. Thus, it’s advisable to start incorporating exercises that promote bone health earlier in life. If you’re not exercising from an early age, then you can start the moment you turn 40.
Cardio exercises in combination with extra weight are the perfect fit for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis. Fast-walking, jogging, jumping jacks, and even dancing are all great examples.
4. Yoga To Fight Depression
Women after the age of 40 are at a higher risk of depression. The risk intensifies even further when they enter menopause. Fortunately, research shows that relaxation is a great way to fight depression. Thus, women over 40 should often practice yoga to reduce stress, anxiety and mental distress; to improve mood; and ultimately, ward off depression.
5. Planks For Back Pain
The muscles must be kept strong and flexible, to be able to carry the body weight and prevent back pain. However, if we don’t exercise, irregular posture and back pain are inevitable with age.
Lucky for us, planks work the abs, the chest, and the muscles surrounding the spine. As a result, this exercise helps us strengthen the core, tone the muscles, and alleviate back pain.
Sleep And Nutrition
There are other factors that are equally important for your health as much as exercise – sleep and nutrition.
Most of the muscle reconstruction and recovery is done while we sleep. Studies show that people who are constantly sleep deprived (sleep less than 6 hours a day) have difficulty losing weight and maintaining a healthy balance than people who manage to enjoy a full night of sleep.
And, let’s not forget about the foods we eat. No matter how effective the exercises are, if your diet is not good, you won’t manage to build any muscle mass or improve the problematic areas. You nutrition options should be good – protein at each meal, reduced intake of processed foods and artificial sweeteners, and no caffeine before bedtime.