As we grow older, it’s more important than ever to commit to exercise, especially weight training as inactivity is the cause of many age-related health issues. Here is the best exercise for women over 40 to incorporate daily.
As we grow older, exercise is one of those things we often find ourselves skipping or doing less of. After all, as a woman over 40, you have a busy life, a family, a career, and maybe even some aches and pains that make you want to stay on the couch!
But guess what? Exercise is not just good for your heart health! Physical activity is also good for your mood, your confidence, and your happiness.
And the best part about it is that it does not have to be boring or hard. In fact, there are certain exercises that are perfectly suited for women over 40.
So whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s a lot to lear here! So grab your water bottle and your sneakers and let’s get moving with the best exercises for women over 40 that work the entire body.
The Importance of Exercise for Women Over 40
As you grow older, exercise becomes more than simply a way of staying fit. It becomes a powerful tool in the management of many health issues that affect women over 40. Here are some of the benefits you can expect to reap from it:
- Strengthen your muscles and bones: As you age, you lose muscle mass and bone density. This can lead to weakness, fractures, and osteoporosis. Resistance training, or any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against external resistance, can help you get your strength back and tone your muscles.
- Improve your posture and balance: Poor posture and balance can cause back pain, neck pain, headaches, and falls. Pilates, a mind-body workout that focuses on aligning your spine and keeping your pelvis aligned, can help you improve your posture while also increasing your flexibility and conditioning your whole body.
- Boost your metabolism and burn calories: Your metabolism slows down as you get older. This makes it harder to lose weight and keep it off. Exercise can boost your metabolism by increasing your muscle mass, which burns more calories than fat.
- Reduce your risk of chronic diseases: Exercise can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and inflammation, and which are all risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. It can also strengthen your immune system, increase blood flow, and prevent infections.
- Enhance your mental well-being and mood: Exercise can improve your mood by releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones that make you happy. It also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression by lowering cortisol levels.
The American Heart Association recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (cardiovascular exercise) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, or a combination of both.
Aerobic exercise is any activity that makes your heart beat faster and makes you breathe harder, such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, brisk walking, or dancing.
Before starting any exercise program, consult with your doctor to make sure it is safe and appropriate for you.
Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.
Listen to your body and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort. And be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to stay hydrated.
Choosing the Right Exercise for You
It goes without saying that some exercises may be more suitable for you in your 40s than others.
Choosing the right one can make a huge difference in your motivation, enjoyment, and results. Here are some tips on how to choose the right exercise for you:
- Consider your goals: What do you want to achieve with exercise? Do you want to lose weight, tone up, improve your health, prevent weight gain, improve muscle tone, or just have fun? Depending on your goals, you may need to focus more on certain types of exercises than others.
- Consider your fitness level: How fit are you right now? How much exercise can you handle without getting injured or exhausted? Depending on your fitness level, you may need to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. You may also need to modify some exercises to suit your abilities and limitations. Always keep proper form at the forefront in your exercise routine, especially when weight lifting.
- Consider your preferences: What kind of exercises do you like or dislike? What kind of environment do you prefer to exercise in? Depending on your preferences, you may need to choose exercises that match your personality and lifestyle.
Types of Exercise for Women Over 40
There are many types of exercise that you can do to stay fit and healthy, but some are more beneficial than others for women over 40.
The best workout programs incorporate all of these exercises below to encourage good health.
Here are some of the main types of exercise that you should include in your workout routine:
These are exercises that make your heart beat faster and make you breathe harder.
Examples include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, high-intensity interval training, or dancing.
Cardiovascular exercises can improve your cardiovascular fitness, which is your ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs.
They also help you burn calories, lose weight, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce your risk of health issues like heart disease and diabetes.
Strength training exercises:
These are exercises that cause the muscles to contract against external resistance.
For example, using dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, bricks, or your own body weight. These resistance exercises are key to improving your overall health in your 40s.
Make sure you use each muscle group whether you’re doing a full body workout or targeting one area at a time, like the lower body, while weight training.
Strength training exercises improve your lean muscle mass, building muscle, and improve muscle definition. Muscle mass declines as you age, which is why people become weaker and more frail as they grow older.
Strength training exercises can help you prevent muscle loss, promote weight loss, and increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories and lose weight. It also improves bone density.
If you are looking to build endurance, opt for lower weights and higher reps. If you are looking to build muscle mass, go for heavier weights and less repetitions with plenty of rest and fluids in between while still maintaining proper form.
Preventing the loss of muscle mass as you get older is important to reducing the higher risk of age-related diseases and heart attack.
These are exercises that stretch your muscles and joints and improve your range of motion.
They help prevent stiffness and injury, especially as you age and your muscles and joints become less elastic.
Flexibility exercises can also improve your posture and alignment, which can help you avoid back pain and neck pain. Examples of flexibility exercises include stretching, yoga, tai chi, or pilates.
These are exercises that challenge your ability to keep your body stable and upright while moving or standing still.
They help you prevent falls and injuries. They also improve your coordination and agility. This allows you to perform daily activities with ease as you age.
Examples of balance exercises include standing on one leg, walking heel-to-toe, or doing pilates. These also improve core strength as well.
Tips for Incorporating Exercise into Your Routine
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being, especially as a woman over 40. But sometimes it can be hard to find the time, energy, and motivation to exercise regularly.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate it into your routine and make it a habit that you enjoy:
Start with a plan:
Before you begin any exercise program, it’s important to have a clear plan of what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it.
A plan will help you set realistic and specific goals, track your progress, and stay focused and accountable.
You can use a calendar, a journal, an app, or any other tool that works for you to plan your workouts. Some of these tools will also allow you to record your results.
If you are feeling stuck, consult your doctor or a fitness expert/personal trainer to help you create a plan that suits your needs.
Eat a healthy diet:
The better you eat, the better you’ll feel. And when you feel like doing your workouts, you’ll feel good completing them!
Fill your diet with vegetables, protein, healthy carbs, and fats along with the occasional treat and you’ll feel the best you have in years.
Start small and gradually increase:
If you’re new to exercise or haven’t exercised in a while, it’s important to start small and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.
This will help you avoid injury, burnout, and frustration. Start with something that you can do comfortably. For example, walking for 10 minutes or doing 10 squats.
Then slowly add more time, distance, weight, or repetitions.
Schedule your workouts:
One of the best ways to make exercise a part of your routine is to schedule your workouts like any other appointment or commitment.
This will help you prioritize your health and well-being and avoid distractions.
Choose a time of day that works best for you, then try to stick to the same time every day or every week to create a consistent pattern.
You can also set reminders or alarms on your phone or computer to help you remember.
Find an exercise buddy:
Exercising with someone else helps make it more fun and enjoyable. It can also provide you with support, encouragement, and accountability.
When you have an exercise buddy, you will be able to motivate each other, challenge each other, and celebrate each other’s achievements.
You can find an exercise buddy by joining a class, a club, an online community, or simply asking someone who is already in your social circle.
Make it fun:
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or tedious. It can be fun and rewarding if you choose the right activities for you. Try different types of exercises to find what you like best.
For example, activities like dancing, hiking, cycling, or swimming may be right up your alley.
You can also mix up your workouts by changing the location, the music, the equipment, or the intensity. There are also apps and trackers that add an element of gamification to your workouts to make them more fun.
Exercise is its own reward in many ways, but sometimes it helps to have some extra incentives to keep you motivated.
You can reward yourself for reaching your goals or milestones by treating yourself to something that makes you happy.
For example, you can buy yourself a new outfit, book a massage, watch a movie, or go out for dinner with your friends.
You can also reward yourself with non-material things, such as gratitude or positive affirmations. Just make sure that your rewards are healthy and aligned with your goals and values.
Final Thoughts on The Best Exercise For Women Over 40
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being, especially as a woman over 40. It can help you prevent and manage many health issues that affect older women.
It is also a great way to improve your physical and mental performance, your appearance, and your confidence. If you want to enjoy life in your 40s more, consider incorporating it in your life.
In this article, we discussed the importance of exercise for women over 40 and some of the benefits of each type of exercise.
We also shared tips and tricks that you can use to make it a habit that you enjoy. Hopefully, this has inspired you to try it out and transform your life! Good luck!