For women over 40, it’s not uncommon or unexpected to start losing muscle mass and gaining weight. It’s a normal part of the aging process that all of our bodies begin to go through at some point. Haven’t you heard the saying “40 is the new 20”? You probably don’t feel like you’re 20 years old when you exercise or go to the gym. So we’ve compiled a few tips to help women over 40 exercise safely and comfortably.
Take It Easy
If you are new to working out and exercising, no matter how old you are, the last thing you want to do is jump headfirst into a hardcore workout routine. This can cause injury, muscle strain, soreness and dehydration. So instead, start slow and build up to a more intense workout whenever you feel your body is ready.
Some easy exercises to get you started include a brisk 30 minute walk or jog. The CDC recommends 75 minutes a week for women over 40, that’s only 15 minutes per day! For busy women and mothers who work, take care of their families, and have a mounting to-do list, exercising can be the last thing you want to add to your plate. However, your health is extremely important, especially as we get older.
Did you know that 1 in 3 women over the age of 50 will experience a fracture due to osteoporosis? By implementing strength training exercises into your fitness routine, you can build up your strength and balance, especially if you suffer from osteoporosis. Your back and hips are a particular area of concern for older women. Strength training has also shown to reduce the risk of cardiac death and cancer, and increase brain function in women 55-60 years old who have cognitive impairments.
You can start your strength training with light dumbbells or body weights if you haven’t done it for a while or are new to it altogether. Be sure to space out your strength workouts to avoid injury. Strength workouts should not be done everyday.
Find What You Like
There are a multitude of ways you can workout. From group fitness classes at a local gym, to at-home workouts, to zumba or yoga. There are so many ways to get the exercise you need. Try things out until you find something you actually enjoy doing and doesn’t feel like another mark to check off on your list of things to do. All of the fitness tricks and tips in the world won’t help you if you aren’t going to stay consistent and do the work. So finding something you actually like to do, while getting plenty of exercise, makes you more likely to stick to your routine.
Mix It Up
If you have been enduring the same workout routine for months, it might seem stale and boring overtime. Consider mixing it up and finding other ways to exercise. As stated above, you really need to enjoy what you’re doing. So don’t be afraid to try something new, maybe with a friend or partner. This can be as simple as adding a new element to your workout routine, or creating a whole new routine. Just remember, slow and steady is key to preventing injuries and from burning yourself out.
If you’re looking for a new gym to join that has a family atmosphere, Gator Fitness is your gym in Florence and Sheffield, Alabama. Open 24 hours a day, and we offer a FREE 2 week pass for new members. Sign up for our Florence Location or Sheffield Location.