Here’s some info for my ladies who are over 40, like myself. Your body is going through lots of changes as you grow older. It’s important that we don’t ignore these changes. The most important thing is to add or continue to strength train. It helps to burn fat and it will help maintain bone density while reducing the effects of aging.
Strength training for women over 40 is very different than a typical workout for younger women. Running and jumping may become more challenging (many years after giving birth). Boot camps and High Intensity Interval Training may fun but they can be counterproductive for women over 40. If you do not have any joint problems you can participate in these types of classes but if you have problems with knees, sore hips, or other joint problems you may want to try more isolated and gentle movements to maintain strength.
Here is a list of the 5 top exercises for women over 40 and why:
- Burpees- I know what you’re thinking, no one likes burpees. But they are a great full body strength exercise. It works your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings and abs.
- Squats- Squats help to build your leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, and calves). Squats also help you burn more fat and is one of the most time efficient ways to burn calories.
- Planks- Planks is one of my all time favorite moves. It is great for core conditioning but it also works the glutes and hamstrings. It also supports proper posture.
- Lunge- Lunges aid in sculpting and strengthening your legs and glutes. They can also improve flexibility in the hips.
- Straight leg raises- This is a great overall flexibility and stability exercise. It aids in strengthening and defining your abdominal muscles.
Physiologically, strength training consistently can lead to increased muscle size and tone and improved bone density. This is particularly important as we get older when we have increases risk for osteoporosis and brittle bones.
Adding muscle will also give your metabolism a much needed boost at a time when it tends to slow down. Lifting weights will also improve psychological health and increase confidence and self worth. Working out gets the blood flowing to your brain and will help keep your mind sharp.
As we get older it becomes more difficult to sleep. We are more tired. Strength training has been linked to better sleep and more restful nights which all know helps us look good and feel young. Do not let age hold you back from pursuing your fitness goals. If you are a woman over 40 and you are seeking an exercise routine, there is no better way to help reverse the aging process than to strength train. Head to the gym and don’t be afraid to pick up some weights!