Over the years, the female body experiences many changes. As women get older, their body loses their flexibility, but rather than ignoring the changes, every woman should strive to keep themselves in top shape. Contrary to popular belief, women over 40 can do numerous fitness exercises which will keep their muscles strong and help them stay in shape.
Once you hit 40, you need to focus on strength training and moderate weight lifting in order to maintain muscle and bone density. The strength training for women over 40 greatly differs from the strength training for younger people. Over time, the female body just isn’t able to endure all the rigors of extensive training, mostly due to the deterioration of the bones and joints. This can lead to knee, joint and back pain, but doesn’t mean you should completely stop exercising.
If you’re not suffering from joint and knee pain, you can go for harder workouts. If you are, however, you need to focus on weight lifting in order to maintain the shape and strength of your muscles and bones. This can be done with a variety of exercises which will go light on your body and still keep you in shape.
Here are the top 5 exercises for women over 40:
Stand upright and squat down, then put your palms on the floor and jump back to go in a pushup position. Now, lift yourself up and go back into the previous position, then jump up and go back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of burpees with 10 repetitions in each.
Squats are a great way of strengthening your back, butt and thigh muscles and stay in shape. To do them, stand upright and extend your arms in front of you, then bend your knees and go down to the floor as much as you can while keeping your back straight. The lower part of your body should be parallel to the floor ideally. Repeat 3 sets of squats with 15 repetitions in each.
Planks are a great full-body workout which can strengthen all your major muscle groups. Go down into a pushup position, but this time rest your weight on your toes and forearms instead of your palms. Keep your back straight and your neck and head relaxed, then squeeze your core and breathe deep. Hold the position for as much as you can.
Lunges will tighten your thigh and leg muscles and are easy and fun to perform. Stand upright with your arms down by the sides of your body, then step forward with one leg and bend the knee and extend the other behind you. Don’t let the knee touch the floor, though – keep it parallel and repeat the exercise with the other leg. Do 3 lunge sets with 20 repetitions each.
5. Straight leg raises
Lie on the floor with your arms by your sides, then bend your legs and lift them up in the air. Lower them to the floor and go back to the starting position, then repeat the exercise in 3 sets, with 15 repetitions per leg.
Benefits for strength training
Strength training is also highly important if you want to stay in shape over the age of 40. These exercises will reinforce your muscles and bones and can reduce the risk of brittle bones, arthritis and osteoporosis.
Adding muscle to your body will also boost your metabolism in a time when it naturally slows down. Weight lifting can improve your mental health as well by improving your self-esteem. Finally, strength training programs can also improve your sleep in a time when you’re naturally inclined to sleep less.
As you can see, there is a way of staying in shape even if you’re 40 or older. Try the exercises from above to maintain your muscles and bones and feel better about yourself.