Once you hit your 40s, things start to get seriously flabby as gravity takes its toll. If you aren’t involved in fitness yet, it is really time to get started to ensure you keep having a beautiful and healthy body. When you are 40 and above, exercise is simply more than having a nice body.
It also reduces your risk of many chronic conditions (colon cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease, to name a few) and alleviates symptoms during your body’s transition into menopause.
Menopause is not common in your early 40s, but you will start to think about it more and more frequently, and your body will be preparing itself for it, even if you don’t realize it. Your body will start to have lower levels of estrogen, which is what causes sleep problems, hot flashes, bone loss and more. By exercising and being involved in a good fitness regime, you will avoid all of these problems.
As we get older, we must make sure that fitness is a strong part of our lives. However, fitness must also be enjoyable and something that you like doing on a regular basis, or it will not be sustainable. You must, therefore, understand what works for you also how that will benefit you. After all, a long and healthy life during which you look your best as well should be a very strong motivator.
The first thing you must do is become involved in strength training. Most women in their 20s and early 30s will be involved in some form of aerobics. However, as they age, they switch to things such as Pilates, aquarobics and other low impact sports. This is because our joints start to degenerate and it isn’t comfortable to do high impact sports anymore. Although it is very good to do low impact sports, it is also very important to do strength training so you don’t lose your muscle tissue on top of your joints as well.
Even if you’re aerobically active, you don’t prevent loss of muscles. If you do exactly the same thing, you will lose muscle and gain fat. Strength training is the only way to increase or preserve muscle mass.
Strength training can be a lot of fun, if you find something that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to mean that you sit on strength machines hour after hour, surrounded by men with too big muscles in too tight shirts. Speak to someone at your local gym about the type of exercises that work for you, and don’t forget that you can do a lot of home with some small weights or even cans of vegetables, for instance.
Do Some Cardio
You also have to make sure your heart muscles continue to work properly. As you age, you will start to store fat in different ways, particularly when you approach menopause. This is why you will seem to lose your waistline and you will start to grow some belly fat. Unfortunately, belly fat is often subcutaneous fat, which means it is inside your body and in your organs as well. This, in turn, means your heart has to work harder in order for you to stay healthy, so it is your job to make sure your heart is as strong as it can be, which is achieved through cardio training.
Whatever you choose for your cardio, keep it challenging by increasing duration, distance or intensity so that you continue to burn as many calories as you can.
If you also want to lose weight, cardio is absolutely essential. However, remember that there is no need for you to be a size 0 your entire life. Once you pass 40, it is OK to simply look your age as well.