After a woman hits 40, her body changes in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Gaining weight may be easier. She may be less flexible and more prone to injury.
Biologically, the combination of perimenopause and general aging may require a new kind of diet and a new form of exercise. You may not be able to run marathons like you used to, but you can still work up a sweat and look good.
There are a lot of excellent options available if you are looking for a good workout for a 40 year old woman. Check out these five ideas for staying fit, strong and healthy.
1. Weight Training
Weight training, or strength training, is one of the best things a woman over 40 can do for her long-term good health. Because women lose bone density with age and are likely to develop osteoporosis, any weight-bearing activity strengthens the skeleton.
Strong bones do more than protect against future injuries. Weight lifting also helps increase metabolism, thus being an important component to keeping weight off. It also helps keep blood pressure and cholesterol low.
TRX offers many of the benefits of weightlifting: the concept is similar, except you use your own body weight instead of barbells and free weights.
Using cables suspended from the ceiling, you go through a series of exercises which are intended to strengthen and lengthen your muscles.
There is no impact, so you do not have to worry about pounding on your joints as you do with running and other high impact exercises.
High-Intensity Interval Training is another great alternative for women in their 40s. It provides a good aerobic workout, in addition to moves which sculpt and shape all the muscles groups.
HIIT is great for women on the go, balancing work, life, and kids. The duration of a typical HIIT class may be short, but it can have more of an impact on your body than longer periods of more extended workouts.
According to research, if you spend 15 minutes three times a week on interval training, you will achieve more progress than you will by jogging on a treadmill for one hour per week. You will lose weight, improve your cardiovascular functioning, and feel awesome.
If you love long-distance endurance exercise but find that running has become torture on your joints, jump in the pool. Swimming is great cardio exercise, and it tones all the muscles in your body from arms and legs to abs.
Just remember that due to the lack of gravity in swimming, you will need to incorporate some weight-bearing exercise like cross training or powerlifting into your routine.
Mixing up a cardio workout like swimming with some time in the gym with weights will give you a safe and well-rounded exercise regimen.
Pilates is another work out favored by women in their 40s because it creates long, lean musculature and does not require a lot of jumping around.
Done on mats or with specially designed machines, you will use your own weight (like with TRX) to perform exercises aimed at strengthening your core and improving your balance.
Influenced by dance and helpful for balance as well as toning, Pilates is a healthy form of exercise for women of all ages and abilities. Sometimes women continue this practice well into their 60s and 70s.
Looking for the Best Workout for a 40 Year Old Woman? You’ve Got Lots to Choose From
The best workout for a 40 year old woman depends on individual preferences, agility, and strength, as well as lifestyle and health goals.
If you are already fit, you may want to challenge yourself and protect your future health with powerlifting or HIIT. If you want to take it a little easy, there are other more low key ways to stay healthy and feel good. Talk it over with a trainer and see what approach is right for you.
For more information on the best workout for you, check out our blog.