Being over 40 can make staying in shape more difficult than ever, but with a few simple tips any woman can maintain her fitness levels no matter her age!
If you’re approaching 40 or are over the age of 40, you may already realize how difficult it is to stay fit at this age. However, by keeping in mind these 5 simple tips, any woman can keep herself in great shape well into her 40s and beyond.
Once a woman hits the age of 40, her body goes through some unmistakable changes. The metabolism slows and because of this, it’s easier to put on weight and harder to lose body fat. Women also experience more fatigue after 40, and may find that they begin to have minor aches and pains that also make working out more difficult at this age.
Because of these changes, it can be difficult to stay fit and healthy over 40, but any woman that is determined to maintain her fitness levels can do so if she remembers these 5 simple but important tips. Keep these in mind for yourself if you’re over 40 or are approaching that age, so you can maintain your fitness levels no matter your age.
Tip #1: Regular exercise is now more important than ever
When you’re younger you might miss a workout and your metabolism remains active, but after 40 your metabolism is starting to reduce on its own. Regular workouts then become more important than ever.
After 40, be sure you work out at least five times every week without fail and resist the urge to make excuses for yourself. Invest in some DVDs or exercise equipment for the home for times when it’s difficult to get out to the gym. This will give you less of a chance to miss a workout during the week.
Tip #2: More challenging aerobics are vital
Because metabolism slows down after 40, you need to push yourself when it comes to your aerobic activity. A leisurely stroll is good but it won’t do much to raise your metabolism and fight that dreaded “middle age spread.” This can be difficult since your energy levels decrease at this age, but a challenging workout will actually give you more energy, since this works your heart and your lungs and makes them stronger.
Keep in mind that after 40, you can either create more energy that helps you work out more, or you can allow your energy levels to drop and work out less and less! Choose aerobic activity that really gets the heart and lungs going and that offers a challenging workout for you so you can maintain your fitness at this age.
Tip #3: Protein is vital for women over 40
It’s not uncommon to lose muscle mass after the age of 40, but protein feeds muscles and keep them healthy. After 40 it’s good to consider how much lean protein you eat and make up for any lack in your diet with protein shakes and supplements.
Be sure you opt for lean choices so you don’t pack on the pounds with fatty cuts of meat; choose chicken, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, and other low-fat options after 40. For vegetarians and vegans, protein can also be found in leafy greens, mushrooms, beans and legumes, soy products, peanuts, and almond milk.
Tip #4: Resistance training is needed
Because your muscle mass decreases after age 40, women should use resistance training to keep themselves fit and toned. This doesn’t mean bulking up like a bodybuilder but it does mean creating lean and firm muscles that are strong despite being over 40!
Simple resistance training like arm curls, leg curls, bench presses, and added resistance on the exercise bike or elliptical machine will help to build those muscles and keep joints healthy and fluid as well. Resistance training is also shown to build bone mass, so a woman has less risk of osteoporosis if she lifts weights as she gets older.
Tip #5: Your calories may need to decrease to protect your fitness levels
Because it’s harder to burn calories and keep the weight off after you hit 40, it’s good to reduce your calorie intake even if just slightly at this age. This doesn’t mean suddenly starving yourself, but cutting out unnecessary calories can make a big difference in your fitness at this age.
Consider some simple ways of doing this:
Forego adding sugar to your morning coffee or tea. If you must have a sweetener, reduce the amount you use by half, then by half again until you’re using just a small amount, if any.
Switch from dairy milk to soy or almond milk. Skim milk has 120 calories per cup, whereas soy and almond milk may have 80 or 60 calories per cup, and unsweetened almond milk has 30 calories per cup. This simple switch can save you hundreds of calories every week and be a much healthier option.
While fruit is chockfull of vitamins and essential minerals, it’s also high in sugar content. Try having a serving of fruit every other day rather than every day to save on calories.
Check calorie counts of salad dressings and switch to Greek salad dressing or vinegar and oil rather than ranch dressing or a sweet vinaigrette. If you eat lots of salads, this can save you hundreds of calories every week.