Working out in your 20s may have seemed like a natural thing to do, because you were following constant routines day in day out, and you managed to stay organized to the maximum. However, once you get married and have kids, you don’t have as much time for going to the gym and dedicating to your usual workout routines, which eventually results in weight gain and sometimes even health issues.
If you haven’t worked out in more than a decade, the 40s will be challenging for you once you decide to start working on your figure again. However, with a few suggestions, you’ll know exactly where to begin, and what workouts to engage in to stay fit.
When you reach your 40s, the key to an effective exercise is to exercise smarter rather than more. Improving your flexibility and balance should be on top of the list. Muscle loss and joint stiffness are inevitable at the age of 40+, which is why it’s essential that you dedicate some time to improving flexibility.
Prevent injuries, improve balance and reach your optimal level of fitness by working on your flexibility. Consider foam rolling as one of the best ways to improve flexibility and rid your muscles of pain and adhesions. Do cardio and strength exercises four days a week. Make sure you’re active on your rest days as well, and think about going for a light run or a half hour long walk.
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Modify strength training
Functional strength training is more suitable for people in their 40s, rather than working on strength in isolated muscle groups. By building functional strength, you’ll improve your abilities by using groups of muscles you’d use while running everyday errands and engaging in common activities. Free weights, kettlebells, and medicine balls will tone your body because you’ll be using various group muscles at the same time.
Just as when you get up and down from a chair, climb the stairs, walk, push, pull or lift anything, multiple muscle groups are engaged in the activities, just as when you engage in functional strength training.
Spend a lot of time on stretching
Engage in dynamic stretching to prevent muscle and tendons damage that you could potentially cause with static stretching. Take a muscle to full length and hold for 15 to 60 seconds. Whether it’s touching your toes or walking lunges, you’ll be doing a great combination of flexibility and stretching improvement.
After your body has gone through pregnancy, it won’t be easy to go back to its prepartum shape, and even more so if it’s been more than a decade since you’ve taken care of your fitness. That’s why experts from Panthea Clinics in Sydney point out that redundant skin of the abdominal wall after childbirth may not, despite the inherent elasticity of the skin, return to its previous taut state. If so, no matter how many workouts you do, you might need plastic surgery to bring your body to its prepartum shape, which is why you should consider that as a go-to option for becoming fit again in your 40s.
Pick your foods
The older you get the fewer calories your body needs. However, this doesn’t mean you should cut back at the expense of protein, because foods with plenty of protein are rich in amino acids that your body needs to build and maintain calorie-burning muscle tissue.
Muscles will begin to shrink if you cut back on protein intake, so make sure you eat meat, yogurt, cheese, avocado and other foods rich in protein regularly, to help your stomach feel full longer. Avoid salty snacks, sodas, and sugary treats because they’ll only make you gain weight due to plenty of empty calories that they contain. Also, it’s very important that you eat regularly, and don’t skip meals. Not only will that slow down your metabolism, but add weight to your body as well.
After you skip a meal, your body will require much more calories the next time you need to feed it, which will only lead to overeating, causing a countereffect to weight loss. To control your appetite better, think about planning meals and you’ll jumpstart your metabolism too.
Foam rollers to the rescue
Use foam rollers after a hot morning shower to make your joints and muscles limber and loose for the rest of the day. This inexpensive piece of workout equipment will offer you numerous benefits of a therapist or masseuse at the comfort of your own home. After a myofascial release that you’ll get from foam rolling exercises, blood in your body will be squeezed out and replaced by a flood of fresh blood.
The better the blood flow in your body, the more benefits your body will get. Also, after your muscles are loosened thanks to foam rollers, there will be less friction when they move past one another, which will result in smoother muscles, less likely to be pulled or damaged. Decreased injury risk, better range of motion, and decreased recovery time are just some of the other amazing benefits you’ll get from using foam rollers.
Exercise do’s and don’ts
Jumping rope is one of the best workout choices for people in their 40s. Not only will it keep the heart rate up, but fuel a higher level of fat burning as well. It’ll strength joints, and improve blood circulation in no time. Push-ups are also a great way to get a full-body workout if you only combine a few other exercises to the workout too. What you shouldn’t do, however, is spend too much time focusing only on cardio workouts.
In order to lose weight, build strength and endurance, you need to combine weights and movements while utilizing your body weight. Don’t be afraid to do weightlifting and stop questioning whether you should be working out at all. This is probably the biggest mistakes women in their 40s make – doubt their ability and need for workouts. You can and you should stay physically active as long as you feel like your body is able to put on extra strength.
Staying fit in your 40s may seem like the biggest challenge of your life, but with a little bit of devotion, effort, and good will, you’ll become fit again in no time. All you need to remember is that success doesn’t come overnight and that you’ll need to break a lot of sweat before you go back to your ideal figure.
This is especially true if you’ve spent your 30s not exercising and dealing with other pressing issues. Therefore, start exercising as soon as possible, and follow the aforementioned tips to regain your perfect weight.
Featured Image: Push Ups Fitness Workout by skeeze on Pixabay.com
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