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Fitness After 40

Exercise is vital to our health and well-being, and here are some tips on what to do to stay (or get) in shape after 40! Our bodies change as we age due to hormone changes and wear and tear over the years and as always consult a medical provider as needed.

Regular exercise can include a variety of different types of physical activities and there are numerous ones to choose from. The goal is to find an activity you like and stick with it. All types of activities have been shown to help protect and strengthen the heart, bones, and muscles, as well as maintain and improve balance, body weight, mood, and overall sense of well-being.

  • Brisk walking

  • Jogging

  • Biking or spinning

  • Aerobics and fitness classes

  • Dancing

  • Tennis

  • Strength training

Weight bearing exercise is a necessity as we age. After 40, our bodies begin losing roughly 1% of muscle mass each year. Since muscle burns more energy (calories) than fat, this decrease can lead to fat-based weight gain. To reverse this process and decrease chances of osteoporosis lifting weights is recommended. Weights don’t have to be incredibly heavy, and you don’t have to work out to soreness, but muscles should fatigue between 12 to 15 repetitions. If you don’t want to use weights, try medicine balls, cables, or bands for resistance and you will have to lift against gravity within major muscle groups: legs, arms, core, and glutes. Taking stretch breaks every day is a great idea especially if you work behind a computer. Muscles and tendons in your legs and back tend to stiffen up, and staying flexible requires attention as we get older and don’t forget: sleep is underrated to recover from physical exercise and a healthy diet for overall well being!

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