The Best Workout for Women Over 40
You probably don’t picture yourself as a bodybuilder, but if you’re a woman over 40, weight training has some incredible benefits. In fact, the advantages of weight training increase as we age. (1, 2)
While getting in your 150 weekly minutes of aerobic exercise, as recommended by the American Heart Association, is important, it’s not enough to keep you healthy and thriving long-term. Adding weight training to your exercise routine will lower your risk for many health conditions. (1)
Benefits of Weight Training
Most women in their 40s experience perimenopause, which comes with a lot of changes for your body. Women who are inactive and have inadequate nutrition will start to lose bone mass at a rate of 1% per year after the age of 40. Osteoporosis, though common, is a serious condition. More than 2 million fractures are caused by osteoporosis each year. And depending on which bone breaks, it may never fully heal. This can cause long-term pain and greatly impact your independence. (1, 3)
Fortunately, weight training not only slows weight gain, it can actually build bone, too. Lifting weights puts stress on the bones, which causes bone-building cells to take action. The fact that weight training targets the spots that are most likely to fracture – the hips, spine, and wrists – is an added benefit. (3)
Balance and stability are other huge issues when it comes to concerns about falling. But weight training improves balance and stability, too! The strength and stability you gain from resistance workouts will reduce your risk of falling as you get older. (3)
Many people find themselves dealing with unwanted weight gain as they age. Weight training is actually one of the best ways to increase your metabolism and lose some pounds. And being at a healthy weight can lower your risks for all kinds of health issues, like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. (1)
Taking a supplement like AgelessLX provides support when added to your daily regimen. Its key ingredient, Calcium HMB (beta hydroxy beta methylbutyrate), a compound with over 90 clinical studies and 5 US Patents is proven to:
- Reduce muscle loss
- Improve post-workout recovery/soreness
- Enhance fat loss when combined with diet
- Enhance muscle strength when combined with exercise
- Increase stamina
So, How Do I Get Started?
While you might be convinced that weight training is the answer to all of your aging-related worries, getting started can still feel intimidating. Here are some tips to help you get started!
Safety is the most important aspect of getting started with weight training. Getting injured will take you out of a routine and could prevent you from wanting to start again once you’ve recovered. (1)
Make sure you learn proper form by consulting a personal trainer or watching videos and reading articles. Start off with low weights and make sure you’re using proper alignment before increasing to higher weights. (1, 2)
Never speed through the movements. Going too fast will make it harder to maintain the correct form, and you’ll be at a higher risk for injury. Use slow, controlled movements to stay safe and get used to how the movements should feel. (1, 2)
You should also take time to rest and recover, starting with just two or three weight training sessions per week. Lifting weights creates tears in your muscles, and they need time to heal. When the tears repair, your muscles will grow stronger. But if you do too much, too fast, you could get hurt. (1, 2)
Find a Plan
If you’ve never weight lifted before, you’re probably not sure where to start. Fortunately, there are tons of plans available that will guide you through your first workouts.
A quick internet search for “weight training plan for women over 40” will bring up plenty of results. Look for a plan that works all of your major muscle groups – hips, legs, chest, abs, back, arms, and shoulders – at least twice a week. You can also work with a personal trainer to develop a weight training plan that’s tailored to you. (1)
Even if your plan doesn’t include it, make sure that you’re warming up and cooling down. Five to 10 minutes of a dynamic warm-up that increases your heart rate will prepare your body for weight training. You can include activities like jumping jacks, arm circles, and leg swings. An active cool-down is just as important. Finish up your workout with low-intensity aerobic exercise, like walking or gentle yoga. (1)
Get the Right Equipment
Strength training requires less equipment than you’d think. If you have access to a gym, you already have everything you’ll need there. But some people prefer to work out at home. In that case, you should consider purchasing some resistance bands and dumbbells. You don’t need to buy the entire range of weights right away. Start out with low-weight dumbbells and purchase heavier ones as you need them. (1)
Sticking with Weight Training
Like with any new exercise regimen, your enthusiasm for weight training may wane over time. To make sure you stick with it and glean all of its benefits long-term, there are a few proactive things you can do.
Set Practical Goals
Focus on setting goals around the amount of time you spend weight training, rather than losing a certain amount of weight. If you’re focused on dropping a few pants sizes, you’re more likely to work out too fast and too hard. This will leave you sore or even injured, which will make it harder to weight train consistently. (2)
And if you don’t reach a weight loss goal in the amount of time you expect to, you might feel disappointed and give up on your new exercise routine. Remember that it takes six to eight weeks to see muscle definition after you start lifting weights. (2)
For now, focus on building up your time spent weight training. If you start out lifting for 30 minutes two times a week, gradually build up to 45 minutes three times a week. This is a reasonable, measurable goal that you can celebrate as you make progress. (2)
Make a Schedule That’s True to You
At the beginning of each week, schedule your workouts into your calendar. And make them on days and at times that work for you. Waking up at 6 a.m. to weight train might sound like the right thing to do. But if you are just not a morning person, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Making a schedule that you can actually keep will help you stick with weight training long-term. (2)
Watch a Video Podcast!
Catch Dr. Elke Cooke on the Evolving Ageless video podcast The Ideal Workout for Women over 40 [link to podcast] In this episode she discusses how muscle strength is the key to all things aging when it comes to body composition and hormone balance. According to Dr. Cooke, the greatest impact we can have on our aging is when we focus on our muscle strength. You’ll definitely want to tune in!
Every week the Evolving Ageless video podcast takes you into the minds and behind the scenes of doctors, clinicians and many other experts in the health and beauty field – covering a variety of topics specifically for women! Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode!
We all want to live vibrant lives for as long as possible. By adding weights to your workout, eating a well balanced diet and taking supplements like AgelessLX can help make sure this happens!
Do Something Today That Your Future Self will Thank you for