As we get older our metabolism slows and our body’s needs change. This is not the time to start going soft on your regular fitness routine. In fact, to remain fit and healthy after 40, it is time to get fierce.
Now is the time to start thinking smart when it comes to your workout routine. You will need to fine-tune your regular workout to target more resistant areas and increase your cardio. A focus on weight training and low-impact exercise becomes critically important as we age. Resistance training helps to develop strong muscle mass, while low-impact cardio helps to protect joints.
Let’s explore some of the best options for getting fiercer at 40.
Best Strength Workout Tips for Women at 40
Workout requirements change as our bodies age. This is not a bad thing, it just means that you need to adjust your fitness routine a bit to keep up the fat-burning, strength-building results that you are used to. It is also more important than ever that you take steps to ensure that you are working out safely. High-impact exercise, especially on hard, unforgiving surfaces can cause injury at any age. However, as we move beyond our twenties and thirties the protective cushioning protecting our joints becomes more depleted and prone to injury. It is crucial that women over 40 are taking care to exercise on suitable shock-absorbent flooring to protect their muscles and ligaments from strain and injury.
Keep Up Your Regular Workouts
This is no time to let off the gas. It can become harder to get the results you want as your metabolism naturally slows. This makes it even more important to keep up with regular workouts. Most fitness experts recommend that women over the age of 40 work at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise into their daily schedule. Those looking to tone up, build strength, or lose weight should expand their workout schedule further to include at least 45 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio and strength training exercises each day.
Change Up Your Fitness Routine Regularly
Another great way to ensure that you keep getting the results that you want, and help stave off injury is to ensure that you are switching up your fitness routine regularly. By incorporating a wide variety of exercises into your fitness workout you can help avoid the risk of injury or strain resulting from repetitive motion, and you can make certain that you are working all of your major muscle groups. Plus, a regular routine can get stale. Punching up your fitness repertoire with a liberal dose of variety can keep your mind engaged and interested in keeping fit and fierce.
Resistance Train To Build Healthy Muscle
It is another fact of human ageing, that muscle mass naturally decreases as we get older. You can help keep the hands of time off your body by building strength-building resistance training exercises into your regular fitness routine. Maintaining healthy muscle mass is crucial to keeping a trim, healthy figure as muscle is a big contributor to a healthy metabolism. The more muscle that you have the faster and more efficiently your body burns calories at work and at rest.
Strength training or resistance training is the best way to ensure that you continue to build healthy, metabolism-maximising muscles. There is no need for expensive equipment, you can get a great resistance-training workout by incorporating exercises that use your own body weight as resistance, or by performing regular barbell lifting exercises using light-to-medium weight dumbbells or weights.
The amount of weight you use and the number of reps that you perform will vary according to your overall fitness goals. As a general rule of thumb, aim for performing 3 to 5 sets consisting of 10 to 20 reps each. As you build muscle strength, you can begin to increase the amount of weight that you are lifting to help you sculpt greater muscle definition.
Cardio Interval Training
Put the days of long cardio sessions behind you. Experts have found that interval training involving low-intensity cardio interspersed with short bursts of high-intensity cardio.
Here is a sample interval training routine to supercharge your fat-burning workout:
Choose your favourite low-to-moderate intensity cardio activities. These can be any activity that you enjoy as long as it gets your body moving, and your heart pumping. Swimming, cycling, jogging, walking, and rowing are all great outdoor cardio options. For those who prefer to stay indoors, a treadmill, elliptical machine, stair climber, or bike rower will provide the same high-quality workout.
Remember variety is key to staying engaged and keeping the momentum flowing in your regular workout routine so you may want to consider switching it up and trying a different type of cardio activity each week.
- 5-Minute Warm-Up:
Start each cardio interval training workout with 5 minutes of low-intensity cardio activity to warm up
- High-Intensity Burst
Ramp up your pace and push yourself to your maximum intensity for 30 to 60 seconds
- Moderate Cardio Period
Return to a moderate-intensity level and continue at this pace for 1 to 2 minutes
- Repeat Interval Cycle
Continue alternating 1 - 2 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio activity with short 30 - 60 second bursts of high-intensity cardio activity for a total workout time of 20 to 30 minutes.
- 5-Minute Cool Down
Finish off your workout with 5 minutes of low-intensity cardio activity to cool down and return your heart rate to a baseline level. Remember to stretch afterward to keep your muscles limber.
Regardless of the type of activities that you choose for your fitness workout, it is crucial that you make every effort to prevent injury. Unfortunately, as we age we become more prone to injury. Our bodies are simply not as resilient, and infallible as they were in our teens and twenties.
Building strong core muscle strength, and staying well-hydrated can help keep our bodies strong and provide some degree of protection against injury. That being said, the natural cushions that protect our joints from strain and injury during repetitive motion, heavy lifting, or moderate-to-high-impact activities tend to degrade over time. Supplementation and sound nutrition can help support joint and ligament health, but it is crucial to ensure that you are taking steps to reduce the risk of strain or injury while performing your workouts as well.
If you are primarily working out outdoors, you should ensure that you have invested in high-quality footwear designed to provide the optimum support for your chosen activity. If you have already experienced a strain or injury in the past, you may want to consider adding a support brace, or other supportive wraps to help protect the weakened joint from further injury.
When working out indoors, either in your home or in a gym or sports facility, make certain that you are performing your moderate-to-high-intensity workout on suitable gym flooring designed for the specific type of activity you will be engaging in.
Gym flooring that is at least 15mm thick or thicker will generally provide adequate shock absorption protection for most moderate-impact gym activities. High-impact activities like weight lifting or high-intensity cardio may require a thicker-density rubber mat designed for added cushioning and support. Regardless of the activity, it is crucial to look for gym flooring that provides a secure, non-slip surface to prevent the risk of serious injury caused by slips and falls.
For those planning to work out from home, safe slip-resistant gym flooring should still be at the top of your must-have list. The carpet, wood, tile, or laminate flooring in most residential homes does not provide adequate shock absorption protection for moderate or high-impact fitness activities. What’s worse, the glossy finish of most tile, wood, and laminate flooring surfaces tends to be quite slippery and will not provide the sure-footed traction needed to perform your fitness workout safely.
Fortunately, it is easy and relatively inexpensive to install a safe shock-absorbing protective gym flooring in your home workout space. Portable rubber mats and click-together modular gym mats make it easy to set up a secure, non-slip gym flooring surface anywhere in your home. The portable nature of these mats makes it easy to place your protective gym flooring wherever you plan to work out, and simply pick it up and return it to storage when you have finished your workout for the day. As an added advantage, modular rubber gym mats are a great way to protect your home’s flooring surfaces from damage caused by scuffing from athletic shoes, or dents and gouges from heavy weights, barbells, or dumbbells.
If you are planning on using heavy home gym equipment in your home, rubber gym mats will protect your carpet from crushing under the weight of the equipment, and protect hard flooring surfaces from scratches caused by shifting or sliding equipment. It goes without saying, placing rubber mats under your home gym equipment will also help to prevent injury caused by sliding or shifting equipment.
No matter how you choose to work out, the most important part of staying fit and fierce after 40 is to make sure that you don’t quit. Stay active, stay safe, and stay fierce.
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