Many of us want to look and feel better as we age, but it can be more difficult as we get older. There are a lot of changes that happen after the age of 40, from hormonal fluctuations to decreased bone density, which makes it more challenging for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain weight. The good news is that there are plenty of exercises that can help.
I have experienced this firsthand. Prior to turning 40, my fitness regimen consisted of running only, (a few years back), and then elliptical exclusively, after my treadmill broke. I did not do any other workouts or exercises. I’ve noticed that I’m gaining weight, a little at a time, after turning 40. And nothing else has changed in my life since then.
That’s when I began to investigate and discovered that after 40, our exercise routine must change. And there are many factors for our body changes.
The first thing to keep in mind is that your metabolism naturally slows down as you age, so you need to adjust the way you work out. You also start losing lean muscle mass, which means you have to do more than just cardio if you want to see results. Additionally, many of us become sedentary after we turn 40 – due to work, family obligations or just a general slowing down of our lifestyle. This can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
There are also hormonal changes happening with age that affect our body composition and how we store fat. For women, this is especially true after menopause when estrogen levels drop. This can lead to a redistribution of weight on the body – typically more around the waistline – and an increase in abdominal fat.
A lack of sleep is another issue that becomes more common after 40. It’s no wonder, with the daily grind of work and family obligations, plus a decrease in sleep as we age.
So, if you’re over the age of 40, and want to lose weight, then it’s important that you start exercising in a different way.
Many experts agree that strength training is an essential part of any weight loss regimen after 40 to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat percentage. It also helps maintain lean muscle for those who are trying to lose weight through diet alone or even just prevent further weight gain. Strength training not only burns calories while you’re working out but also helps increase your metabolism so that you continue to burn more fat even after the workout is over.
Yoga is also a great option because it helps improve flexibility and balance which can be an issue for people who are aging. It also helps to improve breathing, which can be affected by a decrease in lung function. Additionally, yoga helps to improve blood flow, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease. And last, but definitely not least, yoga can help reduce stress levels while increasing relaxation.
Swimming is another great activity since it helps strengthen your whole body while decreasing the impact on weight-bearing joints like knees and hips. It also has cardiovascular benefits without overworking the heart, making it a good option for those who have heart problems. It’s also enjoyable – who doesn’t love swimming?!:)
Being outdoors is another benefit of exercising, especially after 40 when people are looking to stay active and fit while enjoying the best years of their life. Additionally, being outside can help you get your daily dose of vitamin D which helps improve moods as well as maintain strong bones. Just remember that if you’re going to be exercising outside, you need to make sure that the weather is appropriate for your workout.
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is another great way to work out after 40. It’s a form of cardio that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise – like sprinting, biking, or speed walking – followed by a brief period of low-intensity exercise. There are different variations of HIIT, so you can find one that fits your abilities and interests. You may even do a 4-minute high-intensity interval training workout at home, every day, to see excellent effects. So, it doesn’t have to be long or boring.
Low-intensity cardio, like walking or cycling, is another great way to burn calories without putting too much stress on your body. It’s a good option for those who are just starting an exercise routine, or for those who have health problems that make strenuous exercise difficult. There’s nothing wrong with an easy jog around your neighborhood while you’re catching up on podcasts or an audiobook you wanted to listen to for a while.
Dancing is another fun way to work out after 40 or at any age. There are so many different types of dances – Latin, ballroom and hip-hop to name a few – that you can pick something that fits your lifestyle. You don’t even have to go to a dance studio; just put on your favorite music and get moving. And if you want to learn a new dance style on your own, there’s nothing stopping you. YouTube has everything:)
Finally, the best exercise to lose weight after 40 is one that you will actually do! So find something that you enjoy – whether it’s hiking, walking or taking fitness classes – and stick with it. Being active outdoors is preferred and most importantly, have fun!