As women grow older, their body undergoes various changes. So, it is normal for a body of a 40-year- old to look drastically different from a body of a 20-year- old girl.
Instead of ignoring these changes, women over 40 can perform certain exercises, such as lifting weights and strength-training exercises, which can help them maintain bone density, increase muscle mass, stay in shape, and diminish the effects of aging.
It seems like the days of aerobics and sweating are over, with more and more women embracing strength-training. Here are some tips on how to stay find and youthful with the help of strength training.
Choose Form Over Speed
Women over 40 should focus more on form than speed since they benefit from a slow burn. Also, they are less likely to become injured with slow movements. When it comes to strength training, slow and steady wins the race.
Benefits Of Strength Training
The benefits of regular strength training include improved muscle strength, improvements in bone density, and an increase in muscle size and tone. This is important for women over 40 who are more likely to suffer from brittle bones and osteoporosis.
Adding muscle also boosts the metabolism which tends to slow down with age. As an added bonus, lifting weights boosts confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth, improving psychological health.
In addition to increasing power, endurance and strength, it has been scientifically shown that strength training also leads to improved productivity and intellectual capacity. Physical exercise keeps the mind sharp by getting the blood flowing to the brain.
Ultimately, strength training workouts have been shown to improve sleep and promote more restful nights, which is great for both feeling and looking young.
Top 5 Exercises for Women Over 40
Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart, arms at the sides, and weight in the heels. Push the hips back, bend the knees and lower the body into a squatting position. Put the hands on the floor in front of the feet and shift the weight on them. Jump the feet back to land in a plank position. Make sure the back doesn’t sag or the butt sticks up in the air. Jump the feet back in order to land outside of the hands, reach the arms over head and jump in the air.
Stand with the head facing forwards and the chest held out and up. Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider and extend the hands straight out in front of you. Sit back and down like you are sitting into a chair. Lower down so that the thighs are parallel to the floor, with the knees over the ankles. Press the weight in the heels. Keep the body tight and push to the heels to go back to the original position.
Put the hands under the shoulders as if you are about to do a push-up. Squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body, making sure the knees are not locked or hyper- extended. Neutralize the spine and neck by looking at the floor about a foot beyond the hands. The head and the back should be in line! Hold the position for 20 seconds.
Keep the upper body straight, with the chin up and the shoulders back and relaxed. Step forward with one leg and lower the hips until the knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. The front knee should be placed directly above the ankle, making sure the other one doesn’t touch the floor. Keep the weight in the heels as you push back to the original position.
5. Straight Leg Raises
Lay on the back with the legs straight. Engage the abdominals and put the hands by the hips for additional support. Exhale as you lift one leg into the air. Lift until you form a 90 degree bend at your hips. Go back to the starting position.