Fitness Over 40!
I am not a fitness expert, but I do enjoy fitness. I always have. As a child, I figure skated, played on school sports teams consisting of volleyball, basketball, and track and field. I was active ALL THE TIME. With figure skating, I was on the ice three days a week for up to 4 hours a session. With school sports, there were at least 2 game a week, 3 practices a week, plus a tournament at least once a month. I guess that was why I could eat anything I wanted to and not gain an ounce lol.
As I aged, finished school, got married and had children, I found my fitness routine started to dimish. I was prioritizing other aspects of my life – a career, married life, and babies. I just didn’t put a focus on fitness and my body was starting to show it. Not that I was gaining weight, but rather I felt sluggish both physically and mentally. I needed to fix that. That’s when I started my regular fitness centre routines and/or running.
Exercise is a celebration of what you can do, not a punishment for what you ate.
Fast forward to my forties. I am still regularily active. I incorporate either gym workouts or running into my weekly routine. I did however have to get creative this year when fitness centres were closed for a period of time. There are a ton of fitness video’s, workouts and apps available online. One that I downloaded was the Adidas App. There are plenty of plans and workouts to choose from and it will track your progress for you.
Some examples of other workouts that I did from home include:
- Sidney Cummings
- Whitney Simmons
- Pinterest Workouts
- Nike Training App
- YouTube Latin Workouts
One thing I have learned was to mix it up and make it fun. Challenge yourself, but also listen to your body. Now that I am in my forties (closer to my fifties now actually), I find certain exercises I used to do may not agree with me now. During workouts, often a lower impact option is given and sometimes, I would choose this option for one set, but do the higher intensity option for another. The key is to JUST BE ACTIVE!
According to Women’s Health Magazine, in your forties, hormones begin to change (estrogen, progesterone and human growth hormones decrease). This can then cause your metabolism to decrease. To maintain your weight, you’ll need to decrease your caloric intact (only slightly if you are already working out, but if you are not exercising, you’ll need to cut more out). Hence, the reason you cannot eat like you once did in your teen years.
Also in your forties, muscle mass begins to decrease. To combat this and keep your metabolism on a high, strength training is key. Women who strength train in their forties put on less belly fat than those who only focus on cardio. Don’t get me wrong, all exercise will burn calories and keep you fit, but strength training gives your metabolism the biggest boost. Combine your fitness with both concepts to give you the benefits of heart health with cardio and a metabolism boost with strength training.
Now, fitness and exercise are not the only aspects that are key. Nutrition also plays an important role. Protein especially. Implementing protein rich foods daily into your eating habits can make a huge difference in removing that ‘sluggish’ feeling and regaining that ‘energetic’ feeling.
- Beans- lentils, chickpeas
Are you are stuck and are currently in a bit of a fitness slump? One activity that I do to perk myself up to get back into the ‘fitness’ mode is to buy a new pair of shoes. I did this exact thing in March and I absolutely LOVE my new shoes. My son loves his Adidas Ultraboost shoes, so I thought I would go and check out them out for myself. I found the perfect pair at the Adidas store – Best part – ON SALE! I have to say; they are the most comfortable shoes I have owned. I’ve never owned Adidas Ultraboost shoes, but I highly recommend them. They are not only perfect for your at-home workouts, your gym workouts, or your distance run. Hands down, the most comfortable running shoe I’ve owned.
What Would My Ideal Week Look Like?
I know life can get in the way. There is your career, your children, your spouse, and even your own ME time, but you need to carve out time to exercise. This is not only beneficial for your body’s health and keeping fit, but also for your mental health. Exercise can reduce anxiety, improve your mood, boost brain power, can help with sleep, and decrease stress. It is imparative for overall health. (For more information on the benefits of exercise and mental health, click HERE).
For me, I prefer to exercise in the mornings. I will either head out for a run or at the moment, do an AT-Home workout. Some workouts I prefer are listed earlier, but there are many online options to choose from or I have even created my own with the help of Pinterest at home exercise lists. My awesome Apple Watch keeps track of my progress regardless if I am running or doing a high intensity exercise or even going for a walk with my husband.
Regardless of what activity you choose, when you choose to exercise or if you prefer to exercise alone with with a friend, you can’t go wrong. Start small if you are not already in a regular exercise routine – go for a walk and do 10 squats. Increase each week – set a goal.
If you are already in a regular exericse routine. Try something new. I am sure there is a machine at the gym you haven’t tried yet, or an exercise video you’d love to follow. If you are a runner, try extending your run by one more song (for those who don’t run with music – run one more block). Set a goal each week with what you’d like to accomplish.
- Increase your run time from 20 minutes to 25 minutes (or 5 minutes each run session)
- Total weekly cardio time of 90 minutes
- 100 squats per week
- Strength train 5 days a week
- Daily walks with your loved one
One last helping factor (for me anyways) is having someone for encouragement. An accountability partner. For me, that someone keeps me accountable to my exercise goals. Helps me be motivated. Encourages me when I am stuck or mentally blocked. Do you need someone to help you? If so, I can help you. Click the “I need Encouragement” button and I will be there to help you not only with ideas, but with support. Also, if you are unsure of a brand of protein shake, click the Amazon link below for a great vegan option.