I have taken a new interest in exercise over 40 since I hit this decade a couple of years ago. As it turns out, exercise is more than just a way of looking good when we reach the 4th decade. It is important in controlling many things from menopause to bone health to self image.
This article shares with you what my 18 years in health care have taught me about not only the importance of exercise over 40 but more specifically the importance of weight training for women over the age of forty.
As we move past our 30’s our muscles start to slowly lose their mass IF we don’t work them against resistance, i.e. lift weights.
This is significant for many reasons, one of them being our ability to maintain a healthy weight. Muscle is very important for fat burning. In fact, ever pound of muscle you have on your body burns 50 calories per day. Now let’s consider what happens if you don’t workout and you lose 1/2 pound of muscle a year from age 40 to age 50. That means you have to eat 250 calories less at age 50 just to maintain your current weight!
Another top concern for women (or at least it should be) is bone health, our bones become dense when they are put under weight bearing. If your only exercise is walking you will not put your bones under enough stress to maintain your bone density. Even though walking is considered a weight bearing exercise and is good for you, it is not nearly as beneficial to your bones as weight lifting.
I mentioned menopause at the beginning of this article so let me elaborate. Studies show that if we become active in our 40’s that we are much more likely to stay active after menopause and the symptoms of menopause and their intensity greatly diminish with strength training.
Many of my female clients are not sure about starting to exercise over 40 with weights, especially if this is new to them. I recommend they make it as easy as possible to get started yet set themselves up correctly with a good home gym.
The most convenient, cost-effective and sensible option for weight training is to create a home gym and this really only requires one piece of equipment. I recommend you get a set of adjustable dumbbells. They will allow you to do every type of exercise and because one pair of these innovative dumbbells adjusts to different weights it is like having 15 sets of free weights in one. Truly everything you need to exercise with weights for the rest of your life.
Exercise over 40 with weights is vital for all of the reasons mentioned above, if you see how weight training can benefit you then I recommend you invest in a set of adjustable dumbbells such as the ones put out by Bowflex they have served my clients very well.
Working out at home makes sense.