Strength training with help you retain fat-burning muscle and maintain all-important bone mass to keep lean, strong, sexy…for life!
By the time you’ve reached your forties, one of two things has likely happened: You’ve found a go-to fitness routine, or you’ve completely given up on your gym-rat goals. Either way, it’s time to shake things up, because this is the time when differences between the fit and unfit really start to show. The dips in muscle and bone mass that began in your thirties continue but really ramp up in your forties if you don’t exercise. Retaining fat-burning muscle is critical to keeping your weight in check. It will not only prevent you from going up a few dress sizes but also help you fight off serious stuff like heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer.
If you’ve fallen off the fitness wagon, don’t despair—starting again is easier than you think. Your body has built a muscle memory for all the activities you’ve ever done. Even if it has been months or years since you last exercised, your muscle fibers remain primed and can fall back on your past experience for support. And while your heart’s pumping ability naturally slows in this decade, it’s more pronounced in people who are already in peak shape, he says. That means those who haven’t reached their max fitness may still see improvements.
Turn the Tide on Muscle and Bone Loss
One change you’re bound to notice in your forties is that recovering from workouts takes a little longer. That’s because your levels of muscle-aiding hormones like estrogen and testosterone usually drop slightly during this decade, and cortisol, a stress hormone that can break down muscle, tends to increase. Mitochondria in your cells, which are involved with oxygen consumption and muscle building and repair, also lose capacity as you age, and your muscles become a little stiffer as you accumulate scar tissue and thickening in your connective tissue.
Turn the tide on muscle and bone loss with strength work, which promotes the mineralization that keeps them strong.
Sharpen Your Skills
Make sure you are lifting weights that are heavy enough to challenge yourself. Your last few reps of a move should be tough to eke out.
Do More Yoga
It’s especially valuable now because it boosts flexibility in the spine and hips, which is integral for good posture. Plus, Downward Dog and inversions are amazing for your complexion, bringing blood flow to your face. Consider it an anti-aging facial!
It’s easy to fall into a workout rut in your forties. Whether it’s a salsa dance class, a bicycle tour, or a surfing lesson, can bolster your enthusiasm and pick up your metabolism.