Remember when it was so easy to go to the gym, workout, come home, and move on with your day? Or when you could pick up and run and feel so much better the next day? How about when you decided it was time to drop a few pounds, diet for a week or two, and see results quickly? If these “remember when” moments sound like you, but are no longer you, then you may just be a woman over 40.
Let’s get real. You may not feel 40. You may not look 40.
Then you hit the gym. It just got real.
You can’t just jump on the treadmill, lift for 20 minutes, do some basic stretches, and call it good. Chances are, you will pull something or feel utterly exhausted before you even get close to finishing your workout (unless you are an over-active person that hits the gym daily). Before you can feel and see results, it helps to understand exactly what’s going on with you anyway.
When you hit 40 (or around there), your hormones begin to change in your body. Not everyone’s hormones change in exactly the same amount or way, but you will start to experience changes. Some right at 40, some a few years later. You may find unexpected weight gain, stiff muscles, exhaustion, and other unfavorable changes happening.
So how does this affect your exercise?
The most important thing you need to do it stretch before and after exercising. As your body goes through these changes, your muscles will be affected. Making sure they are warmed up and ready to go is key to preventing injury. Preventing injury is now a goal during exercise, because, thanks to Mother Nature, your body will also take longer to heal itself. After workout stretching will help you maintain your flexibility as well.
Don’t expect to do the same things you were able to do ten years, or even just five years ago. Your muscles will start to lose their mass and their strength the older you become. The good news is that there are strength and toning exercises you can do to help with this. If you haven’t been lifting daily, just don’t expect to walk into the gym and bench press what you could in your 20’s. For some excellent workout suggestions, Bodybuilding.com has some great ideas.
You may also have to shake up your cardio routine. Just doing cardio may no longer work effectively. As you age, you will lose your lean muscle mass if you are continually working on it. Since your lean muscle mass works with your metabolism, then you need to keep working it out if you want to stay fit. A good resistance training program is essential for you to keep these muscles around and working in top shape. Hello, squats and lunges!
Speaking of metabolism, it may be time to finally change up your diet. No more late night ice cream treats, wine and cheese dinners (well, maybe every once and awhile), and no high-carb, low protein meals. I’m not telling you to run out and get on the Keto train (though if that’s what you want to do, go for it). But if you are experiencing sudden weight gain in areas and have trouble getting rid of it, you may want to consider checking into some new thoughts on eating and watching your calories. Even if you are on a budget, you can still make <a href=”https://thesimplesunday.com/10-ways-can-eat-healthy-budget/”>healthy choices</a> that can have an added benefit of assisting your body through its hormonal changes.
If you are over 40 and have started noticing changes, I’d love to hear how you changed your gym routine. Have you found something that really works for you?