Laurie Ann Smith, clinical exercise specialist, medical exercise specialist and certified personal trainer, recommends regular cardiovascular conditioning for women in their 40s. She points out that, as we age, metabolism slows down, and the body tends to store more visceral — or intra-abdominal — fat. Regular cardio training will help to maintain your weight. Smith suggests opting for interval-style cardio, where you switch between a fast pace and a slower pace over a steady-pace cardio workout to burn more calories.
Smith recommends women in their 40s participate in regular weight-bearing exercises as a way to maintain their bone density and to prevent osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise simply means you work against gravity to keep your body in a standing position. Jogging, tennis, step aerobics and dancing are all examples of higher-impact, weight-bearing exercises. Smith suggests a Zumba class to help de-stress, maintain strong bones and to get a cardio workout while having fun. However, if you experience pain while doing higher-impact weight-bearing activities, low-impact weight-bearing exercises might be a better option. Try walking, elliptical training machines or golf.
Smith also suggests that women in their 40s partake in posture-focused activities that help keep the spine healthy. These types of activities help make sure the head, neck and shoulders are aligned, which aids in strengthening back muscles to reduce pain, improve balance and prevent any rounding of the back. Try core-strengthening exercises to improve stability in the abdominals, which are used to maintain good posture. Yoga, Pilates and barre all help to build better posture, improve flexibility and range of motion and to strengthen your mind-body connection while toning your body.
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