Aging is a unique experience. It is more important than ever to pay attention to form, posture and strength in your forties. One reason exercise is so good for overall health is that it can put the brakes on the gradual loss of muscle mass that starts once you hit age 40. Not sure where to start? Here are five exercises you should start doing every week once you’re in your 40s to stay healthy, happy, and looking as great as you feel
The risk of developing arthritis increases with age. Chronic joint pain and stiffness can affect adults especially those who are in their forties. Strength training is one of the best ways to prevent aches and pains. Strength training has been proven to decrease pain associated with arthritis. Some of the exercises include squats, deadlifts, and overhead press to strengthen multiple joints and muscles. Start with light weights and you might want to hire a personal trainer to recommend exercises that suit your current fitness level.
Women at the age 40 tend to have increased risk of depression. Those who are experiencing a downward spiral or diagnosed with depression should turn to Yoga. It is proven to improve the level of GABA, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter that’s typically deficient in those with depression and anxiety. Another study found that women suffering from mental distress were less stressed after participating in a three-month yoga class. Certain styles of yoga are also a great weight-bearing strength workout and even offer some cardiovascular conditioning.
Tai Chi is ideal for those who are just beginning to do a new exercise routine, especially when you are in your forties. It is a gentle meditative form of exercise. Many studies have proven its benefits such as stress relief, lowering blood pressure, improving mental focus and improving balance. Many people are not ready for extreme workouts. Thus, Tai Chi is a great workout to begin and most tai chi instructors also understand age-related issues.
Pilates is a great option for those who want to stay fit as they hit their forties as it is a full-body workout that builds strength and improves flexibility. In pilates, there are limited repetitions, as a few properly executed exercises can have more benefits and less harm as a contrast to the ‘no pain no gain’ often associated with exercising.
Once you hit middle age, the risks to your heart health become greater. Aside from getting your cholesterol checked every few years, you should also focus on working out your heart through cardio exercises, which help get the blood pumping and keep your heart healthy. Take a brisk walk, or even jog if you’re feeling up to it. Either of these options will give your heart a solid workout and help to prolong your quality of life.
If you have joint pain, a good exercise to take away the load off your joints and still work your heart rate would be swimming. The water naturally creates a resistance for your limbs to move through while the buoyancy also takes away pressure on your joints, especially on the knees.
Don’t let age be a barrier to staying fit. Physical exercise keeps your mind learning, your body growing and your soul nourished with the joys of being a kid forever.
Photo credits: Contemplative, ElderlyPrevention, Healthy Living, Jal Yoga and Unsplash