Bright Side
Bright Side

8 Effective Exercises for Middle Aged Women

The start of our 40s is a critical point in our life. According to Ken Fox, Professor of Exercise and Health Science at Bristol University, it is in the mid-40s when muscle mass begins to decrease and fat deposits begin to build up. This can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, and some forms of cancer.

Bright Side would like to offer you several exercises you can do every day to reduce those risks.

1. Don’t let your metabolism slow down — do BURPEES.

High-intensity cardio stimulates our metabolism, which is more than necessary to motivate after a certain age. So to prevent metabolism deceleration we should do this exercise once or twice per week. Start with one set of 3 reps and add another repetition each time. Don’t stress yourself too much.

Burpees can also be viewed as a HIIT program, which is a type of cardio fitness workout that requires intense movement with not much rest time. It can help burn body fat, especially near your abdomen and stomach. Research even shows that it results in living a longer life. Some other benefits include a stronger heart and lungs, improved brain function, and a lower risk of heart disease. Plus, you don’t need any equipment to do this exercise, simply use your own body and try to make sure you have enough space in your workout area. You can always add weights if you wish.

For women who want to make this exercise simpler, there are many ways to do this. You can simply skip the pushup and jump part of the regimen. If you want to make it more difficult, make sure you have a bench nearby. Just stand in front of it, and place your hands on it to do a pushup. Then, jump on top of the bench instead of in the air. Repeat these steps.

2. Keep it firm — do SQUATS.

Every woman wants to have a round backside, but even the luckiest ones who had it naturally without any training will start to lose it after the age of 40, thanks to a decrease in muscle mass. Properly done squats (with a straight back and knees right above the feet) can tone your whole body and prevent injury by improving your flexibility.

In addition, squats offer plenty of other benefits for your body. If you’re a busy woman, and you move around a lot, squats can help you lower the chances of an injury, specifically involving the knees and ankles. They can strengthen your bones as well. This is a good exercise, especially for middle-aged women. In your 40s, your muscles tend to become less elastic, so doing squats can help you become more flexible.

3. To fight and prevent back pain — do a PLANK.

Doing this exercise for 90 seconds, 3 times a week, is a great way to tone all the core muscles of our bodies. It strengthens our abs, the muscles of the chest, and the ones surrounding the spine. Our entire midsection tightens and supports our lower back.

Planks literally target almost our entire body — so your whole body may be stronger if you add planks to your workout routine. They improve the strength of your bones, improve focus and concentration, and can help you breathe easier. The core is very important for keeping your spine straight, and it has to be worked on regularly. You should not skip core exercises because if you neglect them and only work on other muscles, you can get disproportionate and will likely experience injuries after 40. Planks can also fix your posture, get rid of back pain, improve coordination, improve metabolism, and brighten up your mood.

4. Protect yourself from arthritis — push DUMBBELLS.

Chronic joint pain can attack adults of all ages, so it’s never too soon to start preventing it and one of the best ways to do it is strength training. You don’t have to spend hours lifting big weights. Doing deadlifts or overhead presses with 1-3 kg in each hand 2-3 times a week can do miracles for your body.

During middle age, it’s important to maintain your flexibility and this workout can surely do that. If you are less mobile in your shoulder and wrist, this can help you move those parts more freely. It’s advisable to increase the weight of dumbbells as you progress. However, this workout can also strengthen your lower body as well, not just your upper body. If you squat down and then raise the dumbbell, you are working both your lower and your upper body.

5. Let your glutes rest — do a GLUTE BRIDGE.

Sitting all day in an office can deactivate our glutes which slows down the rate at which our body burns calories — the metabolism. The hip extension in the glute bridge exercise makes the butt work and it can also open up any tightness from long days of sitting. Leave your arms along your sides, squeeze your butt muscles to lift your hips up, and squeeze them once more at the top, then slowly lower your hips back down.

6. Don’t let sarcopenia take your muscles away — do Y-TO-T RAISES.

Sarcopenia is a degenerative loss of skeletal muscle associated with aging. So if you’d like to prevent bad posture and back and shoulder aches, it is very important to strengthen the muscles of your back and shoulders.

This is an upper body exercise that can make it stronger, including your shoulders. Generally, upper body workouts don’t really target these muscles, so it’s important to include them in your workout regime. It’s recommended to do this fitness exercise at least 2 times each week. It can make your posture stronger, limit cases of injury, and ease your muscle imbalances.

7. Protect your heart — train on an ELLIPTICAL MACHINE.

Low-impact cardio is a great way for women over 40 to maintain a healthy heart. But if you really want your heart health to benefit, you need to exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3 times a week.

If you are not a fan of running or doing ordinary cardio exercises, an elliptical can be your go-to. It is great for your overall health, and it can boost your stamina, burn a lot of calories, put less stress on your joints, burn body fat, improve your balance, and target your upper and lower body.

8. Live actively — WALK.

Walking is the simplest and the best exercise that anyone can do. While it burns calories, tones our body, and improves our mood, it also doesn’t wear down our fragile joints, which is very important after a certain age.

If you are a water person and prefer to spend more time in the water than on the ground, swimming can also be part of your workout regime. Swimming requires you to use your entire body against the resistance of the water. It keeps your heart rate up, builds endurance, and tones your muscles. It can even slow down aging and improve your flexibility.

Do you know other exercises good for women over the age of 40? Please share them with us in the comments.

Please note: This article was updated in August 2022 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
Illustrated by Marat Nugumanov for Bright Side
Bright Side/Health/8 Effective Exercises for Middle Aged Women
Share This Article
You may like these articles