Best Workouts for Women over 40

Best Workouts for Women over 40

By: Andrea Metcalf • Posted on August 16, 2018


Andrea Metcalf is a best-selling author, celebrity fitness expert, trainer and speaker. She has had several appearances for the NBC Today Show, Steve Harvey GMA Health and has contributed to Huffington Post, Oprah.com, More Magazine, Martha Stweart Living and many other notable sites and media.  She has helped hundreds of people to live healthier lives with individualized fitness training programs and health information. Contact Andrea at AndreaMetcalf.com.

4 Best Workouts for Midlife Women

Some workouts are better than others for women in midlife. Gone are the days of running and pounding the pavement with burpees, box jumps, and jumping rope, at least for most women. It's not that running is discouraged as we age, the increase in numbers for women completing marathons, triathlons, and even 5K races during middle age are still increasing. However, there is a toll on the joints from years of high-impact exercise. 

It's important to stay active, but moving towards low impact, high-intensity workouts can help our bodies stay active, fit and healthier without the compression on the joints. To that end, here are four workouts geared at women of our age for keeping the metabolism high and heart healthy.

1. Row, row, row your boat, gently on the joints.  

Rowing is a great cardio activity that helps develop better posture and a strong core and backside when done correctly. Make sure your toes are pointing upward throughout the rowing motion and keep your back straight. Extend through the legs with a slight 20 degree lean back then simultaneously pull the arms in with bending the knees using the hamstrings to pull you forward. If you're a runner experiencing any lower body pain, rowing can be a great substitute to keep up with training the cardiovascular system and strengthening the total body.

2. Easy rider.

Cycling indoors or outdoors is a great low-impact, high-intensity cardio. Being fit correctly for both outdoor and in-studio cycling is important for best mechanics. Having the seat too low can cause injuries to the knee and hip joint, while a seat too high may cause injury to the shoulders and back.  

In-studio cycling participants should have a slightly bent knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Outdoor enthusiasts should have the same slightly bent knee but be able to touch the ground without straining side to side. Keep body upright with a hinge from the hips rather than curving the back forward to reach the handlebars on both indoor and outside cycling. 

3. Just keep swimming.

Swimming is ideal at any age for a great low impact cardiovascular exercise. Some tips include swimming on your back rather than freestyle to ease pressure off the lower back. Use pull buoys on your hands to increase resistance and make your strokes more effective. The pool is also great for running and walking. Run in the low end forward and backward or put on a swim vest and run in the deep end.

4. Just don't hit below the belt. 

Many people feel more empowered when they take up martial arts or boxing. Boxing is a great low-impact, high-intensity workout that helps sculpt your upper body without ever lifting a weight. Be sure to invest in a great pair of gloves that give you support on the wrist, 12-16oz of added weight and a natural material to avoid smell from sweat and bacteria. Start slowly and get a professional to help you ease into this workout.

Strength and flexibility training should also be included in your workout plan in addition to cardiovascular training. Cardiovascular training strengthens the heart. Strength and flexibility training help with keeping muscles and joints healthy and with ease of movement. All of these torch calories to keep your metabolism elevated to ward off that 10-15 pound weight gain that typically occurs as we age. 

Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be in Charge!

-Andrea Metcalf

Andrea Metcalf specializes in training women over forty. The type of training your body needs is different in each decade. Gravity takes it toll on the body and even if you've been active your entire life, you still need to change up your workouts as you get older. Andrea trains in Chicago at Studios FUSE and has online coaching available.


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