It has been proved beyond any doubt that exercise is good for you, no matter what your age is. Even if you’ve not been very active in your 20s and 30s, it’s still not late for you to start exercising. However, you need to keep in mind that your body is not the same as it was in your 20s. Most people will reach their peak bone mass between the ages of 25 and 30. By the time you reach age 40, however, you slowly begin to lose bone mass. One of the best ways to counter this loss is by keeping your body active and fit. Here are 5 exercises that are a great way to get moving when you’re in your 40s.
If you’ve had injuries in the past or have constant aches and pains, try a Pilates class. Pilates classes build strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone with an emphasis on lengthening the body and aligning the spine, rather than on bulking and shortening the muscles. The exercises rebuild and strengthen weaker muscles helping you ward off pain and prevent injury.
Pilates is especially beneficial for women who want to increase mobility and strength throughout their hips, which reduces lower back pain. Pilates focuses on muscle imbalances and weaknesses throughout the entire body making it a complete workout.
Spin is a great alternative to running which can put a lot of strain on your ankles and knees. Spin classes are a form of cardio interval training that combines sequences of high and low resistance with varying speeds on stationary cycles.
It’s a great cardio workout that helps keep your heart healthy and also burns more calories in a shorter amount of time. If you’re over 40 and your goal is weight loss, spin is the class for you. A spin class may look intensive but you can control the resistance level on your bike throughout the class. If it gets too much, just dial back the resistance level a couple of notches.
Barre is different from other forms of exercise because it uses a classic ballet barre as a prop in many of its exercises. While there are ballet-based exercises, you don’t really have to know ballet to take a barre class. Sessions usually begin with a warm-up and lightweight exercises designed to preserve metabolism-fueling muscle mass.
However, most of the class happens at the ballet barre, where the instructor will guide you through low-impact and no-impact postures that build muscle endurance and improve balance and flexibility. This can be crucial especially if you have some form of arthritis or low bone density. Barre classes combine flexibility training and core exercises that flatten the belly.
4. Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Though yoga is just one word, it comes in many different forms. If you think yoga is all about getting into a posture and trying to hold it, you should try a Vinyasa class to truly feel the rigor of yoga. Vinyasa is a form of yoga that incorporates flow, which basically means that the postures are not “held” but follow a dynamic transition from one to the next. Each class combines stretches that help undo decades of desk slouching and strength moves that will help you maintain lean muscle as you age.
Apart from increased flexibility and agility, yoga also helps quiet the mind and lowers stress levels. All the stress that your body endures manifests itself in the form of common diseases and condition like blood pressure, diabetes, depression etc. Yoga can be a great way to keep your body and mind healthy.
5. Zumba Toning
Zumba is great for people who hate going to the gym to just pump iron. It’s one workout that doesn’t actually feel like a workout because it’s a dance-based strength class. Traditional workout requires that you know all the different exercises for each muscle group along with how many reps and sets for each.
But with Zumba, you have an instructor to lead the class which allows you to just forget the small details and get into the flow. A Zumba session usually uses some high-energy dance music and easy-to-follow choreography. While it looks like dance, the steps are designed to target the thighs, arms, and stomach muscles which become lax as you age.