*** Exercising in your 40s and beyond ***
Author: Alex Hubble, founder of Chickfit.- Health and Fitness Coaching for women
“At the age of 42 and with 2 kids (10 and 6 years old) I know that a lot has changed for me in the last 10 years or so. I’m a LOT more confident in myself than I used to be, I’ve stopped depending on the scales to tell me how I’m getting on and the way I exercise is starting to change.
And it can be a bit of a funny time in a woman’s life. Your kids are a bit older and more independent, but still need you a lot. You’re quite possibly back to work either part or full time and if you’re anything like me, your ambition to achieve has only grown.
But because we’re so busy at this life stage, it can be very easy to take the foot off the pedal with our exercise and activity levels. We’re not pushing a pram every day or going to mum and baby exercise classes, but more likely sitting behind a desk and not finding a huge amount of time to get out and about and do the exercise we would really love to.
It’s also a time where we can feel like we need to start slowing down a bit. The emphasis changes from high impact activity to something a little slower and kinder to the body, something that will help us with getting the downtime we so badly need at this point. Not helped by the fact we may be experiencing leaking or back pain, for example.
BUT the fact is we’ve still got many years ahead of us and now is actually a great time to start thinking about picking the pace up again a little bit and engaging in some activity that is going to help us live a long and healthy life. One where our bodies are resilient, fit and healthy and are going to ensure we stay energetic and able for the next 40, 50, 60 or even more years!
It’s important that we start to get a good balance now, to start focusing on some of those areas that may already need a bit of attention. So, what are the 3 key things you should be doing?
– Resistance work …This will keep us strong and resilient and keeps our bones and heart strong too – just because you’re lifting weights doesn’t mean you’re not getting a good cardio workout too.
– Focus on your balance as that’s a major area that worsens as we age. Get ahead of the curve now!
– Pelvic floor – yep, you know this is always going to be one of my key cornerstones. Fact is that as we get towards, and go through, menopause our pelvic health can suffer, so addressing this now is going to help you for the longer term.
If this sounds like a lot, remember that you could actually address all 3 of these things in the space of one session. Some simple pelvic floor / core exercises as you warm up and some moves that bring balance into play as you’re lifting (e.g. simply standing on one leg while you do a bent over row or shoulder press, or adding multi-planar movements, such as lunges in lots of different directions). Its all about the multitasking!
And, of course, take some time to breathe, stretch and mobilise the whole body at the start and finish too to address flexibility.”*
A big thanks to Alix for these wonderful words. We can take so much from this blog about how to exercise in our 40s and beyond.
Often we shy away from strength work feeling that it may be counterproductive, if we already have aching joints. In reality, QUITE the opposite is true. Bodyweight and resistance exercises help with posture, strengthening muscles and protecting the joints.
Balance is definitely an issue for so many of us as we get older but balance is a practice, and we can get better at it. (All of my classes include a lot of core stability and balance work, so drop-in and try them out!)
Pelvic Floor! Now in my classes, I talk about the pelvic floor a lot. There is still a massive stigma attached to pelvic floor function and many women are quietly suffering when in reality, they CAN through the right exercise greatly improve their pelvic floor and their confidence around that. (#sneezewithease :))