As we age, exercise and fitness only become more important. This is because building and strengthening your muscles can help increase your balance and stability in addition to preserving joint health, keeping you active and at a lower risk for many age-related conditions. However, once you reach middle age and beyond, certain exercise routines become daunting and may cause more damage than good, especially if you are inexperienced when it comes to exercise. Get fit and keep your body stronger and in better shape by including these four moves into your workout routine.
Four exercises for adults over 40
Walking: Walking is one of the easiest exercises to perform, and depending on how you do it, you can receive a whole host of benefits. Walking forwards for 20 minutes at a comfortable pace has been shown to burn up to 80 calories, improving cardiovascular health and aiding in weight loss. Walking backward is a fantastic way to work your calves and hamstrings while strengthening the tendons and ligaments in your ankles improve stability and joint strength.
One-legged squats: While these may be difficult at first—especially if your balance needs a bit of work—working up to one-legged squats can help your hips immensely. Sitting into a deep squat with one leg extended straight in front of you will build strength in the muscles and tissues around your hips, keeping them stable for longer and potentially preventing the need for a future hip replacement.
Planks: These exercises can be performed almost anywhere and with no equipment, making them convenient. While planks are great for building muscle strength and tightening your core, they can also help preserve bone density. A study from Germany found that women over 55 with osteopenia who exercised two to three times a week and included exercises like planks, swimming, and cycling in their routines, saw better preservation of bone density than their peers who did not exercise. Also, building and maintaining core strength by planking can help increase your balance and stability and prevent falls that can lead to complications like fractures and dislocated joints.
Sleep: While it’s not technically an exercise, getting enough sleep is vital in ensuring your time spent in the gym effectively benefits your body. During sleep, your body decompresses and repairs itself after the hard work you’ve spent exercising and allows your muscles and tissues much needed time to recover. Also, sleep helps your body retain muscle mass, which is especially important for those over 40 as that is when your body begins to lose lean muscle and become weaker. In fact, research has shown that you may lose up to one percent of your lean muscle mass per year after you hit 40, meaning that it becomes increasingly important to take care of this muscle as you age.
It is known that exercise is a key component for maintaining your health as you age, and these moves can help you build the strength and muscle needed to ensure you are living life to the fullest well after 40.