A woman’s body goes through many changes as she ages, and the body you have at 40 can be drastically different from the one you had at 20. These are 5 exercises that, if you are part of the generation of women over 40, it is recommended that you start doing regularly every week to stay younger, more flexible and healthy longer.

These changes in women of this age are very noticeable as the metabolism slows down, hormones begin to fluctuate more. Rather than ignoring these changes, women over 40 can engage in certain types of fitness routines and strength training – and weight training in particular – to stay in shape, maintain bone density, increase muscle mass and reduce the effects of aging.

In fact, the days of aerobics, fashion sweats and leggings of the 80s and 90s have come to an end with older women embracing strength training as a way to stay in shape. That said, most women still don’t work out properly, especially as they age.

Benefits of weight training for women over 40
Physiologically, the benefits of consistent strength training include increased muscle size and tone, improved muscle strength and improvements in bone density. This is especially important for older women, who are at higher risk for osteoporosis and brittle bones.

After menopause, women’s estrogen levels decrease, which is the hormone that protects your bones. Strength training is one of the few ways women can make their bones denser.

Adding muscle can also give your metabolism a much-needed boost during the years when it tends to naturally slow down. In addition, lifting weights has also been shown to improve psychological health, increasing self-esteem, confidence and strength.

In addition to increasing your endurance, power and strength, some studies suggest that strength training can also improve intelligence and productivity. Exercise gets blood flowing to your brain, which helps keep your mind sharp.

Other benefits of including strength training in your exercise routine are a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In a study of 36,000 women ages 47 to 98, it was found that women who participated in strength training had a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes and a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who did not.

Finally, many older adults find that they get less sleep and are more tired than their younger counterparts. Strength training has been linked to better sleep and quieter nights, which we all know is great for looking and feeling young.

Don’t let age stop you from pursuing your fitness goals, whatever they may be. If you’re a woman over 40 looking for an exercise routine, there’s no better way to reverse the aging process than with strength training. Go get some weights and get to work!

5 exercises women over 40 should do every week

Here are tips for doing strength training at home for beginners and experts alike. These exercises are beneficial, so without further ado, here are some basic guidelines for women over 40 who are trying to stay fit and young with strength training.

  1. Burpees

The burpee is a true full-body exercise that works on most major muscle groups while improving your cardiovascular fitness and testing your balance and coordination. If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, the burpee would be a smart choice to keep you in the best shape possible.

Burpees are a full-body workout that target a variety of muscles, and they’re fairly simple to do. The standard burpee looks like this:

Get down and place your hands on the floor in front of you, a little further back than your feet.
Jump up on both feet and get into a plank position.
Lower yourself into a pump position, with your chest touching the floor.
Push back up to plank position.
Bring your feet to your hands.
Jump into the air with your arms extended upward.

  1. Legs up

Leg lifts are a great exercise used to build core strength and all you need is a yoga mat. To do good leg lifts:

Lie on your back with your legs together and straight.
Raise your legs toward the ceiling until your buttocks lift slightly off the floor.
Slowly begin to lower your legs to the floor until they are just above them, hold this position.
Raise your legs to the ceiling and repeat.

  1. Squats

For women over 40, squats are a very effective exercise that works the glutes, quadriceps, hips, hamstrings and core. To perform this strengthening exercise:

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, your hips should be in line with your knees and your knees should be in line with your ankles.
Keep your shoulders back.
Extend your arms in a straight line and cross them at a 90° angle.
Bring your hips in and begin to bend your knees.
Keep your shoulders and chest straight and your back straight as you begin to bend.
Squat down until your hips are below your knees.
Stand up and repeat.

  1. Lunges

Lunges are a good exercise for toning your lower back and legs. They are easy to do, but maintaining proper form is important:

Keep your upper body straight, shoulders back and relaxed. Your chin should be pointed up and your heart should be hanging out.
Step forward with one of your legs, then lower your hips until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Your front knee should be directly over your ankle and your other knee should not touch the ground.
Keep your weight on your heels, push back up and repeat.

  1. Plank

The plank is a static strength exercise that helps strengthen the core muscles. The standard plank looks like this:

Place your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. It should look like you are about to do a push-up.
Keep your fingers on the floor and squeeze your glutes. Do not overextend or lock your knees.
Set a spot on the floor to keep your neck and spine neutral.
Hold this position for 20 seconds.

If you’re a woman over 40, adding strength training to your exercise routine doesn’t have to be difficult, and the fact that you can do many of these exercises in the comfort of your own home makes it much easier. The benefits of denser bones, stronger muscles and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes are all the more reason to start strength training today.