Fitness For Women Over 40

Make It Count!

By Karla Andrews, Health Coach & Macaroni Kid Publisher Mansfield-Burleson TX April 19, 2024

Though any exercise is better than none, why not get the most bang for your buck? 

Strength-building exercises such as weight lifting, training with resistance bands, or using body weight for activities like planks or push-ups have a greater impact on improving bone density, reducing age-related muscle loss, and enhancing insulin sensitivity. Endurance exercises such as biking, swimming, and walking also offer benefits, though strength training is incredibly valuable for women over 40.

But how much should you lift? What types of exercises should you do? And how often?

Each person's physiology is different, but a general rule of thumb is that to build muscle strength, you need to lift enough that you can perform only 8-12 repetitions of that exercise before you can no longer maintain good form.

Strength training should be performed 3-4 days per week, and these days should be spread out throughout the week to avoid overtraining and prevent losing the gains made between sessions. On days when you are not performing strength-building exercises, light to moderate endurance training, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, can be performed.

Strength Building

  • Start slow and focus on FORM to prevent injury before increasing weight or resistance. 
  • Perform 3-4 sets of each exercise.
  • Once form is mastered, gradually increase the intensity, aiming for 8-12 repetitions using enough weight, or resistance, so that form can no longer be maintained after 8-12 reps, and rest is needed.

Example Schedule

  • Monday: Lower body strength training
  • Tuesday: Upper body and core strength training
  • Wednesday: Bike/Swim/Walk
  • Thursday: Lower body strength training
  • Friday: Yoga
  • Saturday: Upper body and core strength training
  • Sunday: Brisk walk

Prioritizing fitness and wellness becomes increasingly vital as women reach their 40s and beyond. 

Regular exercise not only helps maintain physical health but also contributes to mental well-being and overall quality of life. By incorporating a balanced mix of cardiovascular, strength training, flexibility, and balance exercises, women over 40 can improve their fitness levels, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, manage weight, and enhance energy levels. 

Additionally, it's important to listen to your body, adapt exercises to individual needs, and consult with healthcare professionals when necessary. With dedication, consistency, and a positive mindset, women over 40 can achieve and maintain optimal health and vitality for years to come.