Over 40? This is the workout for you

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When you are over 40 you are surely noticing some changes happening to your body. These changes occur because the levels of certain critical hormones fall (such as testosterone).

The consequences of these changes in the body can be reversed if you make a single change in your fitness routine. This is if you actively engage in Strength training! Strength training will not only help you take off your fitness level, but will also boost your psychology!

The benefits

As time passes the body tends to lose muscle mass, and consequently, strength and is inclined to maintain higher percentage of body fat. Less muscle mass results in reduced mobility and increased chance of injury during even everyday activities. All these effects of age can be reduced with proper training.

Everyday life will become easier as strength and power will be maintained. For example, you will be able to lift the bags of the supermarket, go up the stairs carrying suitcases, and have tougher activity games with younger children. Always more fun to be an active mom and dad and to be that role model for your young one!

As the years go by, the bone density decreases, and the risk of osteoporosis lurks. This will be avoided if you lift weights. In another article we may elaborate on the multiple benefits of strength training on various medical conditions. Key high level references are mentioned here.

For example, strength training reduces the levels of stress and depression that often plague older people and boosts mood. 

Additionally, it helps control blood sugar levels, thus reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or improving the condition in case you suffer from this disease. Your body transports glucose to the muscles in a more efficient way and needs less insulin to do this process.

By lifting weights, you not only strengthen your muscles but also the joints and the connective tissues. This reduces the risk of injury and pain if you have osteoarthritis.

If strength training is done intensively, you are burning many more calories than just doing regular cardio workouts. In fact, your body continues to burn calories long after you have completed your workout! This does not happen with your cardio workouts, when the kcal burning process stops almost as soon as you stop moving.  Obviously, the goal here is not to demean cardio workouts, rather than stress the benefits of Strength training.

Strength training gives you better posture as you “work” your back, shoulders and abs.

Strength Training Exercises

There are really very many different strength training exercises you can choose from; however, we believe that there are some key foundational functional movements that will always produce guaranteed results and also help you maintain muscle mass in the long run. Considering that you are over 40, and thus reading this article, please remember that these are always scalable to fit whichever is your fitness level and starting point.

Muscle strength is functionally applied in basic, daily movements such as lifting a bulky object from the ground or transporting a load from one place to another.

Quick Summary (cheat sheet):

1.       Push ups

2.       Tricep Dips

3.       Squats

4.       Deadlifts

5.       Plank

As mentioned above, there are multiple combinations of movements and variations that you can employ to execute strength training, however the ones listed above and demonstrated below, will always guarantee enhanced muscle growth and core stability. One key element to consider once you have mastered this set of exercises is to apply some progressive overload. Gradually increase your weights as you become stronger!

1.      Push Ups

Muscles trained: chest, triceps, shoulders,
upper back, abs

Quantity recommended: 2 to 4 sets, 10-12 reps

2.       Tricep Dips

Muscles trained: triceps, chest, shoulders, upper back

Quantity recommended: 2 to 4 sets, 10-12 reps

3.       Squats

Muscles trained: quadriceps, glutes, abs

Quantity: 2 to 4 sets, 12-16 reps (depending on the weight)

4.       Deadlifts

Muscles trained: hamstrings, glutes, lower back, grip

Quantity: 2-4 sets, 8-12 reps

5.       Plank

Muscles trained: abs, back, shoulders, upper back, quadriceps

Quantity: 2-4 sets, 30-60 seconds

More on plank here

Over 40 foundational exercises.-

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