According to my husband, the best workout for women after 40 is having sex. As pleasurable and tempting as this may be, between adulting & plain soreness, it would be virtually impossible… Although he would certainly like us to put it to the test! I’m 40 plus and have been working out for the largest part of my life, so I will tell you from my personal experience what I have found has changed in my body & mind since turning that corner and how I have made working out an integral part of my life after the big four-oh.
The first thing you notice after hitting 40, is that all the tactics you used before to keep your body fit, strong and in shape, are not working anymore. During most of my life, I was capable of eating very little and still have maximum performance. Running on empty made me go on a constant high. But if I were to do that now… I would get tired, grumpy and start GAINING weight instead of losing it! My body is asking for constant fuel, so I have switched to eating several healthy, small portions during the day to keep me going.
With time, I’ve also had to acknowledge that some things started sagging… The butt. The boobs. The chin. The KNEES. The knee sagging was the final straw for me. Only after looking at my knees did I realize it was to change my workout schedule, my eating plan and… my mindset.
Working out used to be something I did once or twice a week. That was enough. Nowadays, if I don’t work out at least half an hour every day, I feel sad and have serious trouble falling asleep at night. My workout schedule had to go from a spontaneous, on-a-whim activity to a core routine of my everyday life. This might not be easy in your 30’s, especially if you have small children & a demanding career. A plus of being over 40 is that your kids might be older and, therefore, it is easier to find me-time.
In my twenties and thirties, I was constantly running around. First after men and later after my kids… the product of finally catching the man of my choosing. Now in my forties, I spend more and more time sitting which is, as we all know, the key to a shorter life. I, now, purposely try to keep myself moving, even on bad days. Check my article on How to stay in shape every day for tips on how to integrate more action and movement into your days.
Back to the sagging bits…. Under the influence of hormones -those damn hormones, still going strong after 40 years- the connective tissue starts to lose elasticity. Suddenly, my usual go-to Jane Fonda cardio workouts stopped doing the trick. Yes, I will shamelessly admit I’m a Jane Fonda fan… My fellow 40 plus ladies will know what I’m talking about!
In addition, cardio made me bony and I want to look strong & fit. The solution? Weight lifting. As women, we are sometimes scared of weights, since it seems a manly domain. But ladies, I’m here to tell you that, at a certain age, this is the way to go. Strong is the new skinny and who says you can’t have muscles after 40? Additionally, weight lifting increases the testosterone in your body, which helps battle depression, weight gain, and sleep problems, common issues after 40. Time to start pumping!
As for me… Well, nowadays you can find me going for a mix of cardio with heavy weight lifting workouts, combined with smaller, more frequent meals. This is a winning solution that keeps me rolling. You might need to test out different combinations to find out what will work best for you. The important thing is not to pull back because of your age, but to find new options & adapt. Your body might not be the same but it’s all about getting your groove back.
Mare Storm came to Munich from Amsterdam, in 2005, to be with the love of her life. She wishes LMBB would have been there in the first difficult years she spent here. Two daughters and 11 years later she’s fully integrated. Her goal now is to help others find their way in Munich! Being fit and healthy is at the core of her lifestyle and she’s happy to show you around Munich’s fitness jungle. As one of the ‘older’ LMBB members, she shares lifestyle tips for the more “mature” moms out there.
Photo credit: Hailing from sunny Florida, Loralee is an English & Spanish speaking family & children photographer who enjoys capturing bright colors, big smiles & childhood memories. She is a Munich resident since 2015 and mom to one very cute little girl. Find her work at Loralee Photography.