Fit(ish) in Your 40s – Week 3

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We have been reviewing tips for getting healthy and fit during various decades of your life and this week, we tackle staying fitish in your 40s, a time when many of us start to experience the effects of aging.

The series is called Fit (ish) and we collaborated with Brenda Braxton from KGW News to provide tips that allow people to focus on their health, without getting too obsessed about it. It’s all about feeling great and living life to the fullest.

Here’s the Youtube clips from the full segments on KGW discussing the 20s, 30s and 40s. Trainers Jamie Hahn (40 years) and Jessica Valentine (41 years) talk to Brenda about the 40s and specific areas to address. 20s – Week 1, 30s – Week 2, 40s – Week 3

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As we age throughout our 40s, we start to lose muscle mass and physical endurance at a more significant rate. This is more pronounced in women. As a result of the loss in muscle, our metabolism, bone density and posture is impacted. We also start to experience hormonal changes and surges which can impact our overall health.

Strength training is now recognized as the best approach to slowing down the aging process and is considered the true ‘fountain of youth’. It not only preserves muscle and develops muscle strength and endurance, but also revs your metabolism and helps protect your bones.

How much should you lift and how often to be considered “fitish in your 40s?”

Perform Muscle conditioning exercise 2-3x/week, 20-60 minutes, 8-15 reps, 2-3 sets for all major muscle groups

What are the best muscle group/exercise to begin with in your 40s?

Start with core, foundational movements such as pulling, pushing, squatting, lunging, and rotation.

Former College athletes, especially men, start to experience achy joints with old injuries coming back to haunt them in their 40s. What are effective exercises to strengthen and protect against injuries in your 40s?

Your core is the foundation for all movements. When you core is strong, that strength radiates out to your arms and legs so you move with better efficiency, strength and less risk for injury. There’s not one perfect exercise for your core. You need to work all actions including stabilization, rotation, flexion, extension. Also work the muscles on the front, side and posterior part of the spine.

The Plank is a wonderful stabilization exercise to incorporate that strengthens your core. You can add a number of variations such as leg lifts, rotations, hip drops etc. while focusing on activating your core muscles and stabilizing your spine.

Another great exercise for your core and your posture is the Opposite Arm/Leg lift from the prone position (on your stomach).

Many people experience back pain in their 40s. What’s the best way to manage it to stay fitish in your 40s?

Use an apple watch or a timer to remind you to get up and move every hour

Strengthen your core as noted above

Assure your working environment is conducive to supporting good posture

  • Standing desk
  • Sitting on a stability ball
  • Incorporate stretches for your upper back, neck and shoulders

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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