It’s true! Women are getting fit after forty despite the odds being thrown against them. Most women begin peri-menopause in their forties, some in their thirties. This is when we lose muscle mass, our metabolism slows down, and our weight starts shifting, usually to the belly area.
It didn’t catch up to me until I was 52. Maybe because I’m a small frame, or because my job kept me active. However, after going back to school at the age of fifty, I was spending all my free time in front of a computer studying, and the inches slowly began adding on. I went from a size zero to a four within two years, and it was all belly fat! When my size 4 jeans were getting tight, I knew I had to do something.
Now, I have been researching this subject for the past three years, and for me, it all came down to lack of exercise and I eat too many sweets. I also believe the stress from working 2-3 jobs while going to school was a major factor. My greatest advice for women after forty is to eleviate stress as much as possible. It can actually kill you if you don’t. Stress is the reason for so many illnesses, as it weakens your immune system, and makes you susceptible to so many illnesses and chronic diseases such as cancers, and heart failures.
On the bright side, just look at all the female celebrities’ over forty who can still strut their flat bellies, and six-pack abs while wearing a bikini. They have to work for it, same as we do. They have to make time for exercise and eat foods thats serve them best. Most celebrities’ workout two hours a day, so they earn those beautiful bods and so can you! They have raised the bar, but seeing is believing, and now, women everywhere are getting fit after forty.
How it Works – It’s Just Science
Most likely, you already know that the human body is miraculous, as it continuously works 24/7 for us. Even when we get a cold, the body is fighting the virus from the inside as we help by adding nutrients, medicines, and getting as much rest as possible. When it comes to losing weight, or belly fat, we also need to help it along. Our metabolism turns the food we eat into energy, and the right exercise uses the energy to add muscle, or it just gets stored as fat. I don’t count calories, but it makes sense to exercise before eating, then eat foods high in nutrients to keep the energy burning in the right places. The energy (foods) we bring into our bodies, must be released through energy (exercise).
Getting fit after forty is simply diet and exercise. Two words that I was not familiar with until I was in my 50s. I always enjoyed having an active lifestyle, and eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I thought I was one of the lucky ones and would never have to use the “D” word, as in ‘diet’. I don’t have much faith in diets of any kind because I cannot stick to a regular schedule for meals, and I don’t like being restricted to what I can eat. I did give up eating meat from animals at the age of 45 because of my love for animals, and nothing to do with my weight. Luckily, that also made menopause more bearable without the added hormones from eating animals.
Foods You Want to Eat
I want to keep this simple as possible for you. I had to take a Nutrition course as part of my degree requirements a couple years ago, and my brain was over loaded with important information I felt I should have already known. My head hurt a lot, but it was useful knowing how eating the right foods can do wonders for your physical and mental health.
What it all comes down to is macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients you want to eat a lot of. These nutrients consist of Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. They provide the body with energy, so you want to eat large amounts of them (macro). While micronutrients are vitamins, minerals, and water, which the body needs less of (micro).
Proteins make up enzymes that regulate metabolism amongst other things such as tissue structure, and acid/ base balance. Food sources include:
- Legumes (beans)
- Soy products (tofu)
- Whole grains
- Vegetables (some)
- Animal sources
Carbohydrates are fuel for the brain and during high intensity workouts, as well as spares protein to preserve muscle mass during exercise. These food sources include:
- Whole grains
Fats reserve energy, protects vital organs, and transports fat soluble vitamins. Food sources are:
- Fish, meat, dairy
The 7 vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) that are most important to us after forty are:
- B12 – essential for normal blood and brain functions. B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, so it is okay to take as a supplement. Food sources are chicken, fish, dairy, and eggs.
- Calcium – if you’re not getting enough calcium from your diet, the body steals it from your bones and weakens them even more. Calcium rich foods consist of dairy, tofu, sardines, broccoli, almonds, and spinach.
- Vitamin D – plays a major role in protecting us from age-related changes. Can be found in fish, grains, fortified dairy, and cereals, but the sun is the best form of vitamin D, as it is poorly absorbed from food sources.
- Magnesium – helps to regulate blood pressure. Can be found in leafy greens, beans, soy, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
- Potassium – keeps blood pressure in check. Food sources are bananas, sweet potatoes, chard, beans, and lentils.
- Omega 3’s – helps lower blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, and keeps memory and thinking sharp. You can get omega 3’s from foods such as fish, walnuts, flax seeds, and leafy vegetables.
Whole food sources are better than supplements because they are easier for the body to absorb. You may also want to be careful of supplements as some micronutrients can be harmful in large doses, such as calcium for example. Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you are already taking medications. You can learn more here: https://www.prevention.com/hea…
Foods You Want to Avoid Eating
- Margarine – is a transfat. Always avoid transfat. It hydrates your skin.
- Sodas or Colas – whatever you call them. Those cans of fizz are the worst thing you can put into your body!
- Sweet coffee drinks or Energy Drinks – All the caffeine and sugar will cost you some important beauty rest, dehydrate you, and harm the enamel of your teeth.
- Microwave dinners or Canned Veggies – can make you puffy due to being loaded with sodium, which makes you retain water.
- Cookies, candies, all those sweets – they’re just empty calories with no nutritional value. Plus, they are loaded with transfat and sugars.
- Breakfast meats or processed meats – the consumption of processed meats are connected to several cancers. Preservatives used in processed meats create free radicals within the body.
- Sugar/ High Fructose Corn Syrup – causes inflammation, accelerates wrinkling and sagging, and also damages collagen and elastin which we really need after forty.
- Chips or Unhealthy Snacks – wasted calories again, but also loaded with additives such as MSG.
- Alcohol – high in sugar and robs the body of vitamin A, which is essential for cell renewal. You especially want to avoid sweet cocktails. Always drink in moderation and choose drinks without added sugars such as wine, champagne, or vodka & soda. Also, good advice to have one glass of water with each drink.
- Fast Food – excess calories, fat, and sodium.
Let’s face it, with all the media we have access to, every day you probably hear about some foods to avoid. One day it’s eggs, the next day it’s bananas. Just use good judgment and focus on the foods you know you should be eating.
Exercise Programs – Do What Makes You Happy
Stress and all the negative forces in our bodies need to be released and exercise is a surefire way to do that, along with eating the right foods, meditation, and sleeping regularly. This is where we can really get screwed by Mother Nature, as most women find it hard to sleep during menopause. Please don’t worry, that only creates more stress. Just breathe deeply and read on. There is hope, because exercise also promotes good sleep, improves your mood, keeps you slim, firms you up, and charges up your sex life!
After forty, the only exercises you need to do are cardio, weight-training, and yoga. If you can spend at least thirty minutes a day on each, or at least three times a week, you will stay in good shape. It is important to know that the more you put into this, the greater the results. However, if you’re new to exercising, start out slow, and work your way up. Otherwise, you risk damaging your body, more than helping it. So, take your time, and make sure you are making all the right moves. Maybe start with a personal trainer at your local gym?
Exercise should be fun! You want to appreciate all your body does for you by spending time strengthening your muscles and bones. Find programs you like, to increase the odds of you following through with it. Here are a few examples:
Cardiovascular workouts – Any activity that raises your heart rate. Running, walking, swimming, aerobics, cycling, climbing stairs, jumping rope, rowing, dancing, etc. You get the idea, right? Most of these you don’t need to join a gym, but if you like that idea, you will be offered even more to choose from.
Weight Training – By adding weight-training to your routine, you will lose more fat than cardio alone. Weight training will change the shape of your body, increase strength, boost your metabolism, build stronger bones, and improve joint stability. This can also be done from home by doing push-ups. Push-ups are great for the upper body as you use all the muscles from your chest, shoulders, and triceps. In addition, push-ups also target your core muscles (belly). The Plank is one of the most effective exercises you can do safely from home to tone the abdominal area. Having a strong core will also reduce backaches and improve your posture. Squats are one of the best full body exercises you can do. Especially if using weighted dumbells over head while doing them. Here are some links if you like to discover more:
Yoga – So many variations of yoga, I can’t even begin to explain. However, it is my favorite form of exercise to date. Like all exercise programs, you want to start out slow. I actually used Yoga for Dummies DVD in the beginning. Then I took some classes at a studio, did beach yoga one summer, then yoga from home using another DVD. That was all good, except it was low impact, and never felt like a workout. I did enjoy hot yoga for a while. This is where you do one hour yoga sessions in a 140 degree heated room. Felt more like a workout because I sweat a lot. Then I got lucky once again and stumbled upon my latest yoga program. Yoga Burn!
Yoga Burn is a high impact yoga program that involves cardio and weight training. What I like most about this program is I can do it from home, I get the full workout experience, and all I need is a yoga mat!
I know this works because I sweat a lot without being in a heated room, and my clothes look much better on me than before. I also have better balance, flexibility, energy, and my aches and pains are much less.
If you’re still reading this, I would like to thank you and share what I just discovered! Consider this my gift to you…
The Kick Start Kick is an Ultimate 1-Month Follow-Along Yoga Kick Start Kit for FREE with no strings attached. At least I can’t find any. You just have to pay shipping cost.
Since it says monthly, they may want you to order more. That would be totally up to you. I’m happy with the original Yoga Burn that you only purchase once.
This seems like a different version than what I ordered, but it’s the same instructor, and she is awesome!
Benefits of Getting Fit After Forty
Make no mistake. After the age of forty, women lose muscle mass, our metabolism slows down, and our weight shifts to our bellies and beyond unless we take control and get fit after forty, if not sooner. We know what to eat, and what to avoid eating. Eating lots of nutritionally dense foods is far better than counting calories. Lowering your calorie intake only slows down your metabolism. You are better off eating 5-6 small servings of nutritious meals than 3 large servings. When you have a steady supply of food for the body, it will boost your metabolism and burn off more fat.
Exercise at least thirty minutes a day using cardio, weight-training, and yoga, or try Yoga Burn at least three times a week. This will improve your mood, strengthen and tone your body, speed up your metabolism, gain flexibility, and charge up your sex life. It doesn’t need to be complicated.
I just adopted a healthier course of menu, bought a yoga DVD and a mat, and I at least practice meditation. Women are getting fit after forty, hope this includes you!