How to tailor your exercise regime when you hit midlife
As you’ve probably seen me mention before, your exercise regime in your 40s needs to look different to that in your 20s and 30s. You’re going through more hormonal changes and things like your muscle mass and bone density are decreasing (yay to this fun stuff!!). And because of that you need to tailor what you do!
Well firstly, without addressing these issues you’re putting yourself at risk of falls, injury and osteoporosis. There’s nothing like a breakage to make you feel older and frailer than you actually are.
And secondly, those hormones have a lot to answer for when it comes to our moods and our general mental health. Doing some form of exercise will help boost serotonin levels and energy levels – you may not want to do a workout, but you can guarantee that you’ll be thanking yourself for doing it at the end. Stress reduction is certainly something we all want.
So what do you need to be doing:
Move more – get your heart going with some cardio. This can be brisk walking, gardening or dancing round your kitchen, not just your traditional sports like running or cycling. You may even find that higher impact things like running don’t work for you any more – find something you enjoy and that doesn’t cause you pain.
Work on your mobility – Pilates and yoga are great for this. They’ll help you with your flexibility, your posture and your core strength, but not only that, they provide a space for mindfulness. A time where you can concentrate on becoming more body aware and not thinking about the kids dinner!
Strength train - as mentioned above both muscle mass and bone density declines, so get lifting to combat that! Not only will strength training help your bones and muscles but it will also help with weight gain – that lean muscle mass you gain will help with your metabolism.
Lower impact exercise might be better, due to pelvic floor weakness. Us women get the joy of a weakened pelvic floor from having kids, we then spend ages trying to strengthen it up postnatally, just for it to weaken again in menopause. Sorry ladies but you need to keep strengthening that muscle and jumping about like a kangaroo probably isn’t going to help you!
Don’t go too crazy with the workouts – exercising is essentially putting stress on your body, and by doing too much and not having enough rest time, you’re not giving your body the chance to calm down and recover. Your adrenal glands are already being stressed through the hormonal changes, so this added to it can end up in adrenal fatigue. If weight loss is a goal then this can also be negatively impacted. Give yourself those rest days!
I want to help empower you to take control of your midlife journey and if you’d like to learn more about how to tailor your health and fitness to this stage of life, then speak to me about my signature Midlife RESET programme. Find out more
Not quite ready for that, then I also have a 5 day Metabolic Jumpstart programme that gives you a taster of the 5 things we cover in more detail in the Midlife RESET programme.