If you’re lacking the time and inspiration to get to the gym or pound the pavement, our blog ‘exercises for women over 40’ can help.
If you’ve got your heart set on making your 40s your best decade yet, exercise is a great place to start to help get your mind – and body – in shape.
In this article, we share:
- Recommended frequency and intensity benchmarks for cardio and weight training
- Best exercises for this age group
- Ideas on how to build exercise into your busy schedule
Before beginning any exercise program, it’s important to consult a health professional. If you’d like to make an appointment with one of our friendly Brisbane physios, you can book online here (multiple clinic locations available across North Brisbane).
Common Health Complaints For 40+
The professional team at North West Physio helps women in their 40s every week. While we treat a wide range of health complaints for this age group, the most common include:
- Non-Specific Lower Back Pain
- Shoulder Bursitis
- Knee issues and lower limb alignment
- Joint Arthritis
- Frequent Neck Stiffness & Pain
- Weight Loss Assistance
- Reduction in balance and stability
Cardio for Women Over 40
When it comes to cardio, the single biggest thing to remember is it’s not just the total amount of time but incorporating different levels of intensity.
So, how much cardio should you be aiming for each week?
- 150-300min (2.5 hours – 5 hours) of moderate intensity OR
- 75-150min (1.25 -2.5 hours) of vigorous physical activity OR
- An equivalent combination each week.
Low intensity is <50% of your maximum heart rate (MHR).
Moderate intensity is 50-70% maximum heart rate.
Vigorous intensity is 70-85% maximum heart rate
Strength Training over 40 Female
It’s no secret that as we age our bone density and muscles mass deteriorates. For women, this starts happening once we hit 30.
From about age 25 to age 50, bone density tends to stay stable with equal amounts of bone formation and bone breakdown.
After age 50, bone breakdown (resorption) outpaces bone formation and bone loss often accelerates, particularly at the time of menopause
That’s why it’s important for women in their 40s to carry out bone and muscle strengthening at least 2 days a week.
We recommend incorporating unilateral lower body exercise for stability and body symmetry purposes, such as:
- Bulgarian split squat,
- Side-lying plank holds.
- Single Leg Squats
- Single Leg Balance Exercises
- Single Leg Bridge
- Single arm Chest Press
- Single arm row exercises
Flexibility Exercises for Over 40s
If you’re feeling tight from strength training, it’s important to address any muscle tightness, so you can maintain functional range of motion of your joints.
Some suggestions for exercises include:
- Lumbar knee rocks for hips,
- Thoracic spine mobility exercises for upper body function,
- Gentle neck stretches – pulling your head to your shoulders for a gentle stretch
- Reaching your shoulder across your body and stretching your upper back and shoulder muscles.
- Hamstring ‘reach for your toes’ stretches in sitting or standing
How to Build Exercise Into Your Schedule
- Don’t be afraid to try a few new styles of exercise – you may be surprised to discover a passion for pilates or an appetite for running.
- Make it social
- Exercise is considered self-care – plan your week out in advance, including when and what you’ll be doing. If you’ve had children, you may be starting to regain more time in your diary as your children get older – so make the most of it!
- Invest in quality exercise gear that you love wearing. Making these positive associations will be a big motivator!
Exercises for Women Over 40
If you’d like to make an appointment with a trusted Brisbane physio at North West Physiotherapy, reach out to our team here.
North West Physiotherapy is your one-stop pain relief and healthy living practice in Brisbane. With four clinics across North Brisbane; Everton Park, Keperra, Eatons Hill and Nundah our aim is to provide holistic healthcare solution to suit your specific lifestyle.
Our services include Physiotherapy, Sports Physio, Hydrotherapy, Pilates, Podiatry, Dry Needling, Massage, Womens Health, and Seniors Strength and Balance Classes. Please note that services vary across our clinics.