Once you hit 40, your body experiences many changes that you should stay mindful of. For instance, aging comes with the loss of lean muscle mass, which slows down your metabolism. Therefore, certain age-appropriate adjustments to your routine are in order to help you get into shape and give your metabolism the boost it needs. We chatted with Katie Landier, PT, DPT, Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy, who shares the best exercise hacks for getting a fitter body after 40. They’re exactly what you need to make the most of your workout, so keep reading to learn more.
Let’s first chat about the importance of keeping up a healthy, active lifestyle as the years pass. Growing older means your metabolism doesn’t operate as fast as it used to. This is due to the fact that you lose lean muscle mass, which leads to calories being torched at a slower rate (via WebMD). You may also engage in less exercise, which can result in putting on extra pounds.
Taking action is key, and things like strength training, aerobic exercise, consuming a well-balanced diet, staying hydrated, and listening to pro tips can help. So without further delay, let’s get into Landier’s hacks on getting a fitter body after 40.
When it comes to getting fit as you age, it’s not necessary to attempt to do too much too quickly. Landier says you don’t need to go from no exercise at all to going all-out five days a week. Instead, she suggests kicking things off with five exercises at the beginning of your day and wrapping up the day. Consider moves like marches, squats, heel raises, jumping jacks, and push-ups.
As time passes, you can perform these exercises two times daily, then keep increasing your goal. “Give yourself time to build up a routine, and odds are, you will start to look forward to your exercises and even do them more often,” Landier explains.
Landier also brings up age-related muscle loss, aka sarcopenia. This can, unfortunately, lead to the loss of function and, in turn, lack of independence for some individuals as they get older, according to a study published in Current Opinion in Rheumatology.
“In order to combat this, it’s vital that we focus on resistance training,” Landier says. “Doing lower reps with higher weight will help target the muscles primarily impacted by sarcopenia.”
You might appreciate the results of your efforts even more after 40 if you alter your goals to align with your age. It all comes back to making sure you get in enough physical activity so that you’re building muscle and giving your metabolism a boost. Landier tells Eat This, Not That!, “As we age, it’s normal (particularly for women) to gain some weight. That’s healthy and we don’t want to get rid of that. [Instead,] the focus should be on the amount of activity you get, not the number on the scale.”