Fitness Secrets for Women Over 40
Today’s post is a guest post by Shawna Kaminski, a female fat loss enthusiast and the creator of Female Fat Loss Over Forty. Shawna is a woman in her late forties with two teenaged children. She understands the challenges that women face as they approach their forties and into menopause. She was a school teacher for 20 years and has turned her passion to educate towards women. She works with hundreds of women in her fitness boot camps and uses her camps as a ‘soup kitchen’ to test workouts and solutions to help women look and feel their best. She wanted to help ladies that couldn’t get to her boot camp and so created an online fitness and coaching program.
Female Fat Loss Over Forty!
As a woman in my forties, I can relate to many challenges that others in my age group face. What’s a woman to do when her waistline seems to expand even with exercise and watching nutrition? Unfortunately there isn’t a ‘magic formula’ but there is hope. It’s not possible to lose fat from specific target areas (unless you want to resort to pricey surgical procedures). However, you can tighten trouble spots with specific exercises. In addition, by losing body fat, your trouble areas will improve, giving you the look that you desire. It’s very common for women in their 40’s to gain weight around the mid-section, specifically; their tummies and behinds, resulting in a thicker waist and wider hips. I would like to share a few ‘secrets’ with you that you can use to tap into the fountain of youth. It’s possible to feel better than you did in your thirties, look your best and have extra energy.
GET RID OF YOUR TREADMILL!
Yes, it’s true! Please stop the long, slow monotonous treadmill (or any cardio machine) sessions. Just get rid of your treadmill to make more room in your house and your life for some really effective and inexpensive fat burning exercise. Your body is all you need. The secret is replacing your long drawn out cardio sessions with short high intensity interval training sessions. You can do this with a few simple body weight exercises such as the squat jump, jumping jack or stationary sprint.
Here is a great example of a fat burning exercise that you can add to your day without sacrificing time and space. The squat jump. (You can modify the movement to match your fitness level by reducing the height of the jump and the depth of the squat). It’s very simple to start the program. Start with 20 seconds of squat jumps, followed by a 10 second recovery time. Try to do 10 total sets (or for 5 minutes). Then you can rest for one minute. as your body adapts and your fitness level increases, you can try to increase your time by another 5 minutes. In 10 minutes at this pace you will burn a ton of calories. But remember, this isn’t a slow, easy pace. You are trying to train at a high intensity level and so you need to ensure you’re breathing hard and keeping your heart rate up there.
- Go into a squat position, powerfully jump to fully a extended position and raise arms overhead
- Slow down as your feet touch the ground and return to the squat position
- Modify by strongly reaching to the ceiling without lifting feet off the ground.
- You can also adjust the deepness of your squat. The lower your go targets your rear and thighs more effectively.
Push your weight around!
Every woman MUST add some resistance training to their fitness regime in order to lose body fat. You objective is to add muscle to your body. Muscle is the active, calorie burning tissue that helps keep your metabolism going strong. The loss of lean muscle mass due to a more inactive lifestyle is one of the main reasons why many women in their 40’s gain weight even though they are eating the same quantity of food they always have. It’s a misleading notion that as we age, our metabolism will slow down, thus leading to that inevitable ‘middle age spread’ as we gain fat. By adding exercises that build muscle 3-4 times a week, you can maintain the same muscle as you had in your twenties and thirties. By working hard, you can even add a little extra muscle. And this can be done without joining a gym or spending loads of money on exercise equipment. It also doesn’t mean you are going to look bulky or masculine, which is another common misunderstanding. The female body simply isn’t capable of that unless you train very specifically with that goal in mind. You can achieve a beautiful feminine physique simply using your body weight as resistance.
By adding weight training to your fitness regime you will gain these benefits:
- burn more fat than by only doing cardio
- change the shape your body
- boost your metabolism by maintaining or building more muscle
- increase strength, becoming more functional
- combat osteoporosis by building strong bones
- improve joint stability and reduce the risk of injury
WHICH BODY WEIGHT MOVEMENTS SHOULD I DO?
The unsung push-up is one of the most effective body weight exercises you can do. There is nothing new or glamorous about doing push-ups, but they work! You will work many of the muscles of the upper body, specifically the chest, shoulders and triceps. A common complaint of many women is that the backs of their arms are too flabby. Doing push-ups directly targets those muscles. Also, you will target the core muscles by keeping your back plank straight through out. There are ways to modify the resistance if your body weight is too much resistance when you first begin (like lowering to your knees). By doing some sort of push up, anyone can improve body strength, add muscle and work the core all at once.
WANT A TIGHT TUMMY? STOP DOING CRUNCHES!
Many women in their forties agree that the mid section can be a trouble spot. While there is no magic bullet for this area, the plank is one of the best exercises that you can safely perform to tone the abdominal muscles. It effectively targets the abdominal area, and is much safer and easier to learn to perform than crunches. A strong core will help reduce back aches and help to improve posture. You start by holding the position shown in the photo for as long as you can. If that is too difficult, start on your knees or lower to your knees when you need to. Hold that position for longer periods, as you get stronger. If you need to start on your knees you will soon graduate to your toes and before you know it, you will be have a stronger, flatter tummy!
THE REALITY OF DIETING
There are several myths about what you eat and weight loss. The first is, you cannot ‘out train poor nutritional choices’. This means that regardless of how hard you train, if you have a poor diet, you will simply never get the results you are looking for. I gave you some secrets to some of the most effective ways to tone your muscles in the above examples. However, if you do not make sound nutritional choices, you will never actually see those muscles or improve your trouble spots. Secondly, going ‘on a diet’ is one of the most effective ways to GAIN weight!’. By excessively lowering calories, you are in effect slowing your metabolism. This eventually leads to increased body fat and for most women, a rotating cycle. And unfortunately, make you unhappy and unhealthy. You will multiply the results you get from any fitness regime by making sure your diet is full with nutritionally dense whole foods.
My top three nutritional secrets are as follows:
- Eat 5-6 small meals daily. This helps make sure you never get too hungry or overeat. Additionally, this will help boost your metabolism, which in turn, helps burn body fat because your body knows that there is a steady supply of food coming in.
- Include protein with every meal. This will help to stabilize blood sugar and help to control your appetite.
- Lower starchy carbs intake and eat more fibrous carbs. Stay away from refined sugar. Your mother was right. Eat your veggies! Eat breads and pastas in moderation. Never drink your calories. That means drink more water stay away from soda pop, and choose whole fruit over fruit juice.
Women in their forties shouldn’t look matronly and feel old, so don’t settle for old stereotypes. By doing simple exercises, even in the privacy of your own home, you can feel energized and fit. Making sure your workouts are challenging and get the heart pounding will ensure huge changes to your trouble areas. Fitness and fat loss is not rocket science, but does take some will power, and the willingness to invest a small amount of time. I have shared with you the latest and best practices available today in the fitness industry. I practice what I preach, have done my homework and it’s my passion to help women like you meet their fitness goals.
PS. If you want some amazing ‘at home’ workouts and direction to feeling younger and sexier, you can check out Shawna’s program here.