Are you over 40 and considering a new workout routine but you don’t know where to start?
In this article, we will give you all of the information you need to start simple simple and effective workout routines for women over 40 and have also included three separate plans for you to follow.
Before You Start
Before you commit to any new workout routines, it is always best to check with your doctor that the routine is for you.
This is especially important if you have any health conditions such as heart problems or joint trouble.
If at any time the exercises cause you pain, stop and consult with your doctor.
A little muscle soreness is typical after exercise, especially if you’re new to it, but the soreness shouldn’t last and it shouldn’t develop into pain.
How Often Do I Need To Work Out?
Thankfully, you don’t need to work out every day!
People of all ages should factor rest days into their workout routines and this is no different for women over 40.
You don’t need to exercise for hours on end to feel the benefit either and instead should aim for 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
It’s recommended by the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that each week, adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise (check out our favorite exercises for older adults).
If you want more extensive health benefits, aim for twice this and try to schedule 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
What Type Of Workouts Are Best For Women Over 40?
Variety is key when it comes to scheduling your workouts.
If you do the same exercise every time, it’s easy to become bored and you run the risk of neglecting certain body parts or types of exercise.
We would recommend resistance training exercises (see also ‘Best Exercises For Over 50S-What’s The Most Beneficial For You?‘) as the top priority for women over 40.
These exercises are great for burning fat and improving your everyday health.
Resistance training typically uses your body weight to get the most out of exercises but can also incorporate resistance bands and light weights.
It’s not a heavy-lifting regime so it suits most women.
Resistance training can help you maintain a defined body shape and keep your metabolism high and ticking along.
Your muscle mass (see also our favorite supplements for maintaining muscle mass) will typically decline with age but resistance training will help you maintain it.
Cardiovascular training is also a good form of exercise for women over 40.
You don’t want to do this every day as it can become repetitive and isn’t as beneficial for the entire body as some other forms of exercise, but it can keep your heart healthy and give you an energy boost.
It doesn’t have to be strenuous either as a fast-paced and lengthy walk will count.
How To Get Started With Resistance Training
The first workout routine that we will detail for you concentrates solely on resistance training.
Many of the exercises listed are known as compound exercises as they work multiple muscle groups at once, ensuring that you get the most from each exercise.
They will help you build functional strength and can burn a large number of calories, too.
When you first start resistance training, you can try most of the exercises without any weights.
Some of them, such as bicep curls and lateral raises, won’t work without weights but others, such as squats and leg presses, can be done without them.
As you get more experienced at each exercise, you can add in weights.
You only need light dumbbells to start and whether you’re working out in a gym or at home, you should be able to find light weights easily.
Online shopping stores such as Amazon carry a large selection of them, for example.
The key to resistance training (see also our favorite competitive sports for over 40s) is to do reps and sets as it’s not enough to do each exercise once.
How Many Sets And Reps Should I Do?
The best number of reps and sets for you depends on your fitness goal.
Here is a brief guide but if you’re following a plan constructed by a fitness trainer you should defer to their plan.
To build strength through resistance training, you should concentrate on a lower number of reps but a larger number of sets.
For example, aim for two to six sets that each has eight to twelve reps. Between each set, have a break of one to three minutes.
In contrast, endurance focuses on a larger number of reps but fewer sets.
In this case, aim for only two to four sets but each set should have 10 to 25 reps.
You should have a shorter break between sets also of only 30 to 60 seconds.
Workout Routines For Women Over 40
Now let’s look at some workout routines.
You can mix and match these routines so that you do different ones every day or you can commit to one if you wish.
You can also adjust the number of reps and sets to suit your current fitness level and goals.
Remember that before you do any workouts, you should always warm up your muscles for around five to ten minutes first.
It’s also a good idea to finish your workout with some light stretching. Also, remember to take a break between each set.
You shouldn’t power through them all as this can lead to an increased risk of mistakes and injury.
If you’re not sure of how to complete any of these exercises correctly then search for the name of the exercise on YouTube as there are many videos that walk you through each exercise.
Full Body Workout
- Bench Press – three sets of eight reps
- Bent Over Rows – three sets of eight reps
- Squats – three sets of eight reps
- Leg Press – three sets of ten reps
- Shoulder Press – three sets of ten reps
- Walking Lunges – two sets of 12 reps
- Bicep Curls with Triceps Extensions – two sets of 15 reps
- Lateral Raises with Front Raises – two sets of 15 reps
Upper Body Workout
- Pushups – three sets of 10 reps (with one minute of jumping jacks between sets)
- Bicep Curls – three sets of 10 reps (with one minute of plank holds between sets)
- Triceps Extensions – three sets of 10 reps (with one minute of mountain climbers between sets)
- Bent Over Reverse Flys – three sets of 10 reps (with one minute of rope jumping between sets)
- Finish the workout with one to two minutes of Russian Twists
Lower Body Workout
- Chair Step Ups – three sets of 10 reps (with one minute of jogging on the spot between sets)
- Walking Dumbbell Lunges – three sets of one minute (with one minute of rope jumping between sets)
- Dumbbell Deadlifts – three sets of 10 reps (with one minute of jump squats between sets)
- Dumbbell Squats – three sets of 10 reps (with one minute of lying leg raises between sets)
- Finish the workout with one minute or wall sits and two minutes of crunches
Getting enough exercise is important for women over 40 but it can be daunting to start a new regime.
We hope that the information and the simple and effective workout routines in this article will help you start your fitness journey.