Written by Nicole Arseneau
When you're over 40, staying fit and toned can be a challenge, especially since you've got a busy professional life and children to take care of. However, maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is essential for overall well-being and longevity. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can adopt to attain and maintain a fit and toned body, even with a hectic schedule. Here are valuable tips to help you be fit and healthy.
1: Make Time for Exercise
One of the biggest hurdles to staying fit for busy professional women is time. It's understandable to feel that you don't have enough time to fit everything in, but exercise should be a priority if you want to maintain good health. It is essential to squeeze in at least thirty minutes of exercise daily, even if it means waking up earlier or going to bed later. Incorporate cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises to your fitness routine, ensuring that it caters to your specific needs and meets your fitness goals.
If you have trouble sticking to an exercise routine, try finding a workout buddy, join a fitness class or hire a personal trainer. Having someone else to work out is a great motivator and can also hold you accountable.
2: Incorporate Strength Training
Strength training is vital for building lean muscle mass and maintaining an adequate metabolism as you age. It's also a valuable tool for enhancing bone density, which is essential for preventing osteoporosis, especially after menopause. Regular strength training will prevent muscle loss and help you maintain a toned body shape.
Incorporating strength training into your routine can be simple. You don't need any fancy equipment or a gym membership. Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges can be done at home or in a park, and if you have dumbbells, you can perform exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, and shoulder presses.
3: Try Yoga
Yoga is an excellent way to maintain flexibility, meditate, de-stress, and tone muscles. It’s a low-impact activity, making it easy for women over 40 to incorporate it into their fitness routine. Regular practice will enhance muscle strength, balance, and mobility, and reduce the chance of injury.
Modern-day yoga is a fusion of traditional techniques with contemporary exercise routines, making it a perfect gateway for beginners. You can find many beginner yoga routines or sign up for a class to learn the basics.
4: Eat Nutritious Foods
Eating a well-balanced diet composed of nutritious foods is a crucial component of staying healthy, with good energy levels, and maintaining a toned body. A healthy diet should be rich in lean proteins, whole grains, a variety of vegetables, and fruits.
Protein intake is especially critical for maintaining muscle mass, especially after 40 when muscle tissue begins to decline. Incorporating lean proteins into your meals, such as fish, chicken, legumes, and tofu, will help maintain muscle and tone muscles.
Additionally, drinking enough water is essential for staying hydrated and keeping energy levels up. Avoid foods that are high in added sugar, salt, and excessive amounts of saturated or trans fats, as they can contribute to weight gain and cause health issues.
5: Get Enough Sleep
As a busy professional woman with children, you probably have a packed schedule, but it's essential to allow time for adequate sleep. Sleep is critical for our overall health and well-being, and lack of it can contribute to weight gain, decreased energy levels, and even depression. Getting quality sleep daily (between 7-9 hours) can help maintain good health, aid muscle recovery, and maintain a healthy metabolism.
Create a relaxing pre-sleep routine that will help you unwind before bedtime. You can read, meditate, or listen to calming music. Avoid electronics as the light they emit can suppress melatonin, which affects sleep quality.
6: Reduce Stress Levels
Stressful work and personal life can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Prolonged stress can impair proper functioning of the body, boosting cortisol levels that can cause weight gain, increase inflammation, higher blood pressure, and lead to several physiological health issues like heart disease, stroke.
It’s essential to take steps to manage stress daily. Setting clear boundaries between your professional and personal time, taking small breaks during the day, and fitting in physical activity can help reduce stress levels. Try taking up meditation, deep breathing techniques, or yoga to help relax and manage stress.
7: Make movement a priority
Staying active throughout the day is important for maintaining muscle tone, flexibility and keeping energy levels up. Even if you spend most of your day behind a desk, you can still maintain a level of movement by taking regular breaks, standing up or walking around the office, or using a standing desk.
Additionally, consider adding more movement throughout your day such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking your dog, or cycling to work. Being more active and burning more calories throughout the day will help to maintain a healthy weight and keep you tone.
In conclusion, being over 40 and a busy professional woman with children can make it seem like achieving fitness and toning goals is impossible. However, with the right mindset, habits, and strategies, it is possible to achieve and maintain fitness and toning goals. Some of the key takeaways that can help include: setting realistic goals, making time for exercise, focusing on whole foods and nutrition, being consistent, and seeking support and accountability. By putting these tips into practice, you can become the best version of yourself, feeling healthy and confident as you juggle your busy professional and personal life.