They’re both in their 40’s.
Getting older is inevitable and each decade of life presents with its own benefits and challenges. The ever growing number of fitness programs has provided limitless access to people. However, the American public is sicker than ever and with the rise in social media content, body image has never been more skewed. The problem was never really access to workout programs, in fact, it is most likely due to the infinite amount of information available. As we get older, the ability to filter out the right information from the inaccurate information begins to decrease.
Especially in the 4th decade of life, expect the following universal changes regardless of sex: reduced muscle mass, increased body fat percentage, reduced muscle tone and increased risk of chronic diseases. These changes can be addressed by proper nutritional habits, resistance training, stress management and recovery. You can read more about it from yesterday’s message found here.
As we get older, the specific changes in the body and health priorities become a little different between men and women.
Today we will be focusing on women and the changes they go through during their 40s. Expected changes include: a reduction in estrogen, decreased bone density, increased breast cancer risk, and an increased sex drive.
Hormonal changes occur not just throughout the year, but through the entire lifespan. At the age of 40, estrogen production will start to decrease. This can be observed with changes in the menstrual cycle, temperature regulation, and emotional output. Research has shown that lower estrogen levels are associated with significantly higher and lower body fat percentages. This may have an impact on exercise selection as if someone is trying to look more toned, the goal is to reduce body fat percentage. This can be done primarily through strength training to build lean muscle. The more muscle available, the greater ability to burn fat and reducing the percentage. However, chronically long bouts of cardio can actually reduce estrogen and increase fat storage. Cardio exercises and activities can be used as a way to train the heart, but when it comes to body composition and aesthetics (looking good), strength training will be much more beneficial.
Bone density will actually start to decrease at this age as a result of less estrogen and vitamin metabolism. If not managed properly expect a 1% decrease in bone density every year. However, this can be counteracted by adding in functional strength training. Consider adding in exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses, and anything else that will be moving some weight. For clarification, weight lifting is not “high impact” training. In fact, it is relatively low impact training as you’ll most likely be moving slower and under control, making it much safer to experience positive changes. Focus on rep schemes of 5-8 and at an effort of 7-8 out of 10 (aka the RPE scale). Focus on loading up your entire body and address the bones such as your thighs, hips, and spine.
Breast cancer risk actually elevates at this age due to reduced amount of estrogen. However, proper exercise, nutrition, and stress management are very effective ways to reduce the risk. Even limiting your alcohol intake can have an impact on your health. Make sure that you are checking yourself regularly to detect any lumps.
Due to all these hormonal changes, a woman’s sex drive may increase in your 40s. However, with the potential disaparity of sex drives between partners can result in distorted self body image. This in itself can facilitate the action of pursuing an unsafe fitness or nutrition routine because one may not feel attractive. To be aware of this change is going to improve self image and the pursuit of a much more realistic and healthy fitness/nutrition routine.
With all the changes above, women should be focusing on the following priorities when it comes to their fitness/health:
Prioritize strength training. Lifting weights will not only get you stronger, but it will improve your muscle tone, build your bone density, burn fat, and will make you feel so much better.
If you don’t know how to lift weights, seek help from a qualified coach. Book your phone consult with a coach here.
Limit cardio to 1-2x/week. Your body is already going through a bunch of stress and changes, and long bouts of stress will only make you tired, fatigued, and retain more fat.
Sleep at least 7 hours per night. If you aren’t recovered, you won’t feel your best.
Eat a lean protein at each meal to facilitate muscle development
Understand that your partner may not be into sex as much as you due to the hormonal imbalances
Aging is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be miserable. There are ways to counteract the effects from aging, and you don’t have to do it on your own.
Click here to speak with a coach today to talk about a plan of action that can help you. Private training is perfect if you are new to lifting, or want to focus on your goals with a coach individually. However, If you are ready to get started with a class, join in on our group fundamentals this Monday 1/6, Wednesday 1/8, and Friday 1/10, at 7:15am-8am. Save yourself $100 by joining through this link and invest $230 for the program and then choose the best class option for you!
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Happy new year folks!
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