As we age, our bodies weaken, the muscle strength reduces, and the bones lose their density, so it is important to exercise in order to strengthen them.
Women older than 40 experience numerous benefits from regular exercise. Yet, the key component in workouts and strength-training exercises is proper form, which prevents stress onto unintended parts of the body, as well as injuries to the tendons, muscles, and joints.
However, women after 40 should be very careful with their high-intensity impact strength training and start out slow in order to avoid injuries.
Strength training makes the bones of women over the age of 40 denser, which is of high importance, since after menopause, their estrogen levels drop, the hormone that protects their bones.
Lisa K. Cannada, M.D., associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, claims says that just a 5 percent increase in peak bone mineral mass can drastically lower the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
When it comes to strength training as a way to improve bone health, doing anything regularly, from full-on Olympic lifts to bodyweight-only exercises will be of great help.
John C. Garner, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., professor, and chair of the kinesiology and health promotion department at Troy University, says that the bones respond to resistance. Therefore, if we place the bones under stress, the body will respond in order to strengthen the bones, by sending the material that it needs. Yet, if our bones seldom encounter any resistance, they will grow weak in an accelerated speed and become more prone to breaks later in life.
Strength training exercise also counteracts the decline in muscle mass due to aging and lowers the risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
According to Hannah Davis, C.S.C.S., founder of Body by Hannah, it would be best to combine strength training routine with 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio daily,such as walking, riding a bike, or jogging, which is about the same amount of activity recommended for overall cardiovascular health by the American Heart Association.
These are the top 5 at-home strength training exercises for women:
Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart, the hips aligned with the knees, the knees aligned with the ankles, and the shoulders back. Stretch the arms straight out and parallel to the floor, with the palms facing downward.
Bring the knees back, bend the knees, while the shoulders and chest are upright and the back straight, and squat down until the hips are below the knees. Go back up, and repeat.
The upper body straight, the shoulders rolled back and relaxed, the chin should be pointed up and the core engaged, make a step forward with one leg, and lower the hips to make the knees bent at a 90-degree angle. The front knee should be above the ankle and the other knee shouldn’t be touching the floor. Your weight should rely on the heels, then push back, up, and repeat.
3. Leg Raises
Lay on the back, with the legs together and straight, and elevate them until the buttock butt comes off the floor a bit. Then, lower the legs back to the just above the floor, and hold. Then, raise the legs again and repeat.
Place the hands on the ground, under the shoulders and a bit more than a shoulder-width apart. The toes should be grounded into the floor and the glutes squeezed. The neck and spine should be neutral, your look focused on the floor. Hold for 20 seconds, and gradually increase this time.
You should squat down and place the hands on the floor in front of you, a bit farther than the feet. Then jump on the feet and go into a plank position, with the chest touching the floor. Push up back into plank position, jump the feet back in towards the hands, and then jump into the air, with the arms reaching straight over the head.