Are you tired of feeling like a sloth and being unable to keep up with your kids? Most of our personal training clients are women in their 40s, so we know it can be easy to let your health and fitness take a back seat, especially when Netflix and a big bowl of ice cream are calling our names. But the truth is, it is always in your hands to take control of your well-being and embrace a healthy lifestyle (or at least pretend to).
First, it’s important to understand that our bodies are changing as we age. Our metabolism may slow down and our muscle mass may decrease, making it harder to fit into our favourite clothes we hold on to so dearly.
But don’t worry, the good news is, with a bit of consistent effort and determination, we can overcome these challenges and feel like Superwoman (or at least like a slightly more active version of ourselves).
Here are a few tips to help you get started on your health and fitness journey:
1. Prioritize Strength Training
Make time for physical activity each day, whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga class, or a strength training session. Exercise not only helps us maintain a healthy weight, but it also improves our mood, energy levels, and overall health (and gives us a good excuse to turn down that extra slice of pizza).
According to a study published in the Canadian Association Medical Journal (1), regular exercise can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, and improve overall physical and mental health in women over 40.
As personal trainers, we would strongly recommend choosing strength training as your regular physical activity as it has a lot of benefits for you such as:
- Increased muscle mass: Strength training helps increase muscle mass, which in turn can boost metabolism and promote weight loss.
- Improved bone density: Strength training has been shown to improve bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, a condition that affects many post-menopausal women.
- Reduced risk of injury: By strengthening muscles and improving balance, strength training can reduce the risk of injury from everyday activities.
- Boosts self-esteem: Regular strength training can boost self-esteem and confidence, helping women feel better about themselves.
- Supports overall health: In addition to the physical benefits, strength training has been linked to improved mental health and better overall health, including a reduced risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.
2. Getting a Well-Balanced Diet
I’m sure you have heard this a thousand times and you probably know it all too well yourself. But we got to remind you because it is so important.
Focus on incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods into your diet, such as lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid processed foods and limit your intake of sugar and unhealthy fats (or just eat them in moderation and call it balance).
But let’s be real, eating healthy can be tough, especially when there are so many tempting junk foods and quick fixes out there.
That’s where working with a personal trainer can be incredibly helpful. Your trainer can help you develop a healthy eating plan that fits your lifestyle and tastes, and provide you with the support and encouragement you need to stick to it.
We can also offer tips and tricks for healthy eating on the go, like packing healthy snacks for work or finding healthy options when eating out.
So, don’t be afraid to reach out to a coach and get some support. You don’t have to do this alone! And remember, healthy eating is all about finding a balance that works for you and your body. So, be kind to yourself and enjoy the journey.
3. Staying Hydrated
Drinking enough water is essential for good health. Keyword: enough. So how many glasses of water should you aim for per day? Nope, it’s not 8 glasses a day (2). Shocked?
Me too. Keep on reading.
Ever heard of those detox juices and drinks that help you with almost everything from weight loss to curing diseases?
Ready? Not true. There’s no evidence for that.
Truth is, you only need water. Water is important to help flush toxins from your body and keep you feeling energized (or at least stop you from confusing thirst for hunger).
Staying hydrated is one of the simplest yet most important things we can do for our health and wellness. And yet, it’s so easy to forget to drink enough water!
So, what’s the magic number? There’s none actually because it depends on a lot of things such as:
- body weight
- activity levels
- whether you’re ill (kidney disease)
But generally speaking, an adult woman needs about 2.7L of water a day (3). But don’t stress if you can’t hit that number perfectly every day. The most important thing is to make a conscious effort to drink more water and be aware of your hydration levels.
One simple tip to help you stay on track is to carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. That way, you’ll always have water on hand and can take a sip whenever you feel thirsty. You can even make drinking water more fun by adding some slices of fruit, like lemon or cucumber, for flavour.
Another great way to boost hydration is to incorporate more water-rich foods into your diet. Foods like watermelon, cucumber, and lettuce are all great options that will help you hit your hydration goals.
4. Beauty Sleep
Sleep, glorious sleep! It’s the secret ingredient to feeling amazing, looking fabulous, and tackling the world with energy and enthusiasm. We know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. But let’s face it, sometimes life just gets in the way and we end up tossing and turning all night long.
Depending on the individual, you should be getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night to help your body recharge and refresh. Good sleep habits can improve your mood, boost your immunity, and support overall health and wellness (4).
But don’t worry, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can train your brain to love sleep and get the restful, rejuvenating slumber you deserve.
First, establish a bedtime routine. Pick a time that works for you, and stick to it every night. This will signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. You can try relaxing activities like reading a book, listening to soft music, or taking a warm bath.
Next, create a sleep-conducive environment. This means keeping your room cool, dark, and quiet. You can invest in comfortable sheets, a good mattress, and even earplugs if necessary.
And last but not least, turn off the screens! That’s right, put down the phone, turn off the TV, and give your brain a break from all that blue light. Trust us, your brain will thank you in the morning.
So, there you have it. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to sleeping like a baby (or at least a little better than before). And remember, sleep is like the fairy dust of life. A little bit goes a long way, so sprinkle it generously!
5. Get a Support System
Being a woman, you’ll have a lot on your plate. Between work, family, and trying to stay fit and healthy, it can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, you’re not alone! In fact, there’s a simple solution to help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals – find a support system.
Having someone to hold you accountable, cheer you on, and share your struggles and successes can make all the difference in the world. Whether it’s a workout buddy, a friend who shares your interests, or a professional coach, having someone in your corner can help you stay motivated and on track.
Not to mention, having a supportive network can also improve your overall physical and mental health. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (5) found that people who have a supportive network of friends and family are more likely to stick to their exercise and healthy eating habits. And as a result, they are able to maintain a healthy weight loss progress and improved mental health.
So, take the time to find a support system that works for you. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your health and fitness goals. Whether you join a fitness group, hire a personal trainer, or simply find a friend who’s interested in healthy living, having someone to share your journey with can make all the difference.
Don’t forget, you don’t have to do this alone! Find a support system, and watch as your health and fitness journey becomes more manageable, enjoyable, and most importantly, successful.
Remember, taking care of your health and fitness doesn’t have to be a chore. By making small changes and prioritizing our well-being, we can feel great at any age and enjoy a more fulfilling and energetic life (or at least pretend to). So we hope you get started, sooner than later!
(1) Warburton, D. E., Nicol, C. W., & Bredin, S. S. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Cmaj, 174(6), 801-809.
(2) Valtin, H. (2002). “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.” Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8× 8”?. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
(3) Sawka, M. N., Cheuvront, S. N., & Carter, R. (2005). Human water needs. Nutrition reviews, 63(suppl_1), S30-S39.
(4) Dzaja, A., Arber, S., Hislop, J., Kerkhofs, M., Kopp, C., Pollmächer, T., … & Porkka-Heiskanen, T. (2005). Women’s sleep in health and disease. Journal of psychiatric research, 39(1), 55-76.
(5) Karfopoulou, E., Anastasiou, C. A., Avgeraki, E., Kosmidis, M. H., & Yannakoulia, M. (2016). The role of social support in weight loss maintenance: results from the MedWeight study. Journal of behavioral medicine, 39, 511-518.