I have been struggling with my weight for virtually all of my life. My mom and sister were uber thin, so even an extra 15-20 pounds made me look obese next to them. Mom was always on me about my weight and nitpicked what I ate and my activity levels. As any good rebellious teen would do, I ate a lot of junk and never left my room! That is not a great idea, but is sure was easier to get the weight off at 16 than at 40! After having 3 kids over the course of 15 years, I added on an extra 50 pounds and after an injury, I added 25 more. I had lost 25 in the past year before my shoulder surgery derailed me a bit. Now I have turned 51, have joined Weight Watchers and my doctor has cleared me to exercise again. If you are over the age of 40 and are trying to get fit, here are some of the best weight loss exercises for women who are over 40:
- Walking: Walking is so easy and convenient for anyone, especially if you are older. You do not need any fancy equipment and you can burn calories. You can get your mind cleared and gain energy with a walk around the park or neighborhood. If the weather is not conducive to walking, there are tons of walking DVD’s or you can hop on the treadmill at the gym.
- Lifting Weights: This does not mean going to the gym and getting ready for the ladies body building competition! If you grab a pair of hand weights, you can do simple strength building routines to help build muscle and burn calories. You should start out with a lighter weight and build up as you get more familiar and stronger.
- Aerobic Activity: When you are doing physical activity which is vigorous and gets oxygen into your body, you are doing your body a huge favor. You can dance, jog, hike, swim, circuit training, or a favorite DVD using high revved activity. This is a great way to burn a lot of calories and it strengthens your heart and bones.
- Yoga: Yoga is a wonderful exercise for women of my age bracket. This exercise strengthens your muscles and increases your flexibility. Another reason yoga is perfect for me is the stretching and deep breathing reduces the stress hormones that contribute to my belly fat. This is an all too common problem for people over age 40. The only thing about yoga I have trouble with is remembering all the poses and getting my body in the proper form. My new best friend for my yoga exercises is my mat and DVD from Yoga By Numbers.
The Yoga By Numbers system is a unique concept, which sells for $120 on their website or on The Grommet. It was developed by Elizabeth Morrow after she was recovering from a serious illness. She knew the power of yoga and how it helped her so much,so she wanted to make it accessible to everyone. She designed the mat to have a series of targets and the DVD teaches you a series of poses which correlate with the targets. The DVD has 10 sessions, each of which teaches you 3 moves, for a total of 30 poses. The only adjustment I have made is to use my yoga brick to make some of the poses easier on my shoulder until it is completely healed.
The DVD is very easy to follow and you can keep practicing any or all of the moves in one session before moving on to the next. I love this mat because it is nice and thick and bigger than other mats I have used. It is made with natural rubber and it is printed with phthalate-just ink, making it an eco-friendly product. It can be easily cleaned with a mild soap and water and hung to dry. I just spray it with a soap and water mixture and hang it over the deck to dry. I absolutely love this mat and I feel I am getting the hang of yoga better than any DVD or program I have tried to follow. I feel more balanced, flexible, and am beginning to see a difference in how my clothing fits. Here is a video you can watch to see how the Yoga By Numbers system works. You can follow Yoga By Numbers on Twitter.
Which exercise do you find most effective for weight loss?