Thank goodness things are changing when it comes to women lifting weights. Every week I see more and more women on the gym floor lifting heavy stuff and it makes me smile every time. Unfortunately though, there are very few women between the ages of 40 & 60 among these female lifters, yet this is the age group that needs to lift weights the most.
Weight gain over the age of 40 is very common for women. Years of putting everyone and everything else's needs first take their toll over time. It may feel like you suddenly woke up 10kg heavier, but this is very rarely the case. Weight gain happens slowly when we aren't watching until one day it can't be ignored any longer. This is often when women over 40 become prey to fad diets and excessive cardio with the aim of "getting their body back".
"Women over 40 need to lower calories but increase protein, fibre, and nutrient-dense foods like fruit, vegetables, legumes, peas, and beans".
The thing is, hours of cardio is not the answer, especially for women over 40. As our risk of bone and muscle loss increases, our need for strength training also increases. As our hormone profile changes, we need to participate in the type and quantity of exercise that keeps stress hormones down to avoid excessive hunger and cravings. Fad diets and excessive cardio often do the opposite, taking stress hormone levels up, making weight gain around the belly more difficult to shift and cravings and hunger harder to control.
So what is the answer? Lifting weights that are heavy enough to stimulate bone strength and muscle growth while at the same time avoiding injury and burnout. Make sure that you train hard enough but also factor in the important components of recovery such as:
Good quality nutrition
Joy and pleasure
Women over 40 need to lower calories but increase protein, fibre, and nutrient-dense foods like fruit, vegetables, legumes, peas, and beans. Make sure you are having fun with people that you care about because joy is the greatest antidote to stress.
Lifting weights is empowering, builds confidence in your body, and confidence in yourself, and your overall capabilities as a mature female. Women need empowering solutions as they age. It is time for us to put all of those years of self-doubt and hard dieting behind us. Middle age is a time of great change and we have to make decisions about what the second half of our life is going to look like.
Strong muscles and strong bones are a far more powerful choice as we get older. If you have no idea where to begin then please reach out. I am here to provide you with the support and guidance that you need to build strength and confidence in your body. No experience is needed, just a willingness to challenge yourself to reach new heights and develop a different attitude towards your body. I hate to use cliches, but really, "Strong Is The New Skinny".
Hi, I am Melanie Briony and I am a fitness and lifestyle coach who supports midlife women (over 40 -ish) as they move into the peri and post-menopause years. This is a huge time of change for a woman's body, nothing is as it used to be. The restrictive diets and hard exercise regimes that worked in your 30s just won’t cut it anymore. I am here to share with information about you how your changing hormones are impacting on your body and what you can do to take back the reins and bring about positive change. At midlife, a woman has to learn how to work ‘with’ her body. This includes - managing stress, eating the right foods at the right time, sleeping longer, saying no more often and taking back her power. “You are not about to disappear into the mist of old age, you have the strength and courage to move through this transition and come out the other side as a stronger and wiser version of you”. Contact Melanie to find out more about how she can support you.