Getting strong and staying strong isn’t just for meatheads. As we get older, we lose muscle mass. And our muscles are responsible for more than just looking good in a bathing suit. They keep us lean, balanced, stable and slim. So, there are a lot of benefits of strength training for women over 40.
The list is long, and here are some whoppers that will make you get off the treadmill and onto the dumbbells.
First things first, let’s get some terminology out of the way.
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What’s the difference between weightlifting, weight training, strength training, and body building, etc.?
Basically, the term strength training means any physical movement that builds muscle. It can be done with your body weight, weight machines, dumbbells, barbells, and resistance bands.
Weightlifting, weight training, and resistance training are methods to build that muscle or strength.
Bodybuilding is more about bulking up and creating bigger muscles, like Ahhhnold Schwarzenegger. Strength training is about getting stronger, not necessarily bigger.
Now that we’ve clarified that, let’s start the heavy lifting!
Benefits of Strength Training for Women Over 40
1. It’s Anti-Aging
The anti-aging effects of strength training for women are real! It’s one of the best ways to combat sagging skin by keeping the muscle mass we had as young’uns. But not just by keeping our muscles juicy, also by reducing stress which is one of the biggest factors of aging skin.
Think about it. All those people you know who are beyond stressed out. It shows in their skin. So, it’s not just the act of strength training that keeps your skin smooth and taught. The reduction of your cortisol levels also makes you look younger than your years.
2. Increases Bone Density
As we grow older gracefully (is there any other way?), our bones tend to get more brittle. It’s why we take calcium. But lifting weights or resistance training naturally prevents that loss. It signals the bones to develop a sturdier mineral blend.
But strength training for women over 40, especially after the onset of menopause, tells your body to create more minerals. And in turn, builds stronger bones.
3. Reduces Your Risk of Arthritis
A regular strength training program helps protect and reduce the swelling and stiffness in your joints.
Weight-bearing exercises are basically like WD40 and will keep your joints and muscles supple.
4. Reduces Your Chance of Injuries
Weight training for women over 40 helps by increasing balance and sturdiness. It especially builds your core muscles, which control your smaller stability muscles. That means you’ll be able to support yourself better and stop a fall before it happens.
Your muscles aren’t there just to make you look and feel sexy. They support your reaction time as well. So, the stronger your body is, the faster it can react and prevent a possible tumble.
5. Increases Your Lean Muscle Mass
Imagine this… As you start your over 40 workout plan (as a female), your body begins to get tighter. Not just your skin. But your entire body. It’s because lean muscle mass is moving in and taking the place of where the fat used to be.
Which leads me to number 6.
6. Helps To Lose Body Fat
Your new fitness training program aids in weight loss, even that stubborn belly fat that so many women attribute to menopause. If you don’t start a strength training workout, your body loses muscle mass, and body fat happily replaces it.
When you start lifting weights, the muscle moves back in, and there is no room for the jiggly stuff.
However, just because you are losing fat doesn’t mean the number on the scale will decrease.
Muscles (by volume) weigh more than fat, so your weight in pounds may actually increase. But since muscles are taught and smooth and fat is wiggly and clumpy, your body will be tighter and smoother. And your clothes will start to feel differently.
What adult woman doesn’t want a smooth, tight body?
Which leads me to number 7.
7. Being Strong Makes You Feel Empowered and Sexy
Now that you have started an exercise program for a 40+ year old woman, you’ll begin to carry yourself differently. Lifting weights makes you feel powerful and in control. It’s a real confidence booster.
The fiercer your body is, the stronger your mind feels, which means you’re one bad-ass mamajama! And that’s a whole lotta sexy.
8. Elevates Your Mood
When you start your over 40 workout plan as a female, you’ll notice a difference in your mood.
Lifting weights increases the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. They also increase your general feeling of well-being.
So, in simple terms, they are one of the happy hormones, along with serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.
In fact, recent studies have shown that strength training can be instrumental in decreasing feelings of depression. More research needs to be done. But at least there could be an option that doesn’t include medications that might cause harmful side effects.
9. Boosts Your Libido
As we enter perimenopause, our estrogen and testosterone levels start to wane, and with them goes our sex drive. But strength training, especially for women over 40, increases your body confidence and boosts your hormones and energy levels, so it’s a win-win between the sheets.
10. Improves Your Posture
No one wants to have bad posture. But seeing how our worlds revolve around our computers and cell phones, the dreaded rounded upper back and tech neck seems inevitable. Our daily habits propel us all to have back humps larger than the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Strengthening the muscles around the neck, upper and middle back, and shoulders will counteract the hump.
11. Improves Your Day-to-Day Life
If you can’t lift your groceries up to the counter or lift your grandkids, it’s time you start a strength training routine for women over 40, 50, 60, 70, or 80. You get the point. It doesn’t matter your age, now is the right time to start.
The stronger you are, the more you’ll be self-reliant and able to do the things you love with ease.
Q: How often should women over 40 do strength training?
A: Doing a full-body workout three times a week is a great routine. Whether you do it at home or at a gym, it doesn’t matter—as long as you are consistent. Additionally, taking days off gives your body the rest it needs.
Q: Can women bulk up if they use heavy weights for strength training?
A: It takes tremendous perseverance and devotion to bulk up. Lifting heavy weights three days a week isn’t enough. Even five days isn’t enough. To bulk up, you’d have to do intense workouts daily and be very strict with your diet. You’d have to eat a lot more calories, a ton of protein, and less fat than you could probably imagine.
It’s a complete lifestyle change that goes far beyond a few hours a week at the gym.
Q: Should you do more cardio or weight training after age 40?
A: Cardio is essential for heart health but running on a treadmill for an hour is unnecessary. Better to do a quick cardio or HIIT workout and then focus on getting stronger for all the reasons above.
Q: What are some gentle strength training exercises for over 50?
A: We must be gentle on our bodies when starting a new exercise program. Check out our blog, which offers some great exercises for women over 50.
The Final Set
The best workout for over 40 females must include some cardio. But it’s even more important to do some sort of strength training workouts. If you are unsure where to start, we got you covered.
We created the Get Strong Over 40 specifically for beginner strength training women over 40. You can do it on your own time with follow-along videos with strength training coach Ting Tang. We also have a private Facebook group that you can ask your questions from a community of strong like-minded women who are priortizing their health and their strength.
And it’s on sale over 60% OFF from now until December 31, 2022! For $60 (retail – $157) you get a 12-week beginner strength training program made just for women over 40. Use CODE: GETSTRONGHOLIDAY22 to receive the discount. Want to know more? Check it out at www.GetStrongOver40.com.
Your body and your mind will thank you for decades to come.