fitness-850602_1280Women always moan that after the age of 40 everything changes. They can feel their bodies aging, as though parts of it are breaking down. It’s harder to lose weight too. Many good things also begin at this age, however, including a new way to look at your body.

As a 40-something, your time is precious. Older children require a lot of your emotional attention, chauffeuring, driving lessons, and chaperoning. Your job is demanding and your position at work could be fairly high. There are many late-bloomers in this group, however, raising little ones or preparing to give birth for the first time. Childbirth and the necessary weight gain will come as a shock to a body used to doing what it wants to.

How to Lose Weight For Women Over 40

This is the beginning of the end of long, fruitless workouts. They were never doing you much good to start with but now you should really hone in on what matters: muscle. Experts recommend paying close attention to muscle tone and development about now. If you are lacking or losing muscle tone, you are also losing your closest ally in the war against fat. Trade half an hour of jumping and sashaying for a quarter of an hour of bicep and tricep curls. Swap 30 minutes of high-knees and jumping jacks for 15 minutes of leg raises, squats, and butt lifts.

Why Muscle

When you try to lose weight, your metabolism targets muscle first. That’s why you don’t shed fat by dieting alone. Your waist size goes down for a few days or weeks but all you’ve lost is muscle and water. Muscles, however, burn fat at rest. If you feed them properly, your muscles will gobble up lipids like there’s no tomorrow just by building and repairing their own tissue. Their cells are always doing something, making demands for energy, and that energy is now released from the fat your metabolism used to overlook.

Cardio and Endurance

You still need to work your heart and maintain a healthy weight. Doctors say that the risk of heart disease goes up right about now — in your 40s — increasing sharply at around 50. That’s especially true if you are unfit, so keep your heart working. Don’t neglect the most important muscle in your body. Choose combination moves that get you huffing, but also place stress on your muscles. While raising weights from your shoulders to the sky (an overhead press), move side to side in rhythm with the repeated press. While you are curling one bicep, raise the opposite knee.

Stretch It Out

Ladies: this new phase can go on for many years so long as you look after yourself. Stretch out the muscles you just worked so they remain limber and elastic to prevent injury.