WHILE people like Meghan Markle and Holly Willoughby looked amazing during their milestone birthday year, chances are most 40 year olds unlike the celebrities don’t have a stylist, chef, or personal trainer on hand!
That’s why we asked celebrity personal trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read to share with you the secrets of how you look and feel young when you hit your fifth decade.
We asked celebrity personal trainer Lucy Wyndham-Read to share her top fitness dos and tips for getting fit at fortyPhoto credit: David Cummings
Lucy, 50, who has nearly 2 million YouTube followers, explains, “While 40 is young, at this point your body begins to change.
“As we get older, we naturally lose muscle and our bones weaken.
“Staying fit and strong is one of the best things you can do to help your body age and protect your health and wellbeing for 40 years and beyond.”
Here Lucy shares her top fitness dos and don’ts …
DO: Cardio to keep your heart healthy
“Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. It pumps blood to and from your vital organs and the stronger and healthier it is, the better your chances of living a long and healthy life. What better place to start than training your heart?
“Cardio is the key. Cardiovascular exercise can help keep your blood pressure under control and reduce your risk of heart disease. It can be anything from walking to jogging, cycling to swimming, but the most important thing is to do it with the right intensity. Assess this by performing the “interview test”.
“If you can do your cardio while talking to your boyfriend all the time, you are not working out hard enough. If you train so hard that you can’t have a conversation, you may be overdoing it.
“When you reach a level where you can quickly say yes or no, you’ve hit the jackpot. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five times a week, but it can be broken down into three 10-minute blocks. “
NOT: do the abdominal muscles while sitting
“A lot of people think that crunches and planks are the key to building muscle, but the plank is the most overrated exercise. It’s isometric, which means you barely move, and it can put pressure on your kneecaps and lower back if you don’t hold it properly.
“For some women, the plank can even widen the waist. Instead, try standing core training, which puts less pressure on your neck and back but uses your core to balance.
“It can also increase your heart rate, which is great for getting rid of the belly fat that tends to put on after you’re 40.
Try a standing kick. Stand up straight, stretch one leg out in front of you, and bring your other hand forward to touch the foot. Even a simple knee lift where you bring your opposite elbow to your knee will work on the slopes and help shape the waist. “
DO: Multidirectional exercise movements
“Your body moves in three different movements: forwards and backwards, from side to side and across (rotating). You need to move in each of these ways to get all of your muscles to work, including the smaller ones on the side of your body, which helps with balance and injury prevention.
“Try HIIT workouts that get you galloping from side to side. Star jumps, ice-skater lunges or abdominal rotations with flapping arms on top are all great. “
NO: Worry about kettlebells
“Swinging kettlebells or lifting heavy weights can put pressure on your joints, especially if you’re new to training. Instead, use your own body weight.
“As you get older, it is important to do exercises that strengthen your bones to prevent osteoporosis. You also need to focus on joint health to stay supple.
“For simple bodyweight exercises, you are still using weight, but the weight is relative to your body and you are not putting undue pressure on your joints.
“Simple forward lunges, pushups, and squats – as well as running and walking – can all help strengthen bones and joints.”
DO: Stretch before and after exercise
“As we get older, our bodies can become more restrictive. So at the end of a workout, if you stretch while your muscles are warm, you will be more pliable and benefit from greater benefits. I would recommend the breast lift.
“Just stretch your arms out behind your back with a slight bend, bring your hands together and lift your chest. An upper back stretch can also be a good idea – put your arms in front of you and imagine you’re hugging a giant beach ball. “
NOT: follow bad advice
“Unfortunately, not all online workouts are created equal. There are lots of fantastic fitness programs out there, but lots of bad advice too. Anyone can set up a social media account and post workouts, so check their qualifications.
“Check out their website and be careful of anyone who has a lot of ads or is trying to sell products. There are plenty of amazing trainers out there who might not have the largest fan base but have a wealth of knowledge. Don’t look at how attractive they are – look for stories from people who have succeeded in their programs. ”
DO: what you enjoy
“If you hate the gym or running, don’t do it. You will not stick to a program that you do not like. Find something you enjoy and don’t be afraid to try something new. You also don’t have to go through hour-long sessions.
“Seven minutes in the morning, at noon and in the evening is great. It’s not the length that counts, but the intensity. Be as active as possible and remember the interview test. ”
NOT: do static squats
“Movements like this – where you crouch and hold – put too much pressure on your knees as you get older and can lead to injury.
“A more dynamic movement – something we call isotonic – like a full squat in one movement, will help you build muscle and exercise your joints. If the muscle gets tired and you keep the squat in poor shape, it creates problems with your knees. “
NOT: forget mental health
“We can experience more pressure and stress in our 40s than we were in our younger years, but various studies have shown that exercise can help reduce anxiety, depression, and bad moods by improving our self-esteem and cognitive function.
“Perhaps now is the time to do yoga to create a quiet time – there are plenty of free programs on YouTube – or just make a habit of walking in the open air to boost your energy while doing it to help you feel comfortable hormones. “
Aim for 30 minutes of cardio a day, as “cardiovascular exercise can help keep your blood pressure under control and reduce your risk of heart disease”.Photo credit: Getty
Don’t worry about kettlebells as they “can put pressure on your joints, especially if you are new to training”.Photo credit: Getty
Don’t Forget About Your Mental Health, “Now is the Time to Do Yoga to Create a Peaceful Time”Photo credit: Getty