Your body: What happens at 40?

 

Tammy Crowley-Deloatch teaches an exercise class at New Day Fitness.

Through life, women have many challenges to face dealing with the physical body.
Not only does life happen, but also hormones come and go, leaving females in a state many do not understand. This is because the female body changes as we age and our bodies are preparing for the aging process, as well as menopause.
With every decade our body changes. Our metabolism tries to slow down, and our body tries to hold on to every calorie it is fed — we eat less and we weigh more. As our bodies change each year, we start to age and lose muscle mass. This causes us to have a higher BMI (Body Mass Index).
Body mass index matters because it tells the percentage in body fat versus muscle. Your BMI is a number that is calculated from a person’s weight and height. The nice thing about knowing this in the beginning of your fitness program, is you can monitor what you are losing, muscle or fat. A healthy BMI for a woman is 18.5 -24 percent. You can determine your BMI, by having it checked by several different methods — calipers which test the skin-fold thickness, underwater weighing and bioelectrical impedance.
When our BMI is higher, we don’t burn calories as efficiently. This causes our bodies to increase in fat, and the metabolism slows down.
Most women experiencing these changes get frustrated and may feel doomed. The frustration is because women in general like to feel good and look good.
We want to be fit as we age, and when our jeans don’t fit like they used to, it causes frustration. Or if the scales are not moving when we are trying to lose that last 10 pounds, we get frustrated. When our bodies are out of shape and we don’t feel good, it causes a sense of doom.
This is especially the case for women who do not understand why the exercise they did in their 20s and 30s is no longer working after reaching the 40s or 50s.
Because of all the changes that begin before age 40, it is difficult to know what to do to stay healthy and lean.
About 30 minutes would be all it would take for say 20 year olds to keep them at the desired size. Now those same women in their 40s and 50s have to work harder and longer while exercising to have the same pant size.
What we did in our 20s does not work anymore — this comes from the loss of muscle due to the aging process when weight training and doing cardio, the individual’s metabolism will not increase.
Yes, aging is a natural process and involves many challenges, but women have the power to make it a less-trying time. A healthier more youthful body awaits you.

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