5 Benefits of Exercise for Women Over 40

Exercise plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight, building bone density and muscle strength, reducing the risk of heart disease, increasing self-confidence, and much more. It’s never too late to start! Whether you want to work out at home or head to a gym such as Fitness 19 to try out some classes or hit the weights, Here are five benefits of exercise for women over 40 that will motivate you to get your body moving.

Reduced risk of diseases

As we age, our bodies are more prone to developing health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even strokes. But exercising can help prevent these diseases by lowering your risk of them.

One study found that people who exercised regularly were 54 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease. And while this study looked at those in the general population over 40, the same benefits should apply to those over 50.

Exercise has also been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrences by 50 percent in women who have already had it once and by 18 percent in those who haven’t had it yet but are at high risk for it. It also reduces the risk of colon cancer recurrence by 35 percent.

Physical activity has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decrease the chance of osteoporosis, improve mood, and increase energy levels.

Increased bone density

The loss of bone density is one of the main reasons older adults are at risk for fractures. As women age, the density of their bones declines. Studies show that exercise can help reduce this loss by increasing the strength of muscles and improving balance.

Exercise also helps reduce the rate at which bone cells break down, contributing to an increased risk for osteoporosis as you grow older.

Improved mental health

One of the most powerful benefits of exercise is how it can improve your mental health. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy, reducing stress and anxiety. Decreased stress and anxiety levels can lead to better sleep, improved mood, and reduced depression symptoms.

In addition to improving mental health symptoms, regular exercise can also ease the symptoms of depression. In a study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences, researchers found that older adults who engaged in an aerobic exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week were less likely to experience depression symptoms than those who did not engage in any physical activity. This research suggests that even small amounts of exercise can significantly impact decreasing depressive symptoms.

Better balance and coordination

As we age, our bodies do change and lose muscle mass. As we age, our balance also may decline. Exercise prevents these changes and helps to maintain a healthy weight. A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that women over 40 who exercised had better balance and coordination than their counterparts who didn’t work out.

Increased memory

Research shows that aerobic exercise can improve cognitive function and increase memory in adults over 40. It also improves overall mood and reduces stress levels. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “exercise effectively treats age-related conditions like anxiety, depression, and physical frailty.”