How are you feeling? No, really. How are you feeling right now in your body, mind, and spirit? I hope you answered that you’re thriving in all areas of your life. But if you didn’t. If some part of your life feels a little bit “off,” or you just lack that spark you used to have, then believe me when I say that you can feel better. There are habits you can practice that will guide you toward a healthier, happier you.
I know that asking busy moms to put one more thing on their “to-do” list is like asking the United Nations to find space for one more country (there are a whole lot of moving parts here!). But these healthy habits are simple. They don’t take much time. Plus, even adding one or two of them to your routine can make a big impact on how you feel. In fact, you could start these healthy habits now and feel your best in just 3 months!
Most Effective Exercises for Women Over 40
This post is part of a 3-part series that will have you feeling your best before the holidays. This month, I’ll focus on exercise. Then next month, how NOT to gain weight over the holidays. And finally in December, mindful changes you can make to start the new year with the knowledge and confidence that you are enough – and you can handle anything!
So, let’s talk about your exercise. Has your exercise routine changed from something you used to like doing into a chore? Or maybe you’ve never really fallen in love with working out, but you just do it because you know you should. If your exercise routine needs a pick-me-up, or even a total overhaul, there are healthy habits you can start now that will quickly help you feel great!
Healthy Exercise Habits
#1 | Add in Movement
As busy moms, we don’t always have the time in our day to do the entire 45-minute workout. But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck doing nothing! You can still start some healthy habits. Look for ways to add movement to your everyday routine. It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing a few push-ups while you’re waiting for your kid’s practice to end (nothing to see here!), or using your kitchen counter as a barre while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew. These adjustable ankle or wrist weights add a little extra resistance to your daily movements.
#2 | Weight Training
As we age, we begin to lose lean muscle mass. Once women hit 30 (!) muscle mass declines by 3-8% each decade. That’s a lot of strength we can lose if we don’t do something about it. That’s why lifting weights is a healthy habit that will help you feel your best. Getting stronger will help you feel more capable too. It can improve your posture, balance, bone density, and weight. Another benefit of lifting weights is the endorphins we get from physical activity. The feel-good chemicals last beyond the lifting session and can keep you stay motivated and inspired during your day. Plus, lifting weights can be physically demanding. When your session is over, you can pat yourself on the back for accomplishing something hard. If you’re new to lifting, here is a great multi-use, space-saving option to get started in your at-home gym.
#3 | Move In A New Way
Often we can get stuck in the same mindset around our exercise routine. You like a particular exercise, so that’s what you do for a while. Soon though, it becomes all you turn to when you think about exercise. Instead, try thinking about exercise in new ways to make your healthy habit more interesting. You could try a new class, do the same workout with a new friend, or simply run (or walk!) in a different direction. Changing up your routine can be inspirational. Plus, trying something new can give your muscles a new challenge. These hybrid shoes are great for whatever inspires you. Plus, they’re sleek enough to move from a workout to a casual lunch meet–up.
If you struggle with exercise because of fatigue or joint pain, this post outlines the best vitamins to help combat those issues!
#4 | Active Recovery
You probably don’t need another thing put on your to-do list. That’s one of the best parts of this healthy habit. It asks you to take something off instead. Many women feel the need to exercise most days of the week. We can let our fear of weight gain or our fitness goals come before our body’s needs. But rest is important too! When you rest, you allow your body to recover from the stress and any muscular damage from the exercise. If absolute rest feels like too much of a break for you right now, try active recovery instead. For active recovery, you can do light physical activity, a deep stretching routine, or foam rolling to help reduce soreness. This foam roller kit includes several different sizes and textures to really get into your specific muscles.
Which of these healthy exercise habits to feel your best will you start? What habits do you already practice? Let me know in the comments below!
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