Written by: Kayte Corrigan “Youth is wasted on the young,” you’ll hear a mother say as she bends down to grab a rushing toddler. “If I had one ounce of his energy…” Yup, I think we’d all agree. Besides the broken record of benefits (improves mood, fights weight gain, combats disease, boosts energy, increases sex drive), exercising consistently on a long enough timeline can improve your quality of life and help you age gracefully. Here’s a breakdown of the best things to do during your hardest most demanding years as a mom, according to fitness experts at HIP Studio.
20s & 30s: If you haven’t been living an active lifestyle, you could see the biggest weight gain during these years. Time speeds up, life starts flying, and your workout could fly right out the window. Maximize your time by doing interval or circuit training. You’ll burn more calories in shorter duration. Not to mention, switching up your routine fights flab and boredom. Make sure to add weight training; your future bone density depends on it. Increased strength has other benefits too. The more muscle, the more efficient the metabolism. Don’t let it get lazy on you. Pilates is one of the best workouts for your 30s, pulling everything back together after a pregnancy, a workout hiatus, or even if you’ve never lifted a dumbbell in your life. In addition, start incorporating invisible workouts: take the stairs, stand while on the phone, park in the rear of the parking lot, walk an extra block with the dog. This doesn’t replace workouts, but it forms great habits for decades down the road.
40s: Just because you’re “over the hill” doesn’t mean you can coast down the other side. Being active now is more important than ever. As estrogen levels decline, fat settles in the abdomen. Aside from the obvious esthetic downfall, it also puts fat circulating close to your heart, a leading cause of heart disease. Pilates can help with your midsection as well as getting the heart in working order. Increasing strength training will help fight the gravitational pull and changes in body composition, but make sure you are lifting properly. Technique is king, a ruler above all injuries for years to come.