Articles from January 2010

Muscle Elegance And Flexibility

People are constantly saying, “40 is the new 30.”  In other words, because we are living longer and taking better care of our bodies, at 40 years old we may still feel as young and as vibrant as we did a decade ago.  That may be the case, but what if you didn’t feel all that great at 30?  A lot of us are also having babies later, focusing more on career, and perhaps not taking care of ourselves as well as we should.
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Either way, if you are a woman over the age of 40, you can give yourself the gift of renewed energy, better metabolism, and yes, even that 30-year old body (yours or the body you wish was yours at 30).  One of the best ways to bring youth back to your body is by increasing your muscle elegance and flexibility. You can do this by including low impact weight training in addition to yoga or pilates in your daily exercise regimen.

For women over 40, flexibility is an increasingly important part of fitness.  It is also more difficult to attain, especially as hormones begin to fluctuate during perimenopause (the period of time before menopause when your ovaries start producing less estrogen).  However, building muscle will not only help you burn calories faster (resting muscle tissue burns three times as many calories at fat tissue) but will also help you maintain bone density and your joint flexibility.  In addition, building muscle and doing exercises to increase flexibility has been proven to help alleviate some of the symptoms and challenges that occur with menopause, like reducing stress and reducing the risks of osteoporosis.

The best course of action to improve your muscle elegance and flexibility is to combine regular aerobic exercise with weight training, yoga, or Pilates.  Think about where your body is now and where you would like it to be; you may have just a few extra pounds to manage or you may be considerably overweight.  Regardless of your starting point, every bit of muscle you tone and build will increase your ability to burn calories effectively.

Muscle elegance is about more than just building muscles;  it’s about building a fluid, supple body that responds the way you want it to respond.  It’s the beauty in the curve, in the definition of muscle you will see in your body.  It’s the feeling of renewed energy and strength.  Building muscle and increasing flexibility really can make a woman in her 40s feel younger and more vibrant.

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