Make these changes now, and you'll be as strong as ever in 40, 50, and beyond.
There is no locomotion in biology: over time, we all become a little stiffer, fluffier and wobbier. But that said, the 40-something can be as strong as ever . This is the message behind Fitness After 40 ($ 19; amazon.com), a practical guide by orthopedic surgeon and mobility specialist Vonda Wright, MD. The trick, she says, is wiser. Here are four tips from the pages of her book that every active woman should take to heart.
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Keep working your flexibility every day
As we get older, our tendons and muscles become tighter, and ours Risk of injury ̵
One of her favorite techniques: the rolling of foam. "Essentially, the block of hard foam serves as a rolling pin to break up small adhesions and scar tissue, thereby increasing blood flow to problem areas," she writes in her book. "Foam that rolls first thing in the morning (after a hot shower) leaves you feeling lithe for the rest of the day."
Dr. Wright is also a big proponent of dynamic stretching and warm-up exercises involving slow, controlled movements (like shoulder rolls and sumo squats) and no static stretching (holding and holding for 30 seconds)
"Flexibility is so easy to ignore" She writes, but it is important if you want to stay active. Tomorrow too crazy for another task? Stretch during your lunch break, suggest it before or in the evening while watching TV.
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Use your muscles – or you lose them  It's sad, but true. Between your 25th th birthday and your 50 th you could lose up to 10% of your muscle mass. Wright. Then you could lose another 45% over the next 30 years. And it gets worse: Lost muscles are typically replaced by fat. "This fat makes us bigger everywhere, because a pound of fat takes 18% more space on our frame than a pound of fat," she writes.
But that does not have to be this way! With you can prevent your muscle loss . Strength training becomes more and more important over the years, she says. Although through "strength training," Wright does not mean what you might think.
Stepping Off Weight Machines
"Most of us grew up in an era when" strengthening our quadriceps meant sitting on a stool leg press and pushing a heavy sled up a slope, "Dr. Wright in the book, but did you ever drive a sled up your legs in real life? Probably not.
It wants you to train your muscles the way you actually use them – and build up so-called functional strength For example, in real life, you use your quads in coordination with your hamstrings, buttocks, and core to pick up children, climb stairs, and load Ikea furniture into the car, so skip the leg press and do squats and lunges instead. (For more functional moves, check out this circuit from celebrity trainer Juliet Kaska.)
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Work balance exercises in your normal routine
Get up on one leg like a stork. Really, try it now! Harder than you expected? We often do not know that our balance is going until we tip over, Dr. Wright. Part of the problem is that with age, the neuromuscular connections that sustain us slowly decrease. But the good news? These nerve tracts "can be fully recovered by specific daily attention," Dr. Wright. She suggests taking Tai Chi, Pilates or Yoga, all of which can improve stability; or adding balance moves (like side leg raises and toe raises) to your usual workout. And practice these stork imitations every day while you brush your teeth.