9 Tips for Staying Fit Over 40, No Gym Required

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Anybody else hit 40 and seem to mysteriously gain weight? In my 30s, I could maintain my weight without much effort. I had our son at 37, lost the baby weight and it suddenly came back in spades at 40. Then add COVID and I knew I had to make working out a priority for my sanity and overall well-being.

Why No Gym?

Straight up, I need sleep more than I can justify getting up at 4:30 or 5am to get to a gym. Plus, my husband has a fluctuating schedule that means I need to be available to be at home. I knew a gym membership wasn’t the answer for me, so I came up with a routine at home.

Walking

Full disclosure, I have a 15-year-old treadmill that I’ve limped along so I can walk in our basement without worrying about the weather. However, when it’s nice outside, I have three routes near me that I’ve mapped in advance so I know I’m getting my miles and time in.

Weights

Invest in light weights. I started with five pounds because you can do so many basic exercises with them if you are starting out. You can find most for about the price of two grande lattes. Just think how much better your arms will look after lifting the weights rather than a couple extra caramel macchiatos.

Apps are Your Friend

There are two apps I use primarily. 7 Minute Workout Challenge. It’s 12 exercises performed for 30 seconds with 10 second rest intervals. Noom is about building better habits. I use it to track my weight, food and exercise. There’s also an element of the app for a fee that takes a psychological approach to weight loss and behavior changes that I haven’t tried yet.

Workouts on Pinterest

Depending on what you want to target, check out Pinterest. Cardio, abs, legs, arms, back fat or butts. You name it, you can probably find it. There are even no-gym home workout options.

Online Workouts

If developing your own workout isn’t your jam, there are tons of options on YouTube and Instagram.

Make a Play List or Pick a Podcast

I put on my headphones and zone out during workout time. Otherwise, I won’t make it through. There are a tons of great podcasts out there and nice way to multi-task during your workout. Here are some suggestions from our other contributors: comedy, true crime or personal growth.

Reduce Across the Board

Portions, alcohol and sugar. Watch the hidden sugars. I’m gluten free and sugar is in almost every substitute product.

Hydrate

Drink water. We hear it all the time. It really does help. If you need motivation there are water bottle options to track how much you’ve consumed for the day like Hidrate or even just one that’s pretty to look at like those from S’well.

Setting Boundaries for Mommy Time

I’ve taught my five-year-old that before 7 am is mommy time. If he comes down to the basement when I’m working out, he knows he may say good morning and then needs to leave mommy alone until I come upstairs. I realize this isn’t practical for everyone, especially those with younger littles. But this works for us. Whether I like it or not, I’m aging. Staying fit needs to be a priority for both me and my family.

 

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Ashley grew up in Augusta and has lived in the Wichita area for most of her life. She works full time as vice president at a marketing agency. She'd been in the workforce for 15 years and faced years of fertility challenges before being blessed with son Charlie in 2015. She met her husband, Josh, in kindergarten. The house-divided college sweethearts attended KU and K-State, starting their careers in Dallas before returning to Wichita in 2003. Not just a full-time executive and mom, she owns Josh Cook Golf Academy with her namesake husband. Ashley also enjoys volunteering as Wichita Aero Club vice chair, driving a golf cart with Josh and Charlie, drinking wine and spending time with family.