Your body has been carrying you through life, but after 40 she’s giving you some cues that she needs a little support now. Trainer Cheryl Coppa shares how easy it is to burn fat, fill in loose skin, and boost your energy
By Cheryl Coppa Very simply, a woman starts working out after 40 because she notices the drastic changes in her body even though her lifestyle choices have stayed the same.
She notices that even though she is not eating more, the weight is piling on, or that she feels softer.
Her energy stores are feeling depleted. She knows that she needs to do something different for a different outcome.
Now, before we get into this, I originally wanted to write something on WHY the female body over 40 is amazing. I googled to see what was out there. Can you believe I found nothing? Not a single article of why the female body is amazing after 40. There was plenty about the female body prior to 40. How the female body can carry and make a tiny human, how the female body can grow an organ (placenta), the female body can make food (breast milk). All amazing things that are truly remarkable!
In addition, as I scroll through social media, I can easily find women sharing memes or posts about “how it's hard to love your body after baby”, “I don’t even recognize who I am in this body”, or “I miss that youthful, energetic feeling of my younger years”, or “I avoid looking in the mirror” and “How do I love myself where I am at now?”.
It really hit me hard when I recently saw these statements come through my feed. I found it really sad that so many women feel this way.
The Female Body is Truly Incredible and a Work of Art at Every Stage in Life!
I want to remind you, that the human body is amazing! We dwell in this self-healing, ever-adapting machine, both man and woman. But let’s focus on the female body because she is truly incredible and a work of art at every stage in life!
Sure we definitely have our challenges and our minds always seem to dwell more on the negative and the downside.
Experiences that only a woman can experience such as menstrual cycles, childbearing, and childbirth, perimenopause and menopause. All amazing things also carry a downside for sure, but all these experiences allow the female body to be the amazing machine that it is.
Let’s reflect on how amazing our body is, how to do the best for her, and truly appreciate this vessel in which we live our lives.
“Your loose skin, and your wrinkles are proof of life! They are a reminder of all that you have lived and survived thus far. Even if you didn’t give your body the best care all these decades, she is still carrying you through your life. She’s giving you some cues though that she needs a little support now, this is why women after 40 and beyond start to explore the fitness world.”
If you are reading this, you are probably done with your childbearing years. Years of wear and tear are showing up. Stretch marks, loose skin, wrinkled skin, achy joints, stiff joints, limited range of motion, maybe you cannot even get up and off the ground. Let me tell you this, your stretch marks, your loose skin, and your wrinkles are proof of life! They are a reminder of all that you have lived and survived thus far! Even if you didn’t give your body the best care all these decades, she is still carrying you through your life. She’s giving you some cues though that she needs a little support now, this is why women after 40 and beyond start to explore the fitness world.
I am personally in the perimenopause stage and I’m very fortunate to be fully equipped with all the professionals and resources we have at Ola Ka Ola. From the latest research-based training, nutritional support, mental health, and community support. I know Ola Ka Ola is 100% on top of all things women over 40, I am in a very safe place for all the support I need and the rest of our members need.
When you are equipped with different tools, you can get through the perimenopausal and menopausal transition with support and even ease. Once you have made it through the transition, you don’t have a period anymore. Wear all the white you want! No pregnancy worries, no more PMS! I’m coming from a place of optimism and gratitude. At my stage in life, I am planning everything around my cycle, so I’m not mad about the day I don’t have to do that anymore. I’m not in a rush, I embrace each stage of life as it is unique and it is a privilege to live out each stage. It’s the one thing that is always constant in life… change. So it makes no sense to resist it, might as well embrace it. How can we successfully embrace these changes?
The Top Three Ways to Support Your Body After 40
To make it as simple as possible, the top three ways to support your body and learn to love it again after the age of 40 are:
1- Strength train
2- Eat at least 100 grams of protein a day
3- Prioritize sleep
There are layers and subcategories we could put under each, but it boils down to these top three components.
1- STRENGTH TRAIN - We are naturally losing muscle and with each decade the decline gets faster and faster. The only way to slow this process is to strength train. Strength training to keep your muscles and build muscle, will in turn burn fat, fill in loose skin, fill in cellulite, give you energy, increase your bone density, boost your immune system, and even help with your sleep and mood. All this is just from strength training! There is no pill, no injection, no magic drink, or cream that can give you ALL this. All these benefits, with one simple solution of strength training. You will get the best results when you follow a strength training program designed for women over 40, so you don’t waste time and effort on doing something meant for men or younger women.
Strength training will burn fat, fill in loose skin, fill in cellulite, give you energy, increase your bone density, boost your immune system, and even help with your sleep and mood. There is no pill, no injection, no magic drink or cream that can give you ALL this
So now you might be asking yourself, how often do I have to strength train? Even if you do the smallest fitness deposits it will make a difference.
If you just do 2 - 30 minute sessions a week, you WILL FEEL the difference. You will be in a better and healthier place.
If you do 4-6 30-minute sessions a week, you WILL FEEL and SEE the difference.
You can break that down even further, you can do 4,10-minute sessions a week and still feel and see the difference. This is how powerful strength training is. I also want you to know that even if you put in the bare minimum, you might not see a difference but you will feel a difference and this is still 100% better than if you did nothing at all! Remember all those benefits that come with strength training?? You get them! Regardless of how small your deposits are. So powerful for your health, well-being, and quality of life. QUALITY OF LIFE, this is ultimately why women start working out over 40!
👉 If you are in your 40s, you still might have little ones you need to care for, your energy levels are going to need some help!
👉 Maybe you are in your 50s and now you have grandkids you want to help care for and play with, you need to be able to get up and off the ground with ease and be able to lift 20+ pounds.
👉 Maybe you are in your 60s and you are a caregiver for your significant other or a parent or family member, you need to remain strong and functional and have mental support to do what you need to do!
👉 Maybe you are in your 70s, and you are realizing you need strength so you can continue to live independently and not have to rely on someone else.
Whichever decade you fall in, you NEED strength to LIVE your life rather than just coast or just get by. Strength will give you the best quality of life. Strength training slows the aging process. Think of building muscle as your organ of longevity.
“The quality of your life is a direct correlation to your muscle health.” - Dr. Gabrielle Lyon
2- PROTEIN - Paired with your strength training, your muscles need the proper food to be strong and to grow. This food is protein. You should get a minimum of 100 grams per day. Even more if you can but this should be the bare minimum. Now, if you kept track today of how much you are getting, you will see that you are very low! So think about what would happen if you increased it to 100 grams per day. The best way to make this happen is to aim for 20- 30 grams of protein with each meal. Also, have protein snacks throughout the day. You will also notice, that you will feel more satisfied and snack less because protein is more satisfying to your body than those empty-calorie snacks you might be reaching for. This is going to help you overall eat less. Fuel your body with what it needs to perform the way you want it to perform.
“Proteins are the workhorses of the cell and the building blocks of life” - Bruce Alberts
Sleep is going to build your muscles once you work and feed them. Sleep is going to regulate your cortisol levels to help keep belly fat at bay. Sleep is going to help keep you operating at 100% instead of 30%
3- SLEEP - This one can be a challenge for many of us as life is unpredictable with kids and if you are a caregiver. Just do what you can with sleep. Even if it means skipping your binge-watching to sleep instead, your body will feel better. If you have a hard time sleeping, strength training should help. Learning some relaxing meditation and breathing techniques can also help.
Sleep is going to build your muscles once you work and feed them. Sleep is going to regulate your cortisol levels to help keep belly fat at bay. Sleep is going to help keep you operating at 100% instead of 30%.
“Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.” - Thomas Dekker
If you can make a small effort to implement these three changes, I can pretty much guarantee you will love your body again. You will see what she is still capable of when you give her even just some attention. Give her more and you see and experience more! Your body is still amazing, your body deserves respect and care. Maybe you didn’t know how to give this to her, we can help you at Ola Ka Ola. Everything we do is for HER after 40 and beyond. Fall in love with the process and you will love how you feel and you will love what you see. You will see that yes, your body is still amazing and capable of more life!
Taking care of your body after 40 is like maintaining a classic car (Yes, you are a classic one-of-a-kind ). Just as regular maintenance and careful attention to vintage automobiles can keep them running smoothly for decades, similarly, prioritizing your health and fitness as you age, can extend your longevity. Neglecting the needs of the car may result in breakdowns and a shorter lifespan, much like neglecting your body's health and fitness, can lead to age-related ailments and a decrease in quality of life. Strength training, protein, and sleep serve as your body's tune-ups, ensuring it continues to perform optimally well into your later years.
Another important component on HOW to achieve this. Specifically at this age (40 and beyond) you value your time more than ever. You don’t want to waste it, and you want to make the most of what you have. This is why Ola Ka Ola’s virtual training has been so successful. There is no travel and no prep, you just log on with your trainer LIVE so you get that support and guidance to make sure you are doing things right!
When you feel comfortable, you can follow the on-demand programs, these can be done anytime that works for you.
About Cheryl Coppa
✔️ A certified Core Confidence Specialist (Core and Pelvic Floor retraining)
✔️ A certified Personal Trainer specializing in women's fitness over 40
✔️ Low-Pressure Fitness / Hypopressive certified by creator Dr. Tamara Rial
✔️ Pre/postnatal corrective exercise specialist
✔️Instructor of the Pelvic Floor Health program, Ola Ka Ola
✔️ 40 years young, wife & mother of 3