Is the shape of your body defined by lean muscle or fat? Age 40 officially marks the time that we begin to lose about one-half pound of muscle per year and replace it with an equivalent amount of fat... unless we do something to ward off this unhealthy muscle-to-fat ration. That "something" is an exercise program that uses resistance, such as drumbbells. Your muscles will always respond to this exercise challenge by becoming stronger, whether you are 40 or 80. And, resistance-type exercises cause a pull of your muscles on your bones which increases bone density.
Since muscle is your body's most metabolic tissue, it stands to reason that the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn, even while at rest. If you diet to reduce body fat without exercising your muscles, you will lose fat and muscle... not a good look!
Correct form is the guiding principal during every workout. You may increase the resistance (heavier weights) only when you can do so with meticulous form. At the point that you form is compromised, you can go to lighter weights, or no weights at all.
My suggestion: find an exercise program, such as Body Electric (http://www.bodyelectric.com/) that offers a full-body muscle-toning workout. Once you are familiar with the movements, you can continue to perform each exercise for 3-1/2 minutes (using a kitchen timer).
You may work a particulat muscle on successive days, provided that there is no soreness. However, keep in mind that mild soreness is proof prositive that you have challenged your muscles by going beyond what is usual and comfortable. In any case, work all muscles a minimim of every three days so you don't lose the precious strength and muscle tone you have gained.
The winning combination for ultimate health and vitality at every age:
- Proper nutrition
- Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, to strengthen your heart (a muscle) and lungs, and also burn calories
- Muscle toning exercises to strengthen your muscles and bones
- Stretching exercisesto maintain your range-of-motion
- Rest and relaxation... lots!!!
Best of Health,