40s target moves

to your health

The very time that many women fall off the exercise wagon is actually the time when it's most critical to stay on board. The 40s are when most of us begin to experience the hormonal flux that precedes menopause. This gradual fall-off in estrogen means a slowing metabolism, so it's harder to burn calories than it used to be. As if that weren't enough, research shows that fat settles in around a woman's middle at a faster rate now.

Thankfully, there's a secret weapon: intensity. "Crank up your cardio sessions and you'll get over the metabolic speed bump," says Pamela Peeke, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and author of Fight Fat After Forty (Viking, 2001). And don't forget strength training, which adds bone strength, preserves lean body mass and boosts muscle so you can power through your cardio sessions.

cardio complement

Do something active every day, such as a 10- to 15-minute walk, in addition to your 3-5 days of weekly cardio. Limit jumping and pounding activities if your joints are achy or sore. Once or twice a week include interval workouts.

why target moves work

These moves pinpoint key trouble spots for women in their 40s: the muscles underlying the shoulder blades and those that stabilize the hips and pelvis.

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