Overly rigorous exercise regimens and faddish diets often just don't work for women over the age of 40. As we grow older risk of injury with high impact exercise increases. Our bodies don't respond the way they did in our 20's. We have to find a new relationship with food, exercise and Self.canstockphoto11070438

Managing a healthy weight at this middle stage of life requires attention to moving the body in specific ways while also attending to the mind and spirit along the way.

We must engage our whole self while making particular effort to incorporate physical exercise to see optimum health and balance.

If you have read my journey you know that I had to find a different way to find peace and balance.

Now...you might be wondering what role physical exercise DOES play in all of my wellness programs and coaching support.

Every person is unique and has unique needs. That is always taken into consideration first.

Physical exercise plays a very important role in maintaining good health and well-being over the age of 40.

The level, intensity and timing of that exercise is specific to each individual.

This is always addressed individually in my free Connection Sessions with potential clients with the help of experts in the field of athletic training and exercise physiology.

What we can learn from the experts is that sometimes when a body is carrying a lot of extra weight, it can be helpful to have a way to release some of that weight through dietary adjustments BEFORE observing any kind of rigorous exercise plan in order to avoid injury.

For years I was pushing myself with various rigorous exercise programs when I was carrying a lot of extra weight and as a result I experienced some injuries by pushing my body too hard and too fast at the gym when I was overweight.

What I discovered for myself was what I needed was to stop the rigorous workouts for 4 weeks altogether and just took a 20 minute brisk walk each morning. I focused on eating whole, organic foods - mostly veggies and plenty of clean, lean protein and I focused on my daily practices of meditation, relaxation and gentle yoga.

After 4 weeks just that alone helped me drop enough weight I was then able to start exercising again without pain and injury. The next four weeks I took longer, brisker walks and lifed some light weights at home.

According to a 2005 research study, for every 1 pound lost, 4 pounds of pressure on the joints is relieved. That's some amazing information.  That means when I lost 25 pounds I took 100 pounds of pressure off my joints.

Dog walkI definitely recommend 15-20 minutes of brisk walking daily to begin. Then, after four weeks, I generally recommend my clients increase that time to 30 and add in light weights or resistance band routines to build muscle. Swimming is another wonderful way to move the body.

Daily movement of your body is crucial to good health and will aid in your effort to shed pounds and have improved well-being.

In my 12 Weeks to Total Transformation Program I emphasize daily movement and gentle yoga as essential to seeing mind+body+spirit positive change.

And in my 45 Days to Fabulous Program, I lay out a daily exercise regimen that rotates the kind of exercise observed each day and includes two mini yoga sessions each morning and night.  This ensures women over 40 who choose to commit to my 45 day program are getting what that physical movement using different muscles in different ways each day.

Research has shown us that regular exercise, combined with healthy eating, is an efficient and healthful way to manage your weight.

Research also shows that , in addition to helping to manage weight, regular physical activity can reduce your risk for several diseases and conditions and improve your overall quality of life.

Regular physical activity can also improve mood and the way you feel about yourself.

Exercise helps reduce depression and anxiety and help you to better manage stress. It is a natural and inexpensive antidepressant.

Young woman during yoga meditation in the park

Every body is different! But every body needs to move! While I recommend to all of my wellness clients that they at least get in a brisk walk 4 days every week.

For clients who already have an established exercise regimen in place I recommend they continue that and make some adjustments to their food plan to ensure they are getting what their body needs and confirm this with their own health practitioner.

As a yoga teacher myself, I urge my clients to adopt a simple, gentle yoga routine to increase flexibility and reduce stress. You can read more here about my ideas and work as a yoga teacher.

There are many ways and means to move your body!  I help clients seek out a safe and fun exercise program.

It does not matter what type of physical activity you perform -- sports, planned exercise, household chores, yard work, or work-related tasks -- all are beneficial. To determine the best type of exercise program for you, talk to your doctor and a certified athletic trainer.