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Get Fit Over 40 By Rejecting 5 Fitness Myths

by | Sep 17, 2019 | fitness, healthy living, perimenopause | 0 comments

The fitness industry is powerful with its marketing messages. Unfortunately, much of the common wisdom shouted from industry leaders is aimed at people in their 20s. Unless we adapt our thinking with our aging, several major myths could be holding you back from getting fit over 40 and living life to the fullest!

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5 fitness myths to reject so you can be fit over 40

Bust Through These Five Fitness Myths to Get Fit Over 40

1. To get fit over 40 I have to spend an hour at the gym or it doesn’t count.

This fitness myth holds you back in two significant ways. First, workouts less than an hour can be extremely effective.  So even if you don’t have a big block of time in your day to exercise, you can still move more to get fit.

Even if you’re the busiest person you know, there are ways to sneak meaningful movement into your day. Grab my cheat sheet (below) for some of my favorite ideas for busy women to get fit over 40!

The second way the “you have to go to the gym or it doesn’t count” myth holds you back is that you don’t need to go to a gym to exercise! There are loads of options for bodyweight workouts you can do at-home. There are also wonderful at home exercise programs that give you ongoing structure and guidance.

And don’t ever discount the health benefits of hiking, walking for exercise, or just dancing in your kitchen while you wait for dinner to come out of the oven!

When considering fitness myths women over 40 clutch on to, get rid of this one! All movement matters!

2. I should still weigh the same as when I was 25.

fit over 40 woman wearing jeans

Oh, please! Are you the same person now that you were then?

If you’ve been busting your bum on the treadmill or elliptical, certain that working out just a little bit harder will get you there, you’re wasting your time. (And if you’re in perimenopause, you may be feeding the hormonal imbalances that create the belly fat you don’t like.)

The reality is: your body is different now. This is particularly true if you’ve been pregnant. It’s definitely true if you’re in perimenopause or beyond! And that’s okay.

Growth and change are are natural part of life. This applies to your intellectual life, your personal life, and your physical life.

Accepting your body for what it is and focusing on the good it does for you is a powerful mindset shift. Improving your mental wellness is more important to your overall health than your jeans size.

Also, just because your body has changed size and shape doesn’t make you any less worthy of improving your fitness and health now. You can always make your body healthier, even if it doesn’t affect your weight. Work with the body you have, not the one you want.

You’ll be surprised when you choose the right exercise for you, you’ll have more energy and a positive outlook. And you’ll be more likely to see the results you want in the mirror, too.


3. I don’t have time to exercise.

You’re busy. I get it!

But if you don’t have time to exercise, what makes you think you have time to be sick or injured?

And I really do think you have time to exercise! Because we know that shorter, more intense workouts are ideal for women in perimenopause, you don’t need tons of time to get in a good workout.

Maybe it’s as simple as changing some daily habits.

woman fit over 40 climbing stairs

Can you take the stairs at work? Could you suggest that your colleagues have walking meetings rather than sitting in a conference room? Try setting an alarm for every hour on the hour to remind you to get up and walk for three minutes. (This is a great opportunity to get a drink of water while you’re at it!)

In fact, fitness science supports your busy lifestyle! Research proves that shorter workouts are just as- if not more- effective than long workouts. Making exercise fit into a busy schedule isn’t always easy– but it’s always worth it!

Need extra support to bust this myth and get fit over 40? Grab my Top Ten Tips for Fitting in Fitness for efficient, effective ideas.

4. I have to sweat a lot for it to be worthwhile.

That’s just not true!
Elevating your heart rate and breaking a sweat are definitely important components of a fitness program. Particularly if you’re in perimenopause and suffering from hot flashes, hot exercise can actually help extinguish your internal fires.
But there are tremendous health benefits to low-intensity exercise, too.  Low intensity workouts like yoga offer an opportunity to work on flexibility, a key component of a well-rounded workout program. Keeping your muscles limber is an excellent way to reduce your injury risk.
Feel like yoga may even be out of your league at this point in your fitness journey? Aqua yoga is a wonderful way to start! The support of warm water takes pressure off of your joints and helps you feel more limber.
woman fit over 40 doing aqua yoga
Any movement that allows you to focus on your breathing benefits your body. By flooding your muscles and brain with oxygen, you allow your body to work more optimally. Your brain benefits from deep breathing because it lowers your body’s stress response, which helps to keep hormones like cortisol in check.
Even more important, many low intensity exercise options will help improve your sleep by working your body without stressing it out. This is a critical point for women in perimenopause who struggle with sleep. Many times high-intensity exercise is at the root of their sleep issues. When women shift to lower intensity exercises, their sleep improves.
Because the body has a surge of natural hgh production during sleep, getting better sleep can help give you more energy and burn more fat.
If you’ve been a high intensity exerciser your whole life, the idea of lower intensity exercise may seem like a waste of time to you. Why not try something low impact like ice skating as a transition activity? You’ll still get your heart rate up and feel your muscles working, but you won’t break a sweat.
Busting through the myth that you must sweat it out can pay dividends at bedtime and help you get fit over 40.


5. I can’t fight Mother Nature (AKA I’m too old! It’s impossible to get fit over 40!)

women exercising in the water

There is no age limit to fitness!

It’s true that the hormonal changes of perimenopause can make it more difficult to see that your workouts are paying off. But the internal physiological benefits of exercise are important for your longevity and continued health.

One of the unsung benefits of being fit over 40 is that you’re likely to meet a new group of health-minded friends. Being with people of all ages who value their health and make time for exercise is motivating to keep up your own workouts.

Perhaps even more motivating, research demonstrates that exercise in midlife can help ward off brain deterioration as you age.

If you educate yourself about how to exercise for your 40-something (or older) body, and commit to doing what is right for you, you’ll love the results! Healthy ageing is about keeping your body, mind, and spirit well.

There is no reason you can’t improve your fitness, health, and wellness in midlife and beyond!

Need support to move beyond these myths and get fit over 40?

Try my FREE 5-Day Fit in Fitness Challenge!


Karen Shopoff Rooff is a certified health coach. The Well Balanced Women blog is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please discuss your health issues with a licensed medical practitioner.


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