STAY FIT & FIERCE AF­TER 40

We’ve found the sim­ple work­out you can do at home

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

Since hit­ting my 40s, I’ve come to crave the en­dor­phins that are cre­ated by vig­or­ous ex­er­cise – run­ning, jump­ing, the usual fat-burn­ing stuff – but I’m not so fond of a work­out that in­volves grunt­ing and heavy lift­ing. Not only is it in­tim­i­dat­ing lin­ing up at the squat rack with a bunch of body-build­ing blokes, but there’s risk of in­jury if you don’t know what you’re do­ing. And I don’t. Plus, weight train­ing looks hard. And a bit bor­ing. Hav­ing said that, there are other mat­ters to con­sider once you’re well into your fourth decade, such as bal­ance, pos­ture and mus­cle loss. While I’m rel­a­tively fit for a woman my age, in the past 18 months I’ve fallen three times while jog­ging and pulled the lig­a­ments in my left an­kle twice. Plus, my job is desk-bound, so my pos­ture is pretty shock­ing and though I main­tain a healthy weight, no amount of high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing will firm up the wob­bly bits. Not only is strength train­ing nec­es­sary for op­ti­mis­ing health as you age, it’s re­ally the only route to ton­ing up. So, with mus­cle strength­en­ing and pos­ture cor­rect­ing as my goal, I de­cide to con­sult Dal­ton Wong, A-list trainer and founder of Twenty Two Train­ing. He’s the man Jennifer Lawrence and Game of Thrones star Kit Har­ing­ton call to whip them into shape be­fore they start film­ing.

While he’s an ex­pert at hon­ing and ton­ing celebrity limbs, Dal­ton wants his re­sis­tance train­ing method to be ac­ces­si­ble to all, so he’s cre­ated a clever at-home pro­gram that re­quires no more than a fancy elas­tic band.

His Mini-Band Work­out in­cludes be­gin­ner, in­ter­me­di­ate and ad­vanced bands and a book­let of work­outs that fo­cus on three key ar­eas: Pos­ture, fat burn­ing, and ton­ing (tar­get­ing the hips, bum, core, and up­per body). The idea is that you mix and match ex­er­cises to suit your goals and avail­able time.

“Af­ter the age of 35, your mus­cle mass de­te­ri­o­rates a lit­tle ev­ery year, so it’s im­por­tant to take up strength train­ing to main­tain lean mus­cle mass and keep your me­tab­o­lism from slow­ing down,” Dal­ton says.

While this work­out is suit­able for all, it’s par­tic­u­lary use­ful for women who can be put off by heavy weights and nat­u­rally end up with less mus­cle mass than men, says Dal­ton: “Re­sis­tance band train­ing is the per­fect al­ter­na­tive to lift­ing weights – it strength­ens the mus­cles as well as im­prov­ing pos­ture and sta­bil­ity with­out bulk­ing up.”

Pro ath­letes now use the bands to warm up their mus­cles and pre­vent in­jury, and mod­els love the lean, toned aes­thetic they give. “The bands give you a bet­ter ver­sion of the body you nat­u­rally have, which is what many of my fe­male clients want,” Dal­ton adds.

But it’s not all about looks. They also im­prove bal­ance, joint sta­bil­ity and pos­ture – all hugely ben­e­fi­cial for women over 40, who can ex­pe­ri­ence re­duced bone and mus­cle strength.

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