Once you hit 40, your body goes through a lot of changes that you need to be aware of. For example, with aging comes a loss of lean muscle mass, which slows down your metabolism. Therefore, some age-appropriate tweaks to your routine are meant to help you get in shape and give your metabolism the boost it needs. We spoke with Katie Landier, PT, DPT, Certified Clinical Specialist in Geriatric Physiotherapy, who shares the best exercise hacks for getting a fitter body after 40. It’s exactly what you need to get the most out of your workout, so read on to find out more.

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First, let’s talk about the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle as you age. Getting older means your metabolism isn’t working as fast as it used to. This is because you lose lean muscle mass, which leads to burning calories at a slower rate (via WebMD). You may also exercise less, which can lead to additional weight gain.

Taking action is key, and things like strength training, aerobic exercise, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and listening to pro tips can help. So without further ado, let’s get to Landier’s tips for getting a fitter body after 40.

Related: The 5 Best Walking Habits That Slow Aging, Fitness Expert Reveals

mature woman performing bridge squats demonstrating getting fitter body after 40
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When it comes to getting in shape as you age, there’s no need to try to do too much too quickly. Landier says you don’t need to go from no exercise to doing everything five days a week. Instead, she suggests starting with five exercises at the start of your day and wrapping up the day. Consider moves like steps, squats, heel lifts, jumping jacks, and pushups.

Over time, you can perform these exercises twice a day and then continue to increase your goal. “Give yourself time to establish a routine, and chances are you’ll start looking forward to your exercises and even doing them more often,” says Landier.

Related: Lose Belly Fat and Slow Aging with These Strength Exercises

man doing resistance training with dumbbells
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Landier also discusses age-related muscle loss, also known as sarcopenia. This can unfortunately lead to loss of function and, therefore, a lack of independence in some people as they age, according to a study published in Current opinion in rheumatology.

“In order to combat this, it’s critical that we focus on resistance training,” Landier says. “Doing fewer reps with higher weight will help target the muscles primarily affected by sarcopenia.”

couple demonstrating fitter body after 40 with virtual fitness class
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You may appreciate the results of your efforts even more after 40 if you modify your goals according to your age. It all comes down to making sure you get enough physical activity to build muscle and boost your metabolism. Landier tells Eat this, not that!“As you get older, it’s normal (especially for women) to gain weight. It’s healthy and we don’t want to get rid of it. [Instead,] the focus should be on how much activity you get, not the number on the scale.”

Desiree O

Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers, among other things, lifestyle, food and nutrition news. Learn more about Desiree