Age is just a number. A number that signifies how long you have lived on this earth. It doesn’t define who you are, what you achieved, or what you can still accomplish. Our age has gifted us our experience, wisdom, memories, and confidence. This number has given us countless gifts for which we are so thankful. So when we think about it that way, our age is NOT just a number.

Strength training isn’t just for bodybuilders and athletes. It holds incredible benefits for individuals of all ages. When working out in our 20s, our bodies are at their peak physical condition, making it an ideal time to lay the foundation for a lifetime of strength. By starting young, we can focus on mastering proper form and technique, which can ensure progress and prevent injuries.

What’s most important is to never say how it’s too late to whip yourself into the best physical shape of your life. Starting at the gym at an early age is definitely an accomplishment and can help you in the future, but starting to be active now can mold the rest of your life into something magical. Adopting a healthy lifestyle and developing new habits after 40 can be intimidating, but just think about how much better your quality of life will be.

Now that I’m in my early 40s and really in the best shape of my life, let me share with you my six commandments of fitness over 40.

As we age, our muscles and tendons aren’t as flexible as they once were, creating more susceptibility for injury. A solid warmup can help counteract this unavoidable truth by using light motion and static stretches. So, those of you who jump straight to the elliptical, always remember, “Though shalt not skip the warmup.”

Which brings me to my next commandment, “Thou shalt focus on flexibility.” Flexibility refers to the ability of muscles and joints to move through an unrestricted, pain-free range of motion. As we get older, we may lose our flexibility due to everyday life, but when incorporating flexible movements to our workouts, we will regain that large range of motion for our muscles.

Us members of the 40s club are now called “middle-aged.” These years are demanding times, with kids, a job, and being a part of the community. It can leave us with very little time for anything else. However, “Thou shalt not ever be too busy.” Always make time for your own personal health.

Starting new at the gym can be uncomfortable for many reasons. For one, you will be working out with people who may be stronger and faster than you. Don’t ever get discouraged and understand how you are paving your own path. Most importantly, understand how it’s ok to shift your workouts according to your own age and needs. If you’re just starting up, those manly crazy workouts that you see your college son’s friends doing aren’t the best choice for you right now. Soon you’ll be crushing them, but for now, remember commandment number 4, “Thou shalt shift your workouts.”

“Thou shalt not compete.” In my gym, my competitive side comes out super strong. There were so many times I wanted to train for strength competitions, but in reality, there was no way I was able to do anything like that. So I kind of created my own competition in my head, always trying to “win” against myself from my previous workouts. I would push so hard, to a point when rolling over in bed caused me so much pain. As I got older, I learned that as much as I want to drive my body to do certain things in order to “win,” I’d regret it.

Last but not least, “Thou shalt mind your own darn business.” You are beautiful, you are strong, and you are confident. No matter who’s lifting heavier weights next to you, or who’s running the extra mile on the treadmill to the right of you, the only one you need to worry about is yourself. If we’re all focusing on the person next to us, we will never see our own beauty and we will never be satisfied with who we are. As we age, we understand so much more about the real importance of life, and being busy focusing on everyone else will never bring us the results we want.

If age is really just a number, get up and show me what you’ve got. Be proud of who you are, where you came from, and where you are going. Wherever you are, I’ll always be right beside you cheering you on.

As always, remember to be you, only stronger.

Peace out,

Shana Katz is a personal trainer and founder of Sweat with Shana. To contact her, WhatsApp 718-614-8589 or e-mail



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