My Expat Life in Malta,  Working Out

What’s the Best ‘at Home’ Beginner Exercise for Women over 40?

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The Best ‘at Home’ Beginner Exercise


Women over 40

Is this you?

You passed 40 years of age.  Maybe recently, maybe some time ago. You knew you weren’t keeping yourself in tip-top condition, but there’s always been something more important to do in what little time you have. In those precious few minutes you get for yourself in your day, the last thing you want to do is exercise.

Slowly, the scales climbed.

‘It’s okay,’ you thought, ‘I’m not so much bigger.’

You consoled yourself with  ‘I’m just a bit curvy.’  

Eventually, you avoided getting on the scales at all because you no longer wanted to know what they said.  

clothes in a wardrobe

Those clothes in your wardrobe… You bought them, but now they don’t fit.  It’s been some time since you could squeeze yourself into them. They are almost new, so you can’t throw them out.  Instead, you think to yourself, one day, I’ll fit into them again. Unfortunately, that day just isn’t today.

Then, something happened, just… something. Someone took a photo, and you were horrified. That last pair of jogging bottoms finally got too small. That one flight of stairs left you gasping for breath.

Then, it hits you full in the face. Now, it’s impossible to ignore. That weight you’ve gained has just gone too far. 

It needs to stop, and it needs to stop now!

Oh, I know the feeling!

Pick the Best Diet

keto food plate salad dinner

First things first, pick the best diet. 

What’s the best diet?

The best diet is ALWAYS the one that works for you. 

What are your priorities? 

Do you need to lose a lot, a little, or somewhere in the middle?

Do you want to take it slow and steady or sacrifice more to get there a bit faster?

I cover the recipes for a few different diets.  Click here for a quick look!

Just remember, regardless of any and all claims by those who invented them, the best diet is the one you can stick with, feel healthy doing and reach your goals with. So, if your diet doesn’t fulfil all of these three criteria, it’s not the best diet, at least not the best for you.

There are plenty of different diets out there.  If you choose one and it doesn’t work for you, do not give up!  Go and pick another.

Pick the Best At Home Exercise for You

set of exercise equipment placed on marble surface

Next up, your diet is doing its thing. Everything is going the way it should be.  You feel great.  But, your diet needs a little more help, or you might just decide that feeling healthy again after so long is so great, you want to feel even better.  But!  You haven’t worked out in quite some time.  (Dancing around the kitchen to that clubbing music you used to boogie on down to a couple of decades ago doesn’t count.)

Ahh!  You need something easy but effective, a beginner workout. You need the best beginner exercise for you, a woman over 40. You need something at home because you don’t have time to go to the gym and, quite frankly, you’d prefer not to. But, with so many different workouts, which one to choose is overwhelming, to say the least.

Let me come to the rescue with a suggestion to save you time, money and hassle – Hip Hop Abs with Shaun T.

I Recommend This: The Best At Home Beginner Exercise for Women Over 40

Hip Hop Abs with Shaun T

This is a really great beginner work out, possibly the best in my humble opinion, which is why I recommend it.  And trust me, I tried quite a few.

Don’t let the name put you off. You might think hip hop is not really the dance or music for you.  I did too.  But, the music is mild and not in any way intrusive.  The songs they have chosen are all for the beat, so you can keep time, rather than the artistic prowess of the singer. 

Do not let the advertising video put you off. Unfortunately, the advertising video shows Shaun T and a few backup dancers performing a routine on a dance floor type stage with loud music and cool clothes.  But, in truth, this is neither the structure nor the look of the workouts you will be doing day to day.  If you want to take the hip hop dancing further, this is included as a kind of bonus video, but the workouts in the program are not anything like this.

The Trainer

Shaun T himself is an immensely likeable guy.  Over a whole day, I think I would have to gag him, just for a bit of peace and quiet. Still, for a 25 or 50 mins work out he is just what you need, really likeable, totally engaging and encourages you from beginning to end. 

His Tonto is called Tania.  Tania is his super smiley sidekick.  In every video, she smiles from beginning to end.  Tania doesn’t say much, Shaun T does it all, but that smile just wins you over.  She also stands there with an example of the body you are hoping will eventually be yours.  False hope it might be, but it is an encouragement in itself to keep going.

The Videos

The videos themselves are bright and attractive.  The backdrop looks like a gym rather than a stage which puts you a bit more ‘in the moment’.  Other Shaun T minions come and go throughout the different videos; most are women with a couple of token guys doing an excellent job at the back.  I would have liked to see some people who were a bit older, so he would be working with all age groups, but it was a minor complaint.

Shaun T does an incredible job easing you into being able to make the moves.  I am rhythmically challenged in a major way, so much so that I spent a whole week with another workout video.  I spent more time trying to figure out which foot went where than actually working out.  Shaun T kept me on track.  Within a few minutes, there was no dance move I couldn’t do. 

He has a technique of “tilt, tuck and tighten” which I happened to find myself doing even outside of the workouts. I am sure it also helped sculpt my figure and gave the illusion of flat abs, if nothing else.

fit woman athlete stretching arms before exercise

Did it Work?

Hip Hop Abs advertises “flat, sexy abs”. Over two months, I cannot say I gained a six-pack, but there was definitely some definition across my abdomen and down my legs. It definitely worked. I couldn’t say I saw any further progress with my “sexy, flat abs” past the two-month mark, although I didn’t lose the progress I had made. Beyond this sort of time frame, it would be better to progress to another workout.

The Downsides, because Nothing is Perfect.

There are some downsides to Hip Hop Abs.

Workouts range from 25 minutes up to 50 minutes, then you need to add in a cooldown. It can be tough to fit all this in.  As a working mum of two young kids, I often had to cut it back the longer workouts and drop the cooldowns to have enough time in the day.

It also makes a claim you won’t need to do crunches on the floor.  This, to me and others, made us believe we would not need to get down on the floor at all.  It was a false belief.  Again, the advertising pushes you into believing the wrong thing.  While I understand this is an advertising strategy, I think it’s wrong.  So here it is… some moves will involve you sitting on the floor.

After the first couple of weeks, I didn’t need to start all the moves from the beginning.  I felt Shaun T could have made one of the videos as a sort of introduction that was scheduled for use for one week and then was ditched from the schedule.  Within two months of hip hop abs, I was getting rather bored. By three months, I had had enough.  By four months, I had moved on to Shaun T’s Focus T25.

All in All

The company behind Shaun T, Team Beachbody, claims Hip Hob Abs was “America’s #1 fitness program on TV shortly after launch.” I don’t doubt it.  And, for a few months at least, the beginner in you wants this workout.

I thought it was the best beginner workout, easy and fun. Great for the ‘not very fit’, the ‘haven’t worked out for ages’, the ‘rhythmically challenged’ and the ‘I don’t want to just work out ‘cos it’s too boring’ people. For women over 40, like myself, it’s really got so much to recommend it as the best beginner exercise. The added bonus of buying it, playing it at home, and keeping myself within the same small space for the exercises meant I could put it on TV and work out in my living room. No treks to the gym!

(I’m sure for many men out there, it would be the best beginner workout. Unfortunately for this review, my husband said there was no way he was dancing around the living room, and so, I have no men over 40 to ask.)

It does tone your abs, enough to be noticed anyway (mine were), although you might not get the six-pack or even the four-pack you are dreaming about. 

And Then

There are extensions to Hip Hop Abs if you want to stick with it but, by the time you’ve had enough of the first Hip Hop Abs, you’ve probably got about as far as you can go.  So, when you’re ready to up your game, then move on to Focus T25.  Same likeable Shaun T, same smiley Tania, it’s like being with old friends.

Choose your Diet, Choose Delicious Recipes

Be Healthy, Be Happy

Be You Again!

a woman over 40

About Me

Hi, I’m Alex. I’m a 46 year old busy Mum of two who sometimes strays too far from the paleo diet. I love writing, developing delicious recipes, and talking about my family. Here, on I Recommend This, is where I get to do all three!

Comments welcome!

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