Exercise for women over 50 can seem a daunting task if you've not done it regularly before.
I imaginethe idea that to exercise we need to drag our lumps and bumps down to the local sweat-soaked gym and get amoungst the testosterone and muscle is unappealing to most women over 50. I know it is to me.
Most of us understand the benefits of daily exercise but it becomes particularly important as we go into menopause and beyond. I heard it once said that exercise will add years to your life and life to your years. Who wouldn’t want both of those benefits?
As a natural part of ageing, muscles weaken, joints get stiff and bones can become brittle. Regular exercise can build muscle and bone mass, boost cardiovascular health, increase your energy levels and make you feel stronger.
To encourage all muscle groups...
and organs to work at different rates and levels it is important to mix it up and exercise in a variety of ways such as swimming, walking, biking, dancing, yoga and weight training. The goal is to establish a regular and comfortable routine.
Experiment and find an exercise you enjoy
If you enjoy doing it you're more likely to make it a habit.
Find a time that fits easily into your schedule and do it at the same time each day. I get up early. I find it sets me up for the day and it’s out of the way with less chance of me avoiding it.
Tip: give yourself a day off. I love this day because I can lounge at home with a cup of tea. And I'm more inclined to get on with it for the rest of the week. Even on that day though, I still walk and make sure to get in my steps for the day.
Stretching greatly improves...
balance and coordination and helps to keep joints and muscles flexible and should definatel be part of your exercise routine.
It unfortunately doesn't build endurance or contribute significantly to cardiovascular health but will help to open up the lungs letting you breathe deeper. This contributes towards natural detoxification of the body.
Bodyweight resistance exercises will also help to improve flexibility.
Strength training exercises are where it's at for women over 50,
and the health benefits include:
- Build lean muscle mass: Not Arnie Schwarzenegger style. It means that you a strong person who can do all the same everyday activities you have always done And you can get off the floor if you fall.
- Build bone density: Unexpected falls put countless older people in the hospital every year. A child breaks their arm and gets back to playing in 8 weeks. For an older person, a broken bone can be devastating. Strength and balance training have been shown to reduce the incidents of falls.
- Decrease body fat: Too much body fat isn’t good for you at any age. Maintaining a healthy weight is important and of course, lean muscle helps to burn fat so win-win.
- Lower the risk of chronic disease: Not only will strength training help ward off many chronic diseases, but it also helps lessen the symptoms or issues you may have now.
- Improve mental health: Strength training has been shown to improve your general confidence and self-sufficiency so can help lessen the incidence of depression.
Exercise for women over 50 and beyond isn't just about keeping trim and looking good. Sure it helps you keep the weight of but there are so many more health benefits that it really is a nesessity.