Some women are already exercise converts when they get to 50. Whilst minor adjustments may have to be made to ensure that any activities undertaken are still 100% suitable, I say carry on and continue to feel the benefit.
For those who have not particularly gotten into the swing of regular exercise in their first half century then 50 is a great milestone to have a serious think about it. Why? Well, the reasons are many and here are just 3 to start with-
1. Help combat the symptoms of Menopause
Firstly, many menopausal symptoms which women suffer are significantly improved with regular exercise. A carefully planned programme of fitness will include exercises to improve circulation, increase core strength and provide a physical and mental work-out and these three areas alone will counter the main menopausal symptoms of hot flushes, joint pain and poor quality sleep.
2. Maintain good general health
From a general health point of view, it’s no secret that keeping fit is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy. More specifically though, regular, good quality exercise also lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis – sadly the kind of things that we all become so very much more aware of post 50.
3. Keep living the dream
Then there’s longevity. Not necessarily the fact that we all want to live longer, it’s more about the quality of life as we age and the ability to maintain the kind of lifestyle that the pension was saved for. I, for one, would like to think that I have many years of travelling and generally having a great time with friends and family even as the decades go on. In order to maintain the dream, it’s essential to maintain the body on good working order!
When it comes to exercising over 50, what activities are best?
I always recommend a good, old-fashioned combo, consisting of three main exercise types – Cardio, Strengthening and Stretching.
Any form of Cardio or aerobic exercise such as walking, running or swimming will not only aid with weight control, but will also work those large muscles which in turn give the heart, lungs and circulatory system a great work out too.
Working with hand weights is a good way to improve general muscle tone in the arms but as an added bonus the strength you gain here works wonders for your posture and helps keep those lower back aches at bay.
Stretching exercises, such as Yoga or Pilates, help to maintain flexibility in all of the joints and maintain a full range of motion, significantly strengthening the core and aiding balance and stability too.
Check your plans GP and check your programme with a PT
As with any new activity, I always say proceed with caution so, even although the benefits of exercise are inarguable, please do consult your GP if you are undertaking a fitness programme for the first time. Also, your chances of achieving your fitness and health goals increase considerably when your plan is balanced and considered, and I’d therefore always suggest checking in with a Personal Trainer to get the benefit of their experience in this particular area.