It’s a myth that as you grow older exercising becomes that much more difficult. Any difficulty a woman experiences is only in her mind. The fact that there are beautiful and fit women in their 50’s and above proves that exercising is possible by anyone at any age and is important to woman’s health.
Much depends on the right kind of exercise program designed for women in their 50s, that focus on reducing the problems of aging. Considering that you may be menopausal or getting there, your body is undergoing significant changes, so your exercise program must necessarily be a combination of cardio, resistance, endurance, and flexibility exercises. Exercising can work wonders when combined with a healthy diet for women. All your workouts should begin with breathing exercises and end with cool downs.
Stretching: Begin your workout with stretches which will give you a wider range of movement and relax your muscles. It also gives you better posture, gets rid of the possibility of injury and soreness. Do a few warm-ups before you begin your stretches, such as head, arm and trunk circles, twisting from side to side and toe touching.
Cardiovascular exercises: These exercises are necessary at your age because it keeps your heart healthy, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and prevents the onset of diabetes. It also keeps you mentally sharp and increases your metabolism. Good cardio exercises include swimming, walking, doing the treadmill, stationary cycling, stair machine, water aerobics, dancing, etc. Tai Chi is also good for you as it will keep you flexible and reduce any stress on your joints.
Weight training exercises: With age, it’s natural to lose muscle mass, so it is necessary to do resistance exercises to prevent any loss of muscle and remain strong. These exercises also strengthen your bones as now you lose muscle fiber.
Your exercises should include all muscle groups of your body–shoulders, back, chest, biceps, abs, hamstrings, triceps, glutes and quadriceps. Use dumbbells, weights and resistance bands or do low impact aerobics. If you find it difficult to go to the gym, take up gardening or stair climbing. Do 12 reps of each exercise, gradually increasing the number of sets to three.
Flexibility exercises: As you age, your range of motion at the joints is restricted. This has a negative impact on your flexibility because of the changes in your ligaments and tendons. You can avoid the pitfalls of aging by doing Pilates, a complete exercise program that can stretch your muscles and strengthen them, thus making your body supple and strong. Alternatively, try Yoga for flexibility, strength, endurance and peace of mind.