50 is the new 30 – except it’s really not. Show us a 30-year old with hot flashes, saggy face wrinkles and a head full of (natural) grey hair, and we’ll show you a pig with wings who can fly around the universe.
OK, don’t hold us to that, but absorb the point that things change in a woman when she gets older. Due to that, she must acclimate to those changes and find new ways to be healthy at an age that is wonderful and beautiful in so, so many ways. And to help with those efforts, we’ve brought you the best exercises for women over 50.
Aerobic and cardiovascular workouts
As the body ages, the heart and lungs weaken, especially if measures are not taken to strengthen them. In reality, these age-related changes seldom lead to symptoms in healthy individuals.
Walking and swimming are great way to get in your cardiovascular and aerobic exercise to help improve circulation and lung capacity. If you enjoy the great outdoors, hiking is a great way to do that and get a good exercise in. And if you like running, many women are able to continue running well past the age of 50. Some have even waited until this age to start, finding they are quite talented at it.
Use it or lose it is the name of the game with muscle strength. Many women find that their muscle tone has deteriorated as they’ve aged simply because they haven’t used many of their muscles. The good news is that muscle strength can still be built even if you haven’t done strength training in a while, and if you are just starting out.
Don’t be intimidated by heavy weights, though. There are many body weight exercises that don’t require any weights at all, and can even be done in your own home. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control has a strength training program it has released called “Growing Stronger: Strength Training for Older Adults” that has some great tips and exercised outlined for you to try.
Balance, strength, flexibility and a focused mindset free of clutter. These are all benefits of practicing yoga at any age. Women over 50, however, have found that it is a great exercise to help age healthfully and gracefully. In fact, a study conducted by the Yoga Alliance found that nearly 38% of yoga practitioners are over the age of 50.
So, grab your yoga mat, block and third eye and practice until your heart’s content – then keep doing it.
Say what? That’s right. Kickboxing is a great way to strengthen your upper body, flexibility, speed, agility, aerobic and anaerobic fitness. And if you think you’ll be the only one there, think again. There is growing number of women over 50 lacing up those gloves and taking a punch.
So check out your local gym, or hang a punching bag in your basement and get that powerful body of yours moving.
Alright, let’s slow things down a bit, and take you back down to earth – in the garden. While not listed as any sort of athletic sport, or found as a training regimen at any gym, gardening is a great exercise. Just think of all the movements that take place. There’s squatting down low, bending over and digging with your hands. There’s the hours spent pulling weeds and digging holes to plant seeds. You of course have harvest time that can often include hauling in big buckets of corn, tomatoes and zucchini.
The best part is that you don’t even have to think about the workout you’re getting in. It just happens naturally, which is the way it should be.