As the number of candles on our birthday cakes increases, so does the number of times somebody tells us that fifty is a new beginning. It is entirely ok to deplete a little and become a little wiser. On the other hand, the modern world’s standards can be unforgiving. Some of us feel low, thinking this is a challenging milestone. On the contrary, as long as we are real about our wear and tear and are physically fit, we can go through life with vigour and enthusiasm. Everyone’s life journey is different; sometimes, trauma, disease, or just our busy living can take so much from our health and spirit. Women are more vulnerable to illnesses and constant pain as they age, including heart disorders and osteoporosis.
However, research indicates regular physical activity can improve cognitive functions and psychological, mental, social and emotional well-being. Unfortunately, data suggests that slightly under 23% of U.S. grown-ups ages 18 to 64 do the recommended amount of workout per week, and 28% above age 50 are physically sluggish.
Sometimes, people start working out as they age. “[People say,] ‘Oh, I should not hold up weights because I am too aged,’” says Dr Theresa Marko, a doctor of physical therapy, board-certified clinical specialist in orthopaedics and owner of Marko Physical Therapy. “You do require cardio and some resistance workout.” But age does not need to be an obstacle.
For many women preserving vigour is a challenge. In addition, due to changes in the construct of work and family lives, socialising and eating junk food can lead to ill health and increased body weight. The more the media shows us the perfect body shapes, the more we feel underconfident about our bodies. The last few decades have changed the way we live. The expectation of being a woman in control is more. As a result, the modern woman juggles work and life, and there is additional pressure to look well-turned out.
Today there is extra stress on weight loss. Here is the need for a shift in thinking. Weight loss is a natural and inevitable process. It is a culmination of healthy eating habits, regular exercising, understanding one’s body and intrinsic health and making specific lifestyle changes.
Some easy and helpful tips can keep you fit as hard as it may appear.
A woman’s body starts changing in her 40s, primarily due to hormonal changes leading to menopause. Weight gain, loss of bone density, strength, emotional upheavals, and changes in the sleep cycle are the natural fallouts.
Regular exercise and lifestyle changes can make you fit and keep you healthy at any age. So ageing is not just a function of chronology. Instead, it is a function of how you prepare for future years and how you feel towards yourself.
Here are certain things you can do for yourself:
Go Easy on Yourself
Accept the fact that you are going to have a few lines and wrinkles. Accept that you may not be able to party as hard as you could a decade earlier. But, do not start giving into the slowing down of your body. Start easy exercises.
Undertake any form of exercise for thirty minutes daily, five days per week. If you have limited time and are unfamiliar with workouts, introduce exercising on a stationary bike or jogging or running. The CDC says seventy-five minutes per week is adequate which breaks down to only 15 minutes per day! Therefore, if you are already active, introduce 15 to 30 minutes of moderate to high-intensity workout and see its effect on your body.
Weight lifting is a sure-shot way for matured women to build muscle mass, keep metabolic health in check and reduce fat. However, building consistency with a resistance workout is practical at any age. For example, studies show that women in their 70s build considerable muscle by lifting weights twice or thrice per week.
One can start weight lifting two or three times a week. Then, can mix and match cardio, core strengthening, yoga, swimming, pilates etc., on other days.
Adequate Stretching is a Must
Stretching is as critical and beneficial as working out. Sometimes, with maturing age and lack of exercise, you are prone to falls, traumas, and injury. Therefore, stretching your body for 10-15 minutes before and after your workout can help ease into an exercise regime, minimising the risk of injury. Even when you wake up in the morning, you should not wake up instantly. Stretch your feet and hands and elongate your body, fold your knees, bring it closer to your chest, and turn your neck mildly from right to left.
The HealthifyMe Note:
Stretching before exercising can help you stay free from injury. Yoga is a beautiful form of ancient exercise that brings calmness, peace and all the advantages of stretching. In addition, some yoga poses activate internal glands and organs, which help regulate hormonal secretion. As a result, they can ease discomfort from menopause and other changes in a woman’s body.
Research shows that walking leads to better cardiovascular fitness, aids in healthy weight loss, increases agility and improves stamina. All aerobic workouts (cycling, jogging, swimming) are suitable for maintaining lower body fat levels and improving flexibility and overall fitness. However, walking is literally the easiest option out there.. All you need is a pair of shoes and an empty stretch.
Walking furnishes extraordinary advantages for all age groups. It keeps the chances of trauma low if you are a late beginner. Invest in a step tracker and aim at walking 10000 steps daily.
You can walk anytime and anywhere. Start with a 15 to 20-minute walk daily and increase the frequency. Try to walk after every meal. Instead of aiming for 45 minutes from day one, break it down to 3; a 15-minute stretch is more feasible. Furthermore, by integrating walking with light weights, you can get into power walking. As a result, you will combine walking and strength training benefits.
Incorporate High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Interval activity is effective in enhancing all-around ability. Also, it gives results quickly. But it requires expert supervision. Weight loss and toning are inevitable with HIIT. However, you can also incorporate HIIT principles into your walking routine.
For instance, run or jog for thirty seconds if you are out walking and then return to your normal pace. Repeat this thirty-second burst five times in a half an hour routine. Gradually, you can increase the frequency to 10-15 times within the same time frame.
If you are already fit, you can incorporate high-intensity interval workouts and push them up to a more challenging level by increasing complexity and the reps. When you begin interval training or HIIT workout, always assess your current fitness levels. Supplement your workout with nutritious food and snacks and high protein and fibre-based meals.
Perform Core Exercises
As we age, core stability becomes crucial. Studies show that inferior core stability triggers aches, pains, and injury. The risk of losing balance and falling also increases with age. In addition, painful back, lack of mobility, joint issues, and discomfort in hips, knees, and necks can improve with core strength.
The core muscles are more than your abs. So it is significant to follow a regular core strength exercise routine. By performing these exercises, you keep your spine functioning perfectly and your muscles strong. Do rapid twenty-minute core exercises once/twice weekly to retain your core stamina and vitality. Another significant aspect of exercising your core muscles is maintaining optimum weight and posture.
Discover an Activity of Your Interest
Workouts can get monotonous. Sometimes it becomes drudgery, and you don’t want to go for the usual workout. However, fitness is all about consistency. In this case, you may want to take up an activity that interests you. For example, you may train for a cross-country marathon or learn a form of dancing. Try and develop a hobby or area of interest that can keep you active always.
Mix and Match
Occasionally, when you do the same activity for months, you start losing interest in it. Therefore, try to keep the routine interesting. For example, invest in a trampoline and some free weights, learn yoga, and plan a Zumba party home. Change your thoughts and introduce a new motto: no feasting or mindless binge sessions without burning it before or after. Instead of meeting your friends in a mall, meet them at a park.
Go for Water Sports
High-intensity water activities enhance bone mineral consistency and functional fitness in postmenopausal women. A 2018 study on middle-aged women established that water aerobic workouts reduced body fat and blood pressure and boosted explosive stamina.
In addition, swimming for anyone with bone loss, pain, inflammation or osteoarthritis can ease pain, make you feel lighter, and make the workout fun. There are several strokes you can learn. In addition, you can plan water sports and beach vacations.
Get a Pet
A pet can be your best fitness buddy. You can take your pet regularly for a walk. You can even teach them some fun tricks. Keeping a pet also keeps you happier. It reduces stress and becomes a prerequisite for you to stay healthy.
Consume Enough Protein
Protein is the vital building block of the physique. Research indicates that numerous women do not consume sufficient protein and lose muscle mass. Having said that, you must ensure adequate protein consumption with the advancing years. Protein can be either comprehensive (those containing eight necessary amino acids) or incomplete (lacking essential amino acids).
Complete proteins are primarily in meat, fish, and eggs. However, you can also include plant-based proteins. Maintaining or retaining muscle may be tricky if you do not receive adequate protein. If you are a vegan, it is also more crucial to understand how to get sufficient amounts of this vital nutrient.
Check Your Salt Intake
Consuming too much salt may lead to health issues like high blood pressure. Therefore, it is advised not to consume more than 2.3 grams of salt every day. However, if you have persistent high blood pressure difficulties, threshold your sodium consumption to 1.5 grams daily.
Drink Enough Water
Water is a key driver for your body; if you are not consuming sufficient water, your body will not perform well. The human body is 60% liquid, which requires constant hydration throughout the day. Therefore, one should have 6-8 glasses of water. But the quantity could alter if you exercise and sweat.
If you do not like to drink water or do not feel thirsty, look at innovative ways of making your hydration level optimum. For example, infuse them with citrus fruits, add chia seeds or incorporate fresh green juices.
Take the steps rather than the elevator. Do some housework like getting groceries or cleaning your car. Get up and speak with co-workers instead of sending emails. Stroll briskly whenever you can. Constantly wear comfortable shoes, or carry them with you. If you have a binge, walk back. Occasionally having a beer or some fries are ok, as long as you burn the extra calories. Find a hobby, game, or sport you like. You will stay committed to practising if you are doing something you like.
The HealthifyMe Note
Staying in shape and in the best of health after fifty is feasible, but it requires consistency. Also, you must be mindful of incorporating the right dietary, lifestyle and exercise habits. Also, you can choose any form of exercise. The key is to stay committed, have the right food, and take proper supplements.
You do not have to allow your age to be an obstacle to working out. The 50s are the new 30s. Join a gym, get a trainer or a fitness buddy, plan a trek or a hike and keep yourself stress-free. Ensure you move your body for about 45 minutes daily. Age is a number, and stop looking at it as chronological depletion. Instead, get moving and waltz into the best phase of your life.