If your turning 50, getting in shape can feel very challenging. Today there are more weight loss programs, exercise equipment, and fitness routines to choose from than ever before, yet statistics remind us just how out of shape we are as a country.
Weight lifting may be the single best way for older women to maintain overall fitness and stop the slow creeping fat gain. Building strength with weight training is possible at any age, and some studies show women in their 70’s building significant muscle by lifting weights 2-3 times per week.
Walking has consistently been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness, help keep weight under control, and improve mood in those who maintain a regular walking routine. Any aerobic exercise (cycling, jogging, swimming) is great for maintaining lower levels of body fat and improving flexibility and overall body tone, but after age 50, walking has some advantages.
Perform Some High-Effort Intervals
Interval training is a great way to improve overall fitness. It’s fast and effective, but can be challenging. To get the benefits of interval training and minimize the risk, start slowly and stop when you are winded. For example, if you are out walking, increase your pace for 30 seconds, and then return to your regular pace. Repeat this 30-second burst once every 5 minutes. Continue until you’ve completed five, 30-second bursts. As the days and weeks go by, you may find that you want to jog during that 30-second interval. The beauty of interval training is that you are in control of the effort and the number of reps.
Perform Core Exercises
As we age and become less active, core strength is often one of the first things to suffer. Poor core strength can lead to a domino effect of other physical aches and pains due to poor body mechanics and poor alignment. Sore backs, hips, knees, and necks can often be traced back to poor core strength. The core muscles include more than just the abs, so it’s important to consistently perform a balanced core strength workout.
Consider doing these exercises daily:Push-ups
The Seated Press Up
Protein is the major building block of the body, and because it isn’t stored, it needs to be replenished regularly. Protein can be either complete (those containing 8 essential amino acids) or incomplete (lacking essential amino acids). Complete proteins are found in most animal sources such as meat, fish, and eggs while incomplete proteins are generally found in vegetables, fruit, and nuts.