Beautiful aging is possible. The exercise program that is just right for women age 50 and older should provide physical activities that reduce the effects of aging. Menopause is changing your body, but menopause and well-being can go together. Exercises for women over 50 should have cardiovascular exercise, flexibility and range-of-motion movements, weight-bearing exercises for muscular strength and endurance, deep breathing and body awareness exercises.
The best exercise program for women over 50 is a well-rounded one. Choose a low-impact cardio exercise for your heart — lift free weights for your bones — try yoga for balance.
Exercises for Over-50 Females
Cardiovascular exercise prevents disease, increases metabolism, controls or maintains healthy body weight, oxygenates the blood, increases circulation and improves body awareness and mental acuity. The best cardiovascular exercise for you depends on what you enjoy and what you are able to do. Your joint health is important, so choose something low impact like Zumba, step aerobics, water aerobics, walking, hiking, cross-country skiing, indoor cycling, aerobics, belly dancing or Jazzercise.
Observe a class before you attend, to make sure it is right for you. Some Zumba classes are not low-impact, but some are. The same goes for step aerobics. If you are short on time, look for a class like 20/20/20, which does 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, 20 minutes of dumbbells, and 20 minutes of toning and stretching. It may not have this exact title, so read class descriptions.
Bear the Weight
Weight training routines for over 50 females are done with dumbbells, weight machines or some other weighted apparatus — or your own body weight performing the plank or pushups, for example. You need this type of exercise to fend off muscle-fiber loss and bone loss. The AARP states that muscle fiber loss in sedentary aging can be as high as 30 percent between the ages of 50 and 70. Bone loss for women between the ages of 40 and menopause is 3/4 to 1 percent rate of breakdown per year. Therefore the best workout program for you must include weight-bearing exercise targeted at muscle strength and endurance.
Flexibility and Range of Motion
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons notes that joint motion becomes restricted and flexibility decreases with age because of changes in tendons and ligaments. Therefore, as you move through your 50s, you must be cognizant of moving your joints and muscles through full range of motion. Try a Pilates class. You can expect to improve muscle tone, posture, flexibility, balance, your figure and your body awareness. Consider driving with a friend to a class, parking 15 minutes away, walking briskly to the class, enjoying Pilates and walking briskly back to your car.
Respiration and Relaxation
Around the age of 40, your lung capacity begins to decrease due to an aging process of constriction, shrinkage, rigidity and weakening of your bronchioles as well as your alveoli air sacs, lungs, diaphragm and intercostal muscles. Maintain a healthy respiratory system by participating in aerobic exercise, a Pilates class or yoga. Learn the deep lung breathing taught in yoga and apply it to moments of relaxation. You will calm your nerves and improve your lung health all at the same time.