Women Over 50
Learn about the many benefits of exercise for improved health in women over age 50.
Once a woman reaches menopause, her body undergoes tremendous changes. Hormone levels fluctuate, and the body's metabolism slows. Women over fifty often find it difficult to drop those pesky extra pounds, weight that could contribute to heart disease or diabetes later in life. Because of these dramatic physiologic changes, physicians are prescribing exercise for women over fifty as a means to a healthy, enjoyable future. The benefits of fitness training in women over fifty are numerous. The key is to start slowly and do things you enjoy.
Strength training is equally important, especially if you want to increase your metabolism and lose body fat. You don't have to train like a bodybuilder to get the benefits, but you do need to use resistance and you do need to challenge your muscles and body. You might want to work with one of our personal trainers to get started. Whatever you do, make the commitment now to become more active. Taking control of your health is one way to make the best of your menopause experience.
Menopause: The Turning Point
Menopause marks a significant milestone in a woman's personal life. Additionally, menopause forces many physiological changes, some hazardous to a woman's health if left unattended. Often mild depression is associated with menopause. Just after menopause, a woman's risk of developing cardiovascular disease begins to catch up to that of a man's.
Younger men experience a 10 times greater risk of cardiovascular disease than premenopausal women. After menopause, the ratio narrows to 2:1. With increased age often comes decreased activity, resulting in weight gain. Excessive weight gain and inactivity after menopause also can contribute to hypertension, heart disease and manifestation of diabetes. Finally, women experience an increased acceleration of bone loss for 10 years after menopause; inactivity only speeds the process. Brittle bones and weak muscles make older women more susceptible to accidental falls and painful fractures.
The Benefits Of Exercise Are Countless
Regular personal fitness training will diminish and, in many cases, reverse negative health effects common to menopause. Our fitness for women over 50 programs address the risk for heart attack and stroke, which increase with menopause. Without fitness for women over 50, the level of good cholesterol falls, and bad cholesterol rises. This puts women over 50 at great risk for heart disease. Regular fitness exercise and a low-fat diet, however, can help regulate cholesterol and help us to maintain a healthy weight.
The debilitating effects of osteoporosis can be slowed with regular exercise when the activities include weight-bearing exercises to strengthen bones. Pulling and stretching movements also aid in maintaining optimal bone density. But probably the most overlooked benefits of personal fitness training for women over fifty are the social rewards. Especially for older adults, social contacts and dedicated personal motivation can renew energy and spirit alike.
Start A Program—But Follow The Guidelines
An enjoyable fitness activity is one that is usually continued. Another aspect of a healthier lifestyle, which usually goes hand-in-hand with a regular exercise program, is a healthy diet along with quality sleep. Low-fat foods promote a healthy heart, but don't diet just for the sake of reaching an "ideal number" on a scale. Women over fifty need to be conscious of their weight, but dieting often sacrifices nutrition. Good food, regular fitness exercise and abandoning bad habits—such as smoking—work together for promoting total wellness and improved fitness. Any woman over fifty who smokes, has diabetes and has a family history or intends to participate in extremely vigorous exercise, should first seek a health care provider's approval. Our fitness for women over 50 programming is designed to start gradually and progress appropriately.