Age is no barrier to exercise, and you’ll be future proofing your mind and body in the process.
Studies show that exercise can help reduce the risks of major illness and diseases such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and some cancers, as well as keeping weight in check and protecting bone density. It can also ease menopausal symptoms, boost mood, aid sleep and reduce stress.
It’s also more than that, “pushing boundaries takes commitment, but the sense of achievement, and wellbeing is empowering and life changing”, states personal trainer Clara La Terriere.
As we age, muscle mass decreases, which in turn weakens bones: the medical term is sarcopenia. An inactive lifestyle accelerates the decline in both sexes, but evidence shows midlife women are more prone to loss of muscle mass and function due to menopause. Therefore activity that helps to protect against that decline is essential.
Experts agree the key is to combine strength training, cardio workouts and stretching exercises. These work the muscles and cardiovascular system and help maintain flexibility.
Any exercise that is either weight bearing or provides muscle resistance, such as rowing , is great. Aerobic activity is also useful because it puts different kinds of force through the muscles.
Above all, it is important to consider one’s overall health and fitness levels. Seek medical advice before taking on a demanding sport, activity that may put pressure on your joints and muscles, especially if new to exercising or have physical weakness.
(Culled from Woman & Home June 2018)