Best Exercise Routine for Women Over 50
It’s an excuse uttered far too often: “I’m getting too old to work out.” As we get older, we could experience lower energy, tire more easily, and have less strength and stamina than we did a few decades before. These side effects of aging are all good reasons to start—or continue—working out!
There is plenty of research to show that exercise for older women—particularly, strength training exercises—is a great way to slow the effects of aging and keep people guessing (and guessing younger, of course!) about your age.
Regular workouts for women over 50 are important for overall health and wellbeing. For one, exercise helps lower your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which can boost your overall health and help you look and feel younger. 2
A full body workout can also combat some of the symptoms of menopause, including trouble sleeping, joint pain, and hot flashes. There are mental benefits of physical activity, too. Engaging in regular exercise has been shown to help prevent depression and anxiety, which are more common in middle age.3 4
Staying in good shape as you age can help keep you mobile and independent, so you can take care of household chores like climbing a ladder to change a bulb or carrying a heavy bag of groceries without help. Plus, the excitement of traveling and being a part of group activities is more enjoyable when your body is healthy and strong. In short, if you do the right kinds of exercise, it can take years off your chronological age.
If you have already been working out, great. You’ve got a good baseline of physical conditioning on your side. If you haven’t, no problem—it’s never too late to start.
With all the physical and mental benefits of exercise in mind, here are some tips on the best exercise routine for women over 50:
Work your whole body
The best workouts for older women are full body workouts, meaning they include all the important elements of fitness. These elements are:
- Strength training: We start to lose muscle around the tender age of 30, so strength training for older women is important. Strength training helps improve muscle strength, bone strength, and posture. A total body workout that includes strength training also reduces your risk of back injury and falls. Strength training builds bone density and contributes to weight loss and maintenance.5 The Curves Circuit includes strength training machines that provide all these great benefits.
- Cardiovascular fitness: Any exercise that gets your heart rate up for 20 to 30 minutes is considered cardio (or aerobic exercise). The Curves 30-minute workout includes cardio for an efficient and effective workout.
- Stretching: The most comprehensive workout plans for women over 50 include stretching exercises that help maintain joint health, improve flexibility, and prevent injury and soreness. Stretching is the final component of a complete workout and included in your Curves experience.
Exercise every day
This may sound like a lot, but it doesn’t mean you should do the same workout routine every day of the week. The best workouts for older women mix things up—hit the Curves Circuit three times a week, do a boxing class one day, a balance another day, and on the other two days, take a walk in your neighborhood with friends. Your exercise routine should be both varied and enjoyable to give the best results. 6
HIIT your body where it counts
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves 30- to 60-second bursts of exercise. The Curves Circuit is a HIIT workout that is a wonderful exercise for older women that will keep your muscles confused (this is a good thing) and challenged. And because it’s only 30 minutes, the HIIT-style Curves workout maximizes your results while reducing the time spent at the gym. 7
Take good care of your core
As you enter your 40s and 50s, your core muscles are some of the first to go. And poor core strength can put undue stress on other areas of your body, like your knees, hips, back, and neck. To maintain core muscles, it’s important to do exercises a few times a week to strengthen these muscles. 8 One of the best core exercises is a plank, which you can do on your forearms, straight arms, or side.
Your body requires different levels of exercise as you age. That 30-minute jog around your neighborhood or on the treadmill may have been enough in your 20s and 30s, but as you get into middle age, strength training is important to maintain youth and vitality. The Curves Circuit is a fast, effective full body workout for women over 50. And what’s better than working out next to supportive women who are in the same stage of life as you?! For more information about Curves, visit https://www.curves.com/about/why-curves.