Exercise, Stress, & lifestyle really does play a huge role in how we feel and look….
The women I talk to our struggling with doing less exercise or what type of exercise is best now as the head into their 40’s and 50’s Because like me they have always be taught that more is better the no pain no gain generation.
Also we as women also love bonding and community being part of something, whether it’s running, or dance class or walking with friends, spin, pilates, biking etc….
I loved running, racing, setting goals, and going to running camp every year with other like minded people and just how exercise makes me feel.
It was very hard for me to finally give up long distance running up I felt like I lost my best friend and really didn’t believe doing less would be good for me, in the back of my mind I thought it can’t possible work BUT it did.
- I dropped extra weight by doing less than half of the exercise I was doing
- My sleep improved
- my energy improved and stubborn belly fat was gone.
Those are some reasons why I have been telling ladies in there 40’s, 50’s and beyond that they should try to…
1. Get more rest and recovery.
3. Exercise with intensity
4. Exercise shorter
5. Exercise smarter
We do not have the hormones in an optimal range anymore so we do not have that wiggle room to make mistakes with diet or exercise anymore.
In other words we just cannot get away with beating our bodies up and bouncing back. It is the rest and recovery days that really help us, making us stronger and helps our fitness.
I was told this before by coaches but I just thought that didn’t apply to me…ha!
I have talked so much about stress, walking and other forms of relaxation.
Walking is a form of recovery especially out in nature, going for a massage, just doing some yoga moves at home if no time to go to a class, foam rolling, and getting enough SLEEP.
I find now that I have to take off 2 days off if I have sprinted or had a really intense leg training workout compared to when I was younger.
I need to warm-up longer than when I was younger, otherwise I get hurt. I was reminded of this just this year or so ago. I got hurt sprinting and it took me a few months to get back to sprinting something I love to do.
I need reminding sometimes to back off, and warm-up better especially when its cold out 🙂
We lose muscle every year starting in our 30’s if we are not doing resistance training.
You can be very fit doing other things, such as long distance running, fun dance class, but that is not enough.
The number ONE thing we need to incorporate is resistance training, lifting weights…
- Muscle really helps us have that tight and toned look we love.
- Helps bone density
- Also keeps us strong so we can carry our bags, walk up the stairs, strength will matter as you age.
- Helps to optimize our metabolism, muscle is the engine.
- Mood enhancing
- Burn more fat
If you are one of the ladies I have talked to the that hates to exercise, I would say that doing no exercise is a stress on the body as well as over exercising.
The older we get we need more movement, the more active we are all day really does matter for weight maintenance and losing body fat
- If you have never exercised then I would first start out just taking a walk daily, get in that habit. We sometimes do to much to soon and then can’t keep it up as we get to sore and quit.
- Next I would start a resistance training/weight training program, 2-3 days a week minimum very important to keep our muscle mass as we age.
- As I said the more muscle we have the more calories we burn even at rest…but it’s not all calories in and out. Also hire a good trainer to help you get started if you never lifted weights before, to learn proper form.
- Mix up your exercise, do what you love. I used to lift weights, yoga sprinkled in, biking, and resistance training and walk the dog. It helps prevent burn out and over use injuries.
- Do balance exercises, stretching, a good warm-up
- 1-2 days of high intensity workouts, such burst training, sprints, etc…. Depends on your age and fitness level. Some might be able to do more.
- Now in my mid 60’s 1 day of sprinting works well for me, when I was in my 50’s I did 2-3 days….But I was used to very long distance running, track work, and it was a huge cut back for me at the time.
- Sprints can be on any equipment, 20 seconds hard then rest to 20-30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat until 15- 20 minutes is up. Then walk for at least 15-30 minutes slowly for recovery and lowering your cortisol.
- When I sprint I run hard different distance times, sometimes, 20, 30, 35, seconds then I walk back to start slowly and repeat.
We do not need to go longer…see how you feel. 10-20 minute workouts done with intensity are fine.
I do 20-25 minutes tops, for my circuit based resistance training workout 3 days a week now on average. Sometimes 4 days, I change it up all the time. Sometimes 2 days upper body and 2 days lower body with a glute routine thrown in at the end.
You love cardio, sprinkle it in. Just don’t do all long workouts mix it up, long day, short intense tempo run, one day sprints.
If time is an issue, and its cardio or weights do weights, as older ladies that will give you huge benefits plus burning more fat.
Walking slowly is a form of rest and recovery to highly beneficial for our mind and our bodies helping to lover our stress level which is great for better sleep and better sleep leads to fat loss and better energy throughout the day.
I love circuit based weight training as it gives me that cardio effect but with weights, but we can’t over do that either.
I lost weight by dropping the long chronic cardio, and started doing short intense workouts with a purpose and it saved so much time as well as well.
You can get great workouts in with no jumping too, just moving quickly with good form between exercises can raise your heart rate, air squats, a glute routine by Scott Able gets my heart rate up a bit, toning, tightening, and lifting my butt, haha with age the butt wants to sag.
We need to also do what we love.
Also many women do not eat enough protein. We actually need more protein as we age. Protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients.
As we age we find we cannot eat the way we did when we were younger we need to always investigate and maybe just simple tweaks with your macro’s gets you to your goals.
- Forming your meals around protein, 1-2 servings of fat and an ample amount of leafy greens and fibrous veggies can help to keep us fuller longer and also balance our blood sugar.
- I eat a ton of veggies and greens, which are carbs at my meals I would say 2 fists size per meal.
- I do a very low amount of starchy carbs and fruit now but enough for my body, activity level and it changes daily, weekly, monthly, according to how I feel. I actually do best most times now with the green veggies, carrots, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and some squashes.
- Protein is always about 4-6 oz or the size of the palm of my hand if I’m having 3 meals aday as feast day. If I’m eating only 1-2 meals for the day I have more protein at those meals.
Funny what I might consider high carbs someone else might consider low carb depends a 20 year old muscle bound guy might tolerate way more starchy carbs than a women in her 40’s, 50’s and beyond. At 66 I do not tolerate as many starchy carbs as I did in my 50’s it changes all the time.
Someone very active and insulin sensitive may tolerate more starchy carbs than someone insulin resistant.
Always remember we are all different, and there is no wrong or right way. It is what gets you results, or maintaining your weight and makes you feel amazing.
Plus what you can do happily for the long haul remembering you will need to change it up all the time and be flexible with your exercise and your diet as you age as your bodies and constantly changing and adapting.
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