Table of Contents
- Understanding the Benefits of Exercise for Women Over 50
- Cardiovascular Exercises for Heart Health
- Strength Training for Stronger Bones and Muscles
- Flexibility and Balance Exercises
- Functional Fitness for Everyday Activities
- Tailoring Your Workout Routine
- Tips for Staying Motivated
- Overcoming Common Barriers
- Pre- and Post-Workout Practices
- Embracing a Holistic Approach to Health
- Additional Resources and References
5 Best Exercises for Women Over 50 To Live Longer
Women over 50 who are worried about their health should start exercising regularly. According to doctors and aging experts exercise is the fountain of youth for women over 50. Regular exercise can help women improve their health, their strength, and their longevity. Women over 50 who start exercising now will enjoy greater mobility and independence as they get older.
Understanding the Benefits of Exercise for Women Over 50
It’s impossible to overstate the benefits of exercise for women over 50. Regular exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, can provide benefits for women like:
Better Bone Density: Women have a high risk of losing bone density after menopause because of the hormonal changes that they go through. Women can lose as much as 20% of their bone density after menopause. Exercising regularly can help women strengthen their bones.
Better Heart Health: More than 44% of women will develop heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer of women over 50. Women who engage in cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis have lower rates of heart disease and may be able to lower their risk of developing heart disease.
Better Metabolism: Women over 50 often complain that they gain weight or struggle to maintain their healthy weight even though they don’t change their diets. That’s because women experience a slowdown of their metabolism after 50. Exercising regularly can kick-start their metabolism and help women avoid weight gain after 50.
Fighting depression and anxiety: Women over 50 also have a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression. The endorphins produced by regular exercise can lower that risk and help women manage the symptoms of depression.
Cardiovascular Exercises for Heart Health
It’s important for women over 50 to engage in cardiovascular exercise to improve their heart health. However, many women over 50 have old injuries or health conditions that make exercise tough on their joints. Low-impact cardio exercises like swimming, cycling, walking, and dancing can provide heart health benefits without hurting the joints.
Strength Training for Stronger Bones and Muscles
Cardio isn’t the only exercise that is strongly recommended for women. Most health experts and physical trainers recommend strength training for women. Strength training is the best way for women to maintain their bone strength and density as they get older. Since women are at risk of osteoporosis and losing muscle and bone density regular sessions of strength training should be a priority for women over 50. Some of the strength training exercises that physical therapists recommend for women are:
- Chair Dips
- Dumbbell Rows
- Bicep Curls
- Arm circles
- Glute bridges
- Overhead press
- Wall pushups
- Tricep press
- Calf stretches
Before starting strength training, women should have a few sessions with a trainer who can show them the proper form to use while doing these exercises. Maintaining the proper form is important to avoid injury and get the most out of these exercises.
Flexibility and Balance Exercises
It’s also important for women over 50 to work on their balance and flexibility. Maintaining balance and flexibility are essential so that women can live independently and stay mobile as they get older. The most recommended balance and flexibility exercises are:
- Tai Chai
Improving balance and flexibility can take time. Women just starting out should engage in these exercises for just five or ten minutes and build up their sessions over time.
Functional Fitness for Everyday Activities
Functional fitness activities will help women over 50 maintain their ability to do things like cook, do crafts, and stay mobile as they get older. Functional fitness is also called occupational therapy. It uses exercises that mimic the movements of everyday actions and activities to improve muscle memory and strength. Squats, lunges, and planks are some of the exercises that are considered functional fitness.
Tailoring Your Workout Routine
Women who are just starting to exercise on a set schedule should always consult their healthcare provider before trying a new exercise or starting a new regular exercise regimen, especially if they have pre-existing medical conditions. Women should also combine cardio and strength training exercises with flexibility exercises to create a well-rounded exercise regimen.
Tips for Staying Motivated
One of the best ways to stay motivated to exercise is to engage in exercises that are fun and interesting. Try new exercise classes or join a gym. Find fun places to walk like the park or the mall. It’s also a great idea to find a workout buddy who can keep you accountable and help you stay committed to regular exercise. Keeping a workout journal can also increase the motivation to exercise regularly.
Overcoming Common Barriers
When women were asked why they don’t exercise regularly most women over 50 said they didn’t have time, or they were too tired after caring for family or working all day. Women who find that they are too tired to exercise at the end of the day should try working out first thing in the morning instead. Or breaking up their workout into quick 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
Pre- and Post-Workout Practices
Women over 50 who are just starting out on a fitness journey need to be sure that they always properly warm up and cool down. Not warming up before exercising can lead to sprains and strains. Additionally, not cooling down can cause health problems too. The best time to stretch is when muscles are warm after a workout, so a cool-down stretch can improve flexibility.
Embracing a Holistic Approach to Health
Women over 50 should take a holistic approach when it comes to their health. Exercise is an important part of good health and healthy aging, but it’s not the only priority. Women also need to make sure they are eating a healthy diet full of plants and fresh fruit. And they need to make sure that they are getting enough sleep and getting regular medical checkups.
Committing to a regular exercise regimen is like the fountain of youth for women over 50. It’s the best thing that you can do for your health. Women who are working on making the next phase of their lives better and need to apply for Social Security benefits should fill out a Free Case Evaluation form on this page now to get connected and speak with an independent disability lawyer about their options—all at zero cost to them.
Exercise may not be fun all the time, but it’s the best thing that women over 50 can do to maintain their health. Getting into the habit of regular exercise now can help women live better, stay healthy, and enjoy living independently as they get older.
*All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice. Readers should always consult their healthcare providers before starting any new exercise program.
- The 5 Workouts Every Woman Over 50 Should Do, According to a Kinesiologist – The Thirty
- Must-Do Strength Training Moves for Women Over 50 – Verywell Fit
- Women and Heart Disease – CDC
- Menopause and Bone Loss – Endocrine Society