Smart fitness for the (woman) over 40
Aging has its plus points. You can’t open a Sunday newspaper without reading how the older (celebrity) woman is feeling more confident than ever in her own body and happier in her own mind.
Once we hit mid-life, or as I like to put it, “the new 30”, fitness takes on new meaning. Of course, vanity still plays a big part. And yes, we know all that stuff about “inner beauty” but the reality is we still want to feel fabulous inside and out while wearing our signature look. But there are one or two other (slightly less glamorous) aspects that we need to consider.
Alongside vanity, the pelvic floor needs attention as it’s most unglamorous to wet your knickers. Hormonal shifts mean the bones and heart need looking after too in order to protect them in the long term. As well as the downstairs, we need to consider the upstairs and keep the grey matter ticking over nicely. The soul too needs its share of loving care.
Just as we begin to feel a little wiser with the passing years, exercise needs to get a little smarter along with us. It’s no longer about the long endurance runs, or jumping around in bare feet and a cat suit in an aerobics class (though don’t let me stop you if it’s still floating your boat!) If the pelvic floor is not fully functional, these are probably the last things we want to do. So when it comes to exercise, it’s about making smart choices.
Having said that, impact is a vital part of maintaining bone health. Without this stimulus, the bones do not get the message to generate new cells and as the levels of oestrogen reduce (as they do from age 30), it’s critical that this message gets through.
Alongside this, low impact weight-bearing exercise will help to take care of the bones. And in case you’re wondering, this means working with dumbbells and other weighted equipment. You won’t turn all muscular overnight as women simply don’t produce enough testosterone. You see dumbbells ain’t dumb at all, they are an integral part of the smart exercise regime.
With the right low impact work, the heart will get a workout too. Raising the arms above the head and repeating rhythmical arm moves will get the heart pumping, especially when using weights.
But let’s not forget the brain. All this pumping of blood and oxygen around the body will also keep the little grey cells well-supplied. Getting effective circulation to the brain can not only help with day to day functions of memory and cognition, it also helps to protect from degenerative brain disease and stroke.
If you need some help to get your boxes ticked, find yourself a local personal trainer with experience of women’s fitness. If you’re lucky, you may have some exercise classes in your area that specifically target exercise for women of a certain age. If you’re even luckier, you may live in the North Cotswolds and be able to secure the services of FitActive Personal Training. Look forward to seeing you!