Healthy for Life: Fitness Needs for Every Decade of a Woman’s Life
Get moving: Fitness for women at any stage of life
Fitness for women: The 40s continued...
In your 40s, you are also more prone to injuries. So consider giving up
high-impact activities - like jogging or aerobics. DiDio advises switching to
low-impact programs such as Pilates or using a treadmill or stationary
Fitness for women: The 50s
Menopause and post-menopausal symptoms usually surface in the 50s and often
include weight changes, insomnia, high blood pressure, hot flashes, and stress.
Research has shown that exercise, such as walking and yoga, can reduce the
symptoms of menopause.
Because your flexibility drops in your 50s, DiDio says, stretching is
increasingly important. Cardiovascular fitness is still necessary, but consider
fitness activities with more "fun" potential, for instance dance
classes, to keep from getting bored. And minimize your risk of injury by cross
"As you get older, you're more likely to injure a joint or muscle if you
use it repetitively," says DiDio. Continue with cardiovascular exercise 20
or more minutes per session, three days a week, at a pace that lets you carry
on a conversation. Lift hand weights for improved strength and posture. The
right size weight is one that is comfortable for eight repetitions. Then build
up to 12 repetitions. And remember to include flexibility and stretching
exercises such as yoga.
Fitness for women: The 60s
Researchers have found that if you exercise in your 60s - even as little as
once a week - you will live longer than those who don't exercise at all. So
keep up with your cardiovascular activities, but make sure you emphasize
strength training and core exercises to increase your stability.
As you get older, you want to avoid falls and the risk of bone fractures,
which can become more prevalent. Yoga and tai chi, DiDio says, are good choices
for improving both your flexibility and your balance.
Fitness for women: The 70s and beyond
Keep moving! Exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and continue to
include cardiovascular, strength training, and flexibility exercises in your
routine, says DiDio. Walking, swimming, light weights, tai chi, and yoga can
all be good choices for women in their 70s as long as you have your doctor's
permission. Be especially careful, however, of your balance. You want to avoid
the risk of a fall.