Best Workouts for Women Over 50: 7 Age-Relevant Training Principles
Choose the best workouts for women over 50
Kymberly: Want the Ultimate Baby Boomer Body? Personally I am ok with the “Ixnay on the Bikini, but I’ll Still Wear a One-Piece” Body. To get either version, you’ll need to incorporate 7 important, midlife-specific training principles into your exercise routines.
What are key workout plans for women to achieve optimal fitness?
First, we need to establish and agree that midlife exercisers are special, with unique attributes.Want the Ultimate Baby Boomer Body? Incorporate these 7 midlife-specific training principles… Click To Tweet
Women Over 50 Are Unusual Exercisers in 6 Ways
- Ours is the first generation to grow up with exercise continued into our adult years;
- Our generation’s attitudes and priorities make it easier for us to train and be trained and to understand the need for intentional exercise;
- We have the funds and resources to invest in our well being (that’s the statistical theory, at any rate);
- Our age group is one that is proactive and doesn’t take our health for granted;
- We desire socialization and camaraderie, with a particular fondness for group exercise. Therefore, we tend to prioritize exercise differently when we are a part of a group or when under a trainer’s leadership;
- The downside is that we also tend to fall off or quit being active when life gets chaotic, and caregiving or other family needs pull us away.
So what do we unusual, interesting, unique, and different women need to do to achieve functionally strong and healthy bodies, minds and attitudes? How can we create targeted workout routines for women like you (and us)?
Alexandra: I am seriously hoping the answer involves Clive Owen or Colin Firth, but I’ll settle for just assuming you are speaking of ME when you use the adjectives “unusual, interesting, unique, and different.” Hmmm, second guess. Does it involve bacon? Even though I am a vegetarian, I feel certain that the answer to many things is “bacon.”
Now, you said midlife women are special in 6 ways. And if you’d given 6 training principles, I’d know Bacon was the answer — Kevin Bacon. If you don’t know about the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, you can read the link while doing your seven training principles. To defy gravity (and age), plus engage in gym movements, do this Footloose workout.
Kymberly: We know my sister is really Baking, not Bacon Woman. Anyway, stay Footloose and Bacon Free when you incorporate the following into your regimen:
7 Training Principles for Women Over 50
1. Increase Intentional Stepping
Continue to build bone strength by selecting impact activities. Especially at our age, we need to strike the ground by walking, jogging, skipping, and stepping to stimulate our bones. Step classes are particularly effective at offering impact without adverse joint stress. This is a case of wanting gravity’s effects!
2. Use Body Weight in a Functional Manner
Choose movements and exercises that mimic daily life activities such as climbing stairs, loading groceries into the car, carrying luggage on fun, exotic, vacation trips. (A boomer can envision, nicht wahr?) Such exercises might include step ups and squats, for instance.
3. Train to Preserve Back Health
Brace through the core and hinge from the hips. Add dead lifts to your repertoire — but let’s call them “live lifts,” shall we? Look for opportunities to activate the back (dorsal side) of your body in addition to performing ab and core work.
4. Focus on Posture
Be sure to sit and stand “strong.” Address muscle imbalances. Take action now to improve posture now and later. No Dowager’s Hump for you, just Dowager title and property rights. Speak to me Downton Abbey fans!
5. Engage in “Brain Gym” Movements
- Move in ways that connect the left and right sides of the brain such as crossing the midline
- perform diagonal movements, (cross chops anyone?)
- memorize movement patterns (choreography is a good thing)
- follow cues or directions
You can see where fitness classes really are ideal for those of us wanting more than physical payoff from our workouts.
6. Defy Gravity
Reap on land some of the gravity defying benefits of water exercise. Who doesn’t look forward to reduced joint stress, buoyancy, and a certain lightness of being? Translate that “up” feeling to land movement by emphasizing the up phase. For example, with squats, engage your muscles more when standing than lowering. Change the pace, speed, or emPHAsis of moves to prioritize the press away from the floor. In short, concentrate on the parts of exercises that work against gravity.
7. Input Impact to Improve Internal Integrity
I, I, I , yi yi! Use both cardio and resistance training to target age-related risks and preventable declines. Do the exercises you choose challenge your mobility? Balance? Bones? Coordination? Just as you might choose nutritionally dense foods, select movements that offer a compound or multiple return for your invested effort.
Kymberly: Begin with the end in mind — increase overall strength, stamina, core strength, mental agility, resistance to disease, and ability to continue pursuing life with vigor and enthusiasm. Heck, we also want to look good, right?
Alexandra: I’ve only got my end in mind.
Action: To really be ahead of the game, try Training Principle Number 8 — Subscribe! Have us come to you twice a week with fitness pro insider insights on how you can age more actively than all the other baby boomers you know. Enter your name and email into any of the subscription boxes. Plus claim your bonus.
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA