Best exercise for women over 50

I’ve been doing regular exercise since I was in my 20’s, and now I’m older I cannot imagine my life without doing any form of exercise. We all have our favourites, but for me yoga is the best exercise for women over 50. It gives me the strength, flexibility and calmness, that I need for a healthy lifestyle.

I often describe exercise as ‘medicine for my pain’, by that I mean, when I’ve been going through hard times, I’ve turned to exercise to help me to feel better about myself. Exercise has helped me to get over the difficulties that I’ve faced in my life.

I used exercise, as well as a change in my diet to relief my menopausal symptoms. I honestly believe that doing regular exercise, before, during and now, after my menopause, helped me to navigate my menopause journey more easily.

I’ve always had a mixed exercise routine. I used to run 2 to 3 times a week until I was in my mid 40’s, and I’ve always done some type of strength training. 

Yoga has been the exercise that I fell in love with in my late 20’s. I do yoga exercises at least twice a week now, and I still enjoy doing yoga as much as I did in my 20’s.

Regular exercise has helped me to keep my weight down, build muscle strength, and cope with stressful situations in my life. 

Yoga is one of the best exercises for menopause

My motto is use it or lose it, and it’s so true. I’ve never believed in dieting. I’ve tried it and it’s never worked for me. I would just get hungry and end up snacking, throughout the day. 

During my menopause I stepped up my regular exercise routine, and now I have a regular weekly programme that I try to stick to. My weekly exercise routine includes, 2 sessions of strength training, 2 sessions of yoga and 1 Pilates session  a week.

I try to work out 5 out of 7 days, for 45 minutes to an hour for each session. I tend to rest on weekends to let my body recover and to relax my muscles.

The benefits of exercise for women over 50

As an over 50 female, I believe that keeping fit is more about an attitude of mind, and is vital for a healthy lifestyle. The menopause can mess with our body and your mind. Sometimes the mind might be willing, but the body may not have the strength or ability to even start to think about a regular exercise programme. So, I’ve put together my top tips on how to get started with a regular exercise routine when you’re over 50.

Top 5 exercise tips for over 50 women

1. It’s never too late – even if you haven’t done any exercise at all before, it’s never too late to start. Take a 5-minute walk around the block each day or extend your daily dog walk. Instead of taking the dog for a walk once a day, increase this to twice a day. Increasing the length of time you walk each day, will help you to lose weight and you’ll’ feel better. 

2. Do strength training – If you’re not doing strength training, then start now. It’s made a big difference to my body, I’m much stronger, fitter and my body is more toned, especially my arms, legs, and my waist, and I’ve lost loads of weight. I do strength training now at least twice a week, and I’ve really noticed the positive changes to my body.  

Including strength training as part of a regular weekly fitness routine, can also help to combat the effects of declining hormone levels during perimenopause and menopause, boost your metabolic rate, so your food gets burnt up more quickly, and it increases muscle tone, so you’ll look fitter, thinner and have a lovely toned body. 

Strength training also makes our bones stronger, and helps us to avoid getting osteoporosis and brittle bones, which can start during the menopause.

3. Do aerobic exercise at least twice a week 

 I try to do some aerobic activity at least twice a week. I use to run 3 times a week, but now I find it boring, so instead I do body pump, which has quite a bit of aerobic activity, so I get my regular cardio that way. I also go on the occasional bike rides, and do brisk walks, to help keep my body weight down by burning up energy. 

4 Try Yoga it’s easy to start

I have been doing yoga since I was in my late 20’s. I’ve had times in my life where I’ve not been able to do it for one reason or another, but I aways miss doing it and end up looking for a class to restart sessions again. It’s been my blessing in disguise, as I’m much calmer, sleep better, eat better, and feel stronger, when I do yoga on a regular basis. 

Now I do yoga at least twice a week. I try to do different types of yoga exercises, a combination of strong strength postures, and a version with more flowing postures, to help me keep flexible.

Yoga is a brilliant exercise for women of 50, especially if your menopausal. There are poses that can help with different menopausal symptoms, and you can choose a routine that suits your ability, flexibility, and strength.

 At the end of my yoga session, I feel invigorated, calmer, and more relaxed. Yoga is about doing postures that work with your breath, it encourages your body to be in tune with your breath, calms your mind and slows down your body, so that it can recover during each posture.

It can help with physical ailments such as back pain, leg pain, weight problems, hot flushes, osteoporosis, hypertension, diabetes and more. 

I’ve put some of my favourite movements that I get the most benefit from here in my blog post. 

5. Pilates

Pilates is a new addition to  my regular exercise routine. I wanted to start doing Pilates to help with my developing body belly fat, improve my pelvic floor muscles and tone my core muscles.

After a few weeks, I noticed the difference in my waistline, which started to get thinner, and my pelvic floor muscles started to get stronger. I’ve been doing Pilates now for over a year and my core muscle strength had improved significantly. Pilates is now a regular part of my weekly exercise routine.

When it comes to shedding pounds during menopause, doing different types of exercise are important for different reasons. I find that the combination of aerobics, strength training, and yoga exercises, work best for me and this routine has benefited my health and body in different ways over the years, including, strength building, flexibility, weight loss and menopause management.