Women and girls, you can stay fit for any decade of life by following these general guidelines. And, although its great for you to get into fitness early in life, its never too late to get fit in any decade. I will cover these categories in more detail in later articles.
Your #1 goal during this stage of life is to achieve peak bone mass.
One good way to do this is to include high-impact exercises in your program, such as jumping rope, running, high-impact aerobic dance, basketball, volleyball, soccer and gymnastics. Also important, are high-intensity weightlifting with free weights or dumbbells.
Primary goals in this age group are to maintain bone mass and improve coordination and balance.
MENOPAUSE ALSO BECOMES AN ISSUE. According to information in About.com, menopause isn’t the only cause of middle-age spread. Other factors include reduced activity, decreased metabolism, increased calorie intake and genetics. THE SIMPLEST WAY TO EASE INTO MENOPAUSE IS TO EXERCISE, ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE. Exercise helps ease symptoms, maintain bone mass and improve balance among other benefits.
Ages 50+ and post-menopausal
Follow the same guidelines for ages 35-50. If you have osteoporosis, get medical approval for your exercise choices and follow these general guidelines to protect your spine and avoid falls:
1) avoid impact exercise,
2) avoid spinal flexion (bending forward) and spinal rotations (twisting the torso),
3) Discontinue (or get medical approval) jarring sports such as bowling, tennis and basketball and
4) use lighter weights during resistance training and work your way up to more challenging training.
Balance exercises are critical for this age group. Continue to follow the same guidelines as the 50+ age group in order to protect your spine.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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