Women’s fitness over 40

Without a doubt women’s fitness over 40 is a topic of discussion in most doctor’s offices, women’s groups and between friends. You may not know it but it really is. But how you ask? You’re in those groups, you’re on the phone with your friends and you visit your doctor. You don’t hear them talking about a woman’s fitness over age 40.

But they are, in subtle ways. Women may complain about not being able to climb stairs any longer because of painful knees. You may hear talk of a friend with heart disease or high cholesterol. An acquaintance may have be diagnosed with diabetes or high blood pressure.

How is this related? Because fitness over 40 programs and routines will help to decrease your risk of stress and age related illnesses. Increased physical fitness will help to create the muscle strength to support joints and decrease pain related to arthritis.

Unfortunately 60% of women in the US don’t get the recommended amount of activity. And 25% aren’t physically active at all. These statistics are slowly raising the number of women who suffer from stress related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Women’s fitness over 40 programs don’t begin in the gym however. Women must first come to terms with the idea that physical fitness doesn’t mean that you are pumping iron, becoming Mr. Universe or training for the Olympics. Physical activity is only that activity that raises your heart rate and breathing for 30 minutes. That may mean walking quickly for 30 minutes in the neighborhood, jogging, biking with the children, rowing, treadmill in front of the television, bouncing on an exercise ball or using a trampoline in the house. The goal is to improve your physical fitness and health – not train for the triathlon.

The first real step for a women’s fitness program, is to address lifestyle changes that might impact your ability to start a program. Things like diet, nutrition, and habits. One of the most dangerous habits is smoking. Smoking will negatively impact your ability to use your lungs, you do damage on the cellular level to your lungs and the CDC reports that 295 out of every 100,000 deaths are attributable to smoking damage.

Another step in your women’s fitness over 40 program is to incorporate more fruit, vegetables and whole grains into your diet. If you have trouble imagining how to do that you may benefit from a couple of consultations with a dietitian who can help you slowly ease into a healthier diet. Five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables, 8-10 glasses of water and decreasing the amount of white flour in your daily diet will go a long way to improving the way that you eat.

You may not know it but your teeth also play an important part in your program. With some simple flossing and brushing you significantly reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes that have been strongly linked to the bacteria that grow within your mouth. In a retrospective study researchers found that a statistically significant number of patients who suffered a stroke also had a mouth or tooth infection or high build up of plaque in their mouths. Flossing and brushing just may save your life!

What you may have thought of as the most important piece of the women’s fitness over 40 program, the exercise routine, is actually the icing on the cake. Exercise is important but it is the roof over the house that keeps you dry. Exercise depends upon the structure of nutrition, diet, and daily habits to improve your health.

Your women’s fitness program can consist of cardiovascular and strength training. Cardiovascular training can include biking, jogging, walking, swimming, trampoline, exercise ball or jump roping. And this program need not be consistently the same thing. That’s only boring. Mix the exercise up a bit and do it with friends. You’ll have more fun and you’ll stick with it longer.

The strength training aspect of a program should never be performed on consecutive days. In other words, if you do it on Monday don’t do it again until Wednesday. Two or three days a week, strength training can be done at home with hand weights and a DVD program or at the gym. The choice is yours and how it fits your lifestyle. Incorporating strength training will decrease your risk of osteoporosis, improve the support of your joints and give you a more shapely figure.
RESOURCES
US News: Smart Fitness for Grown-ups: a 10-week workout routine
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/diet-fitness/articles/2009/04/10/smart-fitness-for-grown-ups-a-10-week-workout-routine

AskMen: Top 10 Exercises for Guys over 40
http://www.askmen.com/top_10/fitness/top-10-exercises-for-guys-over-40.html

Vanderbit University: 12 Week Do-It-Yourself Fitness Program
http://healthandwellness.vanderbilt.edu/files/hpDIYFitness.pdf
BodyBuilding: Beginners over 40 workout
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/over_40_beginner_program.htm
Prevention: The Essential Over 40 Workout
http://www.prevention.com/fitness/strength-training/lose-weight-essential-over-40-workout

ShapeFit: Fitness over 40 – 10 Tips to Get in Shape and Stay Fit As You Get Older
http://www.shapefit.com/fitness-over-40-10-tips.html

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