As we get older, our bodies undergo several changes that can impact our ability to exercise and see results. Your hormones shift, your target heart rate zone shifts, and we lose muscle mass each year.
This is one reason why the exercises you did in high school through your 30s may no longer be effective.
For example, our metabolism slows down, making it more difficult to burn calories and lose weight. Our muscles also tend to weaken and lose mass, making it harder to perform certain exercises or lift heavy weights. Additionally, our joints may become stiffer and less flexible, which can make it uncomfortable to perform specific movements.
It’s important to keep our bodies moving to maintain good health and prevent injuries.
Barre, Pilates, and Yoga are three popular forms of exercise that offer numerous benefits for women in midlife & beyond for the mind and body.
Here are some things you can do to keep your body moving well in middle age and beyond, along with some of the benefits of each exercise:
Barre workouts have several benefits, making them a great addition to your workout routine. Barre exercises improve posture, balance, and coordination. They require proper alignment from the top of your head to the ends of your toes, including focusing on your hips, spine, neck, and shoulders. This better body awareness can help prevent slouching and enhance your overall physical presence.
In addition to improving posture, barre workouts also help strengthen your muscles. The training style can help build muscular endurance and maintain muscle mass as you age. It also strengthens your core, arms, thighs, glutes, and pelvic floor, which can help with control and stability.
Overall, incorporating barre into your workout routine can help you build long, lean muscles while improving your posture and balance.
- Improves posture and balance
- Tones and Strengthens muscles, especially in the legs, glutes, and core
- Increases Flexibility and Range of Motion
- Helps with Weight Loss and Management
- Low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints
- Strengthens Pelvic Floor
Pilates is good for women in midlife and beyond for several reasons. According to the Cleveland Clinic, Pilates strengthens the core, improves balance and coordination, and increases proprioception (spatial awareness), resulting in more effective, balanced movement and a reduced risk of falls or other accidents. 
Overall, Pilates can be a great addition to an exercise program for women over 50, as it can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance, which are crucial for maintaining good health as we age.. It’s important to consult with a doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns or conditions.
- Builds core strength and stability
- Improves flexibility and balance
- Increases muscle tone and definition
- Helps with injury prevention and rehabilitation
- Improves posture and alignment
Yoga can be a great form of exercise for anyone but especially for women over 50, as it helps improve flexibility, strength, and balance, among other things.
It’s also important to remember that yoga is not just about the physical postures but also about meditation and breathing techniques. These can help improve mental acuity, memory, focus, reduce anxiety, and provide overall health benefits, including pain management.
It creates a routine that hits every aspect of your mind, body, and soul.
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves flexibility and balance
- Help reduce inflammation, which helps to decrease aches and pains
- Increases strength and muscle tone
- Enhances mindfulness and mental clarity
- Can improve sleep quality and duration
Did you know that walking for 20-30 minutes daily can offer numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels?
Walking is a great exercise for women over 50 that can provide numerous benefits to overall health and wellness. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help women over 50 maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat, prevent or manage various conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, improve cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones and muscles, improve muscle endurance, and increase energy levels.
- Do you want to know ALL the great benefits of adding walking into your daily routine? View my blog Walking into Positive Benefits.
AND, last but not least…this is an important one for anyone, especially if you are over 40.
As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass at the rate of 1-2% each year, and after age 50, that rate may increase to 2-3%. This loss of muscle mass can lead to a decline in strength, changes in your metabolic rate and metabolism, your mobility, and balance, making it more challenging to perform everyday activities and increasing the risk of falls and injuries.
To combat this, it’s important to incorporate strength training exercises into your fitness routine. Whether you add barre, pilates, yoga, or weights in your mix, strive for doing 2-3 days of strength training a week.
Resistance training has been shown to help maintain muscle mass and strength, as well as improve bone density and overall physical function in older adults. Additionally, consuming adequate amounts of protein in your diet can help support muscle maintenance and repair.
Strength training has many health benefits for peri-menopausal, post-menopausal, and beyond:
- It speeds up Metabolism (which will help shift that belly fat) and your Metabolic rate.
- It helps improve Balance and Stability
- It helps to balance your Hormones (testosterone & growth hormone)
- Boost libido
- It helps prevent age-related muscle loss
- Increases bone density in the spine and hips. Not only do we start losing muscle each year, but the loss of bone density occurs at a rate of 1.8-2.3% without resistance training in the spine and 1.0-1.4% in the hip per year for women over 40. However, regular resistance training has been shown to help maintain and even increase bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.
- Improves body composition.
All these exercises I have listed above are considered LIIT workouts (low-intensity interval training), which is also better for keeping your hormones balanced as high-intensity training can be super stressful on our hormones, particularly for females.
It’s important to note that a well-rounded exercise program for women over 50 should include cardiovascular exercise, flexibility, and range-of-motion movements, weight-bearing exercises for muscular strength and endurance, deep breathing, and body awareness exercises 
Incorporating Barre, Pilates, Yoga, Strength Training, and Walking into your fitness routine can improve physical and mental health, increase strength and flexibility, and improve overall well-being.
Make sure to always listen to your body and make modifications as needed to prevent injury and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workouts.
Do you need help with motivation, accountability, or figuring out a well-rounded Wellness or Fitness Program that works for you in midlife & beyond?
I can HELP! Book a FREE 15min Success call TODAY to ask any questions and see how I can help you THRIVE & LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE after 50!