Updated: Mar 26
(This post may contain referral links. Please read my disclaimer for more info.) As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
As we mature, our bodies change at a number of levels:
Metabolism plays a key role in weight control. Your metabolic rate refers to the rate at which
your body is able to burn calories. A number of factors influence your metabolic rate including
age, height, weight and gender. As we age, your metabolic rate slows down which causes you to
burn fewer calories
It is imperative that we don’t expect the same of our bodies as we age as we did 10 or 20 years ago. The routines that worked for us previously won’t yield us the same results with our changing body. In mid-life it is important to adjust health and weight management strategies.
There are many benefits to incorporating exercise into your schedule, especially as you age. Some of the key benefits include:
*Preserving heart and brain health as you get older.
*Exercise has been shown as one of the most effective and affordable ways to minimise the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, dementia and heart disease
*Starting after the age of 30, people can lose 3-5% of their muscle mass per decade. Regular exercise and strength training can help counteract this
*Exercise has proven as an effective tool for improving mental health
*Exercise improves your sleep
*Physical activity boosts blood flow to the brain
Improving your health, fitness and wellness can literally be as easy as a walk in the park.
6 Exercise Mistakes Midlife Women Commonly Make
1. Not incorporating strength training
It is important that we focus on our muscular strength as we get older because as we age, hormonal changes result in muscular atrophy (a decrease in muscle mass). This loss of muscle is one of the main causes of age-related weight gain. Muscle is important for our metabolism and for functional movements used in daily living, such as bending, lifting and standing. Our muscles also play an important role in supporting our joints.
2. Trying to ‘target’ specific body parts
One of the common areas that women try to reduce is their belly fat. Doing abdominal crunches every day won’t reduce the overall belly. By working the muscle in a specific area, you are not reducing the fat in the area, therefore it is important to look at your overall health and fitness.
3. Lifting weights that are too light
Many women are nervous that they will ‘bulk up’ if they lift too much weight. If you can easily lift the weight for more than 12 repetitions with good form then likely the weight is too light for you.
If you are working out at home, having adjustable dumbbells allows you to add weight as your progress with your strength. These are a great option if you are low on space: Adjustable Dumbbells
4. Staying in the fat burning zone
The fat burning zone is a low intensity level where your body supposedly burns a higher percentage of fat than exercising at a higher intensity. Incorporating exercise at a higher intensity helps to burn a higher amount of fat and helps to increase your fitness levels more effectively. HIIT style workouts (high intensity interval training) or including higher intensity intervals in your cardio sessions are great ways to increase your intensity.
5. Doing the same workouts
Your body adapts to the exercises and the demands you place on it over time. This means that if you continually do the same workout, you will likely reach a plateau in your progress. Changing workouts can include changing:
· Types of exercises
· Number of reps
· The speed of the reps
6. Ignoring pain/discomfort/exhaustion
You know your body best. Listening to your body is really important to avoid injury and for long term health. Pain can happen for many reasons during a fitness programme – due to injury to a muscle, tendon or ligament, muscle or body imbalances, improper technique, and arthritis can all contribute to pain during exercise. There is a difference between pain and muscle discomfort. Any sharp pains during exercise should be a sign to stop exercising immediately. If you experience muscle discomfort, even up to 48 hours after your workout, this could be DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), which is a sign that your body has worked hard and there is no need to worry.
Strategies to help incorporate regular movement into your schedule:
· Start slowly
It is important to start slowly if you are just starting to incorporate movement into your schedule. Building strength and fitness gradually helps to reduce the risk of injury.
· Follow a plan
Exercise should be scheduled in the same way as other meetings and commitments in your calendar. It is essential that we take the time to move our bodies for our physical and mental health. Create a plan for WHERE and WHEN to exercise. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider working with a personal trainer or coach. Hutton Health offers structured programmes with cardio, strength and stretching sessions programmed each week.
· Add accountability
Enlist the help of a friend, family member or coach to keep you accountable to your exercise schedule. The Hutton Health app tracks your sessions and your progress to add accountability and motivation to your program. View Hutton Health as your biggest cheerleader, your supporter, your encourager and your accountability partner!
· Do what you love
Combine movement with other things you enjoy doing. Enjoy coffee with a friend? Why not grab a take away and walk while you catch up? Love music? Enjoy your favourite tunes as a reward when you are out running or walking. Find activities that you enjoy doing. Exercise does not have to be grueling or boring. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
· Increase your steps
Incorporate movement into your daily tasks to help increase the number of steps you take each day.
-Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
-Park at a further away spot in the car park.
-Walk your child to school. If the distance is too far, consider parking a block away to enjoy some time walking together.
-Rather than sitting down for a meeting with a colleague, take a walk instead
· Set a goal
Set a goal to help keep you on track. Your goals should be based on your current fitness level and should be realistic targets to help increase your motivation and keep you on track.
Download Hutton Health’s FREE Goal Setting Workbook!
Hutton Health offers structured programmes that encourage regular purposeful movement. Get in touch for a FREE discovery call to find out how the team can help empower YOU to prioritise your health, fitness and wellness.