At almost 57 years old, I am happy to report that I am in the best shape of my life! Yes, I have hot flashes, wrinkles and don’t always sleep well, but I’ve never been a faster cyclist! I have the joy of visiting my doctor and seeing their surprise that my pulse is 56 and I take no medication… a rarity to be sure.
No, this doesn’t come without some hard work, but the benefits are worth the effort. Here, I’ve outlined 5 steps for you to work your way into shape no matter what your age.
- Lift weights! I know you say “Do I have to?” YES, it is so good for us in so many aspects that you need to do it. We lose up to 30% of our muscle mass between ages 50 and 70. Muscle loss affects so much. Most importantly it helps us to remain independent as we age. By keeping our “core” strong, we maintain our overall balance which means less falls and broken bones. But to build muscle mass, you do need to lift with 60-85% intensity… you need to sweat. Get a training buddy and lift 3 or 4 times a week. Oh yeah, another benefit—Lifting increases your metabolism, which means weight loss!
- Get off the couch and do something that makes your heart work. My cardio is biking. Find something you like to do and make it a habit. Once again, you need to understand your own body and increase your heart-rate to the correct “zone” to get the best benefit.
- Keep trying new ways to stay active overall. Step out of your comfort zone, Don’t worry what others think, My comment is “I’m old, who cares!” I took my first swim lessons last winter to learn how to swim. I was definitely one of the oldest in the class. I had no clue how to do the proper breathing in the freestyle swim, but I learned. You can teach an old dog new tricks!! I had to practice a lot more than the younger class members, but I now have the basics to build on.
- Watch and monitor your food content on a daily basis, try MyFitnessPal app. By recording your food, it helps you to understand how much and what types of food you are eating. As you form healthy eating habits you will be amazed by your increased energy and overall body function.
- Positive attitude – if you don’t feel like you are positive – fake it until you make it! If you do steps 1-4, you will see a huge change in your hormones which will naturally help you feel good!
The bottom line is that menopause will come to all women whether we like it or not. Don’t succumb to it, embrace it and overcome it! Some people say I’m crazy for racing, that may be but it takes me to my happy place. I would have never imagined I’d be sponsored on a race team at this time in my life. Take the first step and see where your passion takes you. Yes, it’s a sacrifice to make time for exercise and healthy habits, but YOU are worth it!!
Don’t know where to start in a program, contact Athletic Mentors. They offer all kinds of programs at their location or remotely. athleticmentors.com
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