Ladies, remember when you were active in your 20’s and could eat that extra large piece of birthday cake without gaining weight? As you hit the 40’s and 50’s, you may not be as active, your metabolism slows down, and the pounds can add up. Regular exercise can keep your metabolism burning efficiently, but high-impact exercises that involve running, step aerobics, or cardio dancing can result in injuries to the hip, knee, and ankle joints, as well as the spine.
Here are the do’s and don’ts of exercise for midlife women:
You need to get your muscles loosened up, so stretching first is essential. Walk for 5 minutes on a treadmill or do some gentle yoga or Pilate stretches.
If you haven’t been exercising regularly, the key is to start out slowly. Do things you enjoy such as water aerobics, gardening, walking, cycling or swimming. If you prefer exercising in a group setting, check your local gym for fitness classes. Your goal is to get your heart pumping, but not run out of breath. Once you are in the routine of exercising regularly, you can add weight or resistance training using weight machines or resistance bands.
You should know your body signs and stop exercising immediately if you experience pain or are having trouble breathing. If you have osteoporosis, avoid balance exercises that might lead to a fall, and toe touches and sit-ups that put too much pressure on the spine.