Ageing is an inevitable part of life, and although it’s a wonderful blessing to have more time in this world, it’s not always a great process! As the years go by, women experience various changes in their bodies that can impact their overall well-being. From changes in weight and muscle mass to alterations in bone density and the nervous system, understanding and addressing these transformations is crucial for ageing gracefully. In this article, our personal trainers and specialists in functional movement and strength training for women at our gyms in Bayside will explore how ageing affects women’s bodies at different stages, highlighting the significance of exercise and diet in mitigating the challenges that come with ageing.
Body Changes and Concerns
Weight Gain and Distribution:
As women age, hormonal fluctuations and a slowing metabolism contribute to weight gain, especially around the midsection. This can be challenging both aesthetically and health-wise, as excess abdominal fat is linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases. To combat this, engaging in regular cardiovascular exercises like brisk walking, swimming, or cycling can help burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, incorporating strength training exercises into the routine can boost metabolism and promote muscle toning, aiding in better weight management.
Changes in Muscle Mass:
Sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass and strength, becomes more pronounced as women enter their 40s and beyond. Counteracting this involves regular resistance training to build and maintain muscle mass. Exercises such as weight lifting, yoga, functional movement classes, and Pilates can enhance strength and flexibility as you age, preserving overall muscle function. Including protein-rich foods like lean meats, dairy, and plant-based sources in the diet is essential to support muscle repair and growth, and will give you the best results when doing flexibility and strength training for women.
Changes in Bone Density:
Osteoporosis, characterised by weakened and porous bones, is a common concern for ageing women. To counter the decline in bone density, incorporating weight-bearing exercises like walking, jogging, and dancing is crucial. Weight training and resistance exercises also contribute to bone health by stimulating bone-forming cells. Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake through dietary sources or supplements are equally important for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
Changes in the Nervous System and Reflexes:
As women age, the nervous system undergoes changes that can affect reflexes and coordination. Engaging in activities that challenge the brain, such as puzzles, crosswords, and memory games, can help maintain cognitive function. Furthermore, activities that enhance balance, like tai chi or specific yoga poses, can improve stability and reduce the risk of falls
Dietary and Exercise Tips for Ageing Gracefully
Adopting a balanced and nutrient-dense diet is essential for healthy ageing. Emphasise whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Ensure an adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D for bone health, and consider omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and flaxseeds, to support cognitive function.
Staying hydrated becomes increasingly important with age. Water is vital for various bodily functions, including joint lubrication and digestion. Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, which can contribute to dehydration, is advisable.
As metabolism slows down, it’s crucial to pay attention to portion sizes to prevent unwanted weight gain. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help regulate blood sugar levels and sustain energy throughout the day.
Regular Exercise Routine:
Aim for a well-rounded exercise routine that includes cardiovascular, flexibility exercises, and strength training for women. Strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with two days of strength training. Incorporate activities you enjoy to make exercise and developing long-lasting functional movement a sustainable and enjoyable part of your lifestyle.
Stress management is integral to overall well-being. Practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and mindfulness can help reduce stress and improve mental resilience. These practices also contribute to better sleep quality, another essential component of healthy ageing.
Regular Health Check-ups:
Regular health check-ups and screenings are crucial for catching and addressing potential health issues early. Consult with healthcare professionals to monitor bone density, hormonal levels, and other factors that can impact ageing.
Ageing gracefully involves embracing the changes that come with time and taking proactive steps to maintain physical and mental well-being. By incorporating a balanced diet, staying physically active, and adopting a holistic approach to health, women can navigate the ageing process with resilience and vitality. Remember, it’s never too late to start making positive lifestyle changes that support graceful ageing and a fulfilling life!
Join Our Women Only Gyms in Bayside for a Welcoming, Safe Space to Work Out!
At Strong Women Can, your journey to fitness is not just about the workout; it’s about the supportive community, the unwavering encouragement, and the commitment to your holistic well-being. Our women only gyms in Bayside offer a spectrum of options, from personalised training sessions and invigorating group fitness classes to specialised functional movement assessments and strength training for women. We understand that every woman is unique, and so are her fitness aspirations – that’s why we provide a diverse range of opportunities to help you thrive on your fitness journey.