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5 Tips for Older Women and their Fitness Goals

Are you tired of trying out new ideas and still getting zero results from the scale? Everyone looks at those fitness magazines to find out what’s the best way to lose weight.  When we get older those ideas may be very harmful for your body. There are 5 simple tips that can help us see the results that we want.

Use a Weight Training Program

Weight lifting can be the best way for women to maintain overall fitness and help prevent the chances increasing body fat. Building strength with weight training is can be performed at any age, and some studies show women in their 70’s building significant muscle by lifting weights 2-3 times per week.

Studies have also suggested that strength training seems to be a powerful stimulus to improve and maintain bone mass during the ageing process. Multi-component exercise programs of strength, aerobic, high impact and/or weight-bearing training may help to increase or at least prevent decline in bone mass with ageing, especially in postmenopausal women.

Keep Moving

Walking has been shown to increase cardiovascular fitness, help with weight management and improve mood. Any aerobic exercise (cycling, jogging, swimming) is great for maintaining lower levels of body fat and improving flexibility and overall body tone, but after age 50, walking has some advantages. The risk of injury is very low and almost everyone can get outside for a walk. Walking can be done in most weather, there is no special equipment required. Walking is very useful. Walking for errands, to give your pet exercise, to socialize, or to get out in the fresh air are all added benefits of using a walking routine to maintain fitness (Hunter 2002). Combining walking with weight training and you will have an effective way to get, and stay in shape.

Get That Heart Rate Up

Research has suggested that interval training is a great way to improve overall fitness. It’s fast and effective, but can kick your butt. To get the benefits of interval training and minimize the risk of injury, start slowly and stop when you are drained. If you are outside walking, increase your speed for 30 seconds, and then return to your regular speed for 30 seconds. Repeat this 30-second burst for 30 minutes. As times go by, you may find that you want to jog during that 30-second interval. What’s great about interval training is that you are in control of the effort and the number of reps. If you are already in great shape, you can add some high intensity interval sprints. When you start intervals, always pay attention to any warning signs that you are overdoing it.

Core, Core, Core

As we get older and less active, core strength is often one of the first things to suffer. Poor core strength can lead to a domino effect of other physical aches and pains due to poor body mechanics and poor alignment (Hunter 2002). Sore backs, hips, knees and necks can be caused poor core strength. The core muscles include more than just the abs, so it’s important to perform a balanced core strength workout. When training your core it’s not about only doing crunches. You need to work in all planes of motion.

Become Friends with Protein

Many people aren’t getting enough protein to maintain muscle mass. Protein is the major building block of the body, and it needs to be replenished regularly. Protein can be either complete (those containing 8 essential amino acids) or incomplete (lacking one or more essential amino acids). Complete proteins are found in most animal sources such as meat, fish, and eggs while incomplete proteins are generally found in vegetables, fruit and nuts. Vegetarian athletes often struggle with getting enough protein and if they don’t pay careful attention to the way they combine their food sources. If you aren’t getting enough protein, it can be difficult to build or maintain muscle. If you are a vegetarian, it’s even more important for you to learn how to get enough.
As we all know exercising is great for the mind and body. Making the workouts fun and mixing them up can help working out not like doing a chore.  Working out with a partner can make it more fun.  Always be safe and smart, good things will happen.


1. Hunter GR, Bryan DR, Wetzstein CJ, Zuckerman PA, Bamman MM. Resistance training and intra-abdominal adipose tissue in older men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Jun;34(6):1023-8.

Written by Chris Barber, CPT