A milestone birthday is far less significant than turning 50. It’s evidence of your tenacity, discernment, and persistence. However, reaching your fifties also brings about physical changes, such as a slowed metabolism and a loss of muscle and strength, which is regrettable because muscular strength is a crucial aspect of good aging. Here are 10 physical activities and hobbies for women over 50 to help them live longer. Physical activity is a great approach to battle the problems that come with getting older. What’s best? They’ll probably be fun for you to do!
For many women over 50, working out stops being about pursuing your ideal body or engaging in extremely intense workouts. Now, it’s all about embracing a fitness regimen that keeps your body healthy and thriving, longevity, and vitality. But which exercises are the most effective for delaying old age? In this interview, Rachel MacPherson, an ACE-certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews, provides a list of the top 10 exercises for women over 50 who want to live longer, healthier lives.
I’m sure you’ve heard about pickleball’s popularity. This entertaining paddle sport combines aspects of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong, making it ideal for anyone looking to combine cardiovascular exercise with social engagement. Pickleball not only keeps you active, but studies indicates it might also improve your mental health.
According to MacPherson, pickleball is one of the games that is growing the quickest right now, particularly among older people. “It’s the ideal sport for seniors because it combines social interaction with physical activity, which is harder to find as you get older. Pickleball can serve as a social outlet while reducing the risk of conditions like dementia, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.
Dancing isn’t just enjoyable; research demonstrates that it’s great for mental health, cardiovascular fitness, and musculoskeletal strength. This is true whether you’re swaying to dance music or getting your groove on with Zumba.
“Dance classes are a fun way to socialize or bond with your partner (or meet someone new), while improving balance and coordination, two aspects of fitness that are crucial for aging adults,” claims MacPherson. “Falls are one of the most frequent dangers that increase with aging and are the main cause of fractures that result in diminished health and loss of independence. In addition to being a great cardiovascular workout, dancing can also help prevent diseases including dementia, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.
Combining physical activity and social interaction has a positive effect. By joining a walking group, you may get your exercise while socializing. According to a recent study, walking increases longevity and improves sleep, mental health, and longevity while lowering your chances of dementia, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
“Everyone should walk every day because it is a convenient method of exercise. Walking raises daily activity levels and benefits blood pressure, blood sugar, and mental health, resulting in overall calorie and weight balance. Walking in a class or club setting can promote socializing and motivation, two factors in older persons’ fitness regimens that shouldn’t be undervalued, according to MacPherson.
Yoga is wonderful for muscle toning and strength in addition to its well-known advantages for flexibility and mental health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the positive effects of yoga on balance, mental health, mobility, and cellular aging—all essential components of healthy aging.
Gentle yoga courses are ideal for senior citizens who struggle with more strenuous kinds of exercise or who want to incorporate more soothing and easy movement into their current exercise regimen. According to MacPherson, yoga is a low-impact workout that can improve joint health and lower the risk of falling.
Strength Training Using a Resistance Band
In-home workouts’ unsung heroes are resistance bands. They are versatile, convenient to store, and excellent for strength training. A 2022 study found that resistance bands help keep your muscles strong and effective as they age gradually and lose bulk.
According to MacPherson, “every older adult should do some form of resistance training.” “Resistance bands or fundamental strength training can both reduce and accelerate bone loss. In particular, following menopause, when shifting hormones cause reduced estrogen, which lowers bone mass, bone loss is a significant problem for elderly women. This can be avoided with resistance training.
A win-win for people over 50, water aerobics can enhance cardiovascular health, increase muscle tone, and safeguard joint health. Additionally, water exercise has been linked to a reduction in discomfort for people with arthritis.
Water aerobics is a well-known workout program for seniors since it is low-impact, good for joints, and enjoyable, according to MacPherson. It can deliver strength and cardiovascular conditioning, enhance heart health, stamina, and cognition, and guard against disease. Functional fitness and body composition have a good effect on water aerobics and both are protective against loss of independence and all-cause death.
Although it may not sound as exciting as power or speed, stability is essential for avoiding falls and retaining independence as you age. Your core strength and stability can benefit greatly from doing simple exercises like standing on one leg or utilizing a balancing board.
According to MacPherson, one of the main causes of elderly people entering nursing homes is falls. “Falls can result in serious injuries and suffering, such as hip fractures, and they are often frightening. It’s a good idea to incorporate stability and balance exercises into your program. For better balance, try yoga, tai chi, or specific programs.
Svend Press with Dumbbells
The chest and shoulder muscles can be worked with this less popular exercise. The Svend press may seem complicated at first, but once you master it, it can be essential for preserving upper-body strength.
Svend presses are a great chest exercise to include in your routine, especially after performing bench presses and flyes, according to MacPherson. When your joints, triceps, and shoulders start to tire, you can utilize it to increase the volume of your workout by strengthening the surrounding musculature and tendons. It is also joint-friendly.
Laying on a bench, grip two dumbbells in the centre of your chest to begin the workout. Dumbbells should be pressed into each other. Maintain pressure as you raise the dumbbells above your chest by extending your elbows. To keep the tension, avoid locking out, and then perform the opposite motion. For support, plant your feet firmly on the ground. three sets of 10 to 15 reps should be done.
The best exercise for building leg and glute strength is the squat. Deep squats can increase flexibility and engage several muscle groups when performed properly, keeping your lower body strong and agile.
Squatting repeatedly during the day is typical in many nations, claims MacPherson. Women in these nations have exceptional hip, spine, knee, and ankle mobility and can squat to the ground without experiencing any pain or dysfunction. Although you don’t have to squat with weights, a deep yogic squat or a straightforward bodyweight squat will help you increase your mobility and stability for a decreased risk of pain and muscle dysfunction. To begin, do a deep squat while holding on to a support like a post or doorframe.
To drop your torso toward the floor, hinge your hips and bend your knees. Maintain a high chest and the straightest back you can. If you can achieve a deep squat, try pressing your hands together and tucking your elbows inside your knees to widen your knees even further and deepen the stretch. Hold this position and take a few deep breaths before standing. For optimal results, perform three sets of 60-second holds each day.
Incline pushups are a great substitute if regular pushups are too difficult.
“Pushups help build chest, core, and arm strength, which can be lacking in women but is vital for protecting the spine, neck, and shoulders from pain and injury and improving daily functioning,” claims MacPherson. “Do a pushup while supporting your upper body against a stable, elevated surface, like a weight bench or couch. The activity will be easier the higher the incline.
Your chest should be aligned with the edge of the elevated surface as you position your hands wider than chest-width apart. Bend your elbows, which ought to be pointing diagonally behind and away from you, and slowly lower yourself toward it. Press back up after lowering yourself until your chest reaches the floor. As many reps as you can in two to three sets is what you should aim for.