Did you know that as women reach the age of 30, their muscles and tissues lose up to 5%? And it does not end here. In fact, this percentage increases every decade and much more after the age of 65!
Well, aging is inevitable. But, aging gracefully is not. And one of the best ways to do to age well is to actually live a healthy lifestyle.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle Through Strength Training
Having a healthy lifestyle seems so easy to do. But as it happens, this is a very challenging thing to do on a daily basis. From maintaining clean eating habits all the way to following strict exercise routines, it can be a real challenge for some. Nevertheless, doing these things slow down the process of aging.
Although there can be a lot of ways to live a healthy lifestyle as you age, the real miracle of aging gracefully lies in strength training.
Gone are the days when strength training is only designed for bodybuilders. As a matter of fact, strength training has become a very crucial matter for everyone to do since it provides a lot of physical and mental benefits.
There are many strength training benefits is that it can speed up your metabolism. It will be much easier for you to lose weight, tone your muscles, and decrease the risks of different diseases that are bound to happen as women get older.
So, are you ready to age gracefully?
Certainly, you will want to hop on strength training right away. But, do you know the moves?
Don’t fret yet!
Here are the 6 best strength training exercises for women over 50:
Don’t let the fact that you don’t have equipment stop you. If you are a beginner who is strength training at home or at a gym, you can improvise. Instead of weights use two full water bottles to get started.
- Bird Dog
The Bird Dog is also known as the Quadruped. It is one of the most basic strength training moves. Also, this routine targets your core and your back. And this is essential when you are establishing core stability.
All you need to do is to place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Once you are already stable in your position, place your abs back in your spine and make sure you are firm to the ground.
Next, raise your right arm forward as you straightened out your left leg backward. Make sure that you engage the muscles in your legs and lower hips.
Stay in this position for 3 to 5 seconds and bring back your arms and legs to the original position. Repeat the steps on the other side. Do this for 10 repetitions.
- Squat to Chair
The Squat to Chair move is designed to strengthen the bones and the muscles in your pelvis. This is a very beneficial exercise because if you want to strengthen and improve your bone density, the best way to do it is to strengthen your lower body.
The first thing you need to do is to place a chair behind you then, stand firmly on the ground with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your arms forward and make sure that it is parallel to the ground.
Gradually, bent your knees and reach your hips back as if you are sitting down. Make sure that you don’t touch the chair. Stay in this position for 3 seconds then get back to your standing position.
Do this for 8 to 10 repetitions.
- Bent Over Row
Similar to the Squat to Chair move, the Bent Over Row move is also designed to strengthen bones and your muscles. However, this one has got something to with gravity.
In doing this move, you will need a pair of 8 to 15 pounds of dumbbells. All you need to do is to stand behind a chair while you hold the dumbbells. Slowly fold forward and place your forehead on top of the chair.
Place your arms downward with your palms and dumbbells facing each other. Gradually, pull the weight in one arm next to the other. Do this simultaneously and aim for 15 repetitions.
- Forearm Plank
Plank is one of the most popular moves to strengthen the core. In fact, this move is considered to be the most effective strength training move since it affects almost all of the muscle groups in your core.
In order for you to do this, begin with your body lying flat on the ground. Ensure that your shoulders and arms are aligned with each other.
Next, engage your core and slowly rise up with your forearms firmly supporting your core on the ground. Make sure that your body is straightly aligned from head to toe. Stay in this position for 30 seconds or more and ensure that you don’t drop your hips.
Try to do 3 repetitions.
- Basic Ab
Just like the plank, the basic ab move is a great way to strengthen your core and your abs, hence, the name.
All you need to do is to lie down on the ground as you bend your knees allowing your position to be in 90-degrees form. Place your palms on your legs. Slowly, rise up while leaving your hips firmly on the ground.
Engage your core as you rise and don’t stop until your hands reach your knees. Stay in this position for 2 to 3 seconds before you go back to your original position.
- Tricep Kickback
As you age, you will notice that your upper arms would start to sag. Although this is very apparent to most women today, this is very workable. And you can actually combat this by doing the Tricep Kickback move.
In doing this routine, you will need dumbbells. And it is very recommendable that you start with lighter weights.
The first thing that you need to do is to stand on your feet hip-distance apart. Putting all the force in your abdominals, slowly bend your knees and go into a slight squat position. As you do this, bend your arms with your palms, along with the dumbbells, reaching your chest. Make sure that your arms have a 90-degree angle.
Once you are in this position, slowly straighten your arms back and below your hips as you engage your triceps. Next, pull your arms and dumbbells up going back to your original position.
Do this for 3 sets having 25 repetitions for each set.
Strength training is very beneficial. For women over 50, however, there may be a few things that must be considered first. Keep in mind that your body does not function the way it used to when you were young.
So, here are the things you must consider before getting started:
- Always consult your physician or physical therapist to find out if strength training is appropriate for your current condition.
- The “no pain no gain” belief is not applicable. If it hurts, then stop.
- Hydrate yourself, all the time with water.
- Always do warm-ups.
If you are given the go, then start your strength training routine at home or at a gym and enjoy the wonders that it can do to your body!
You may also enjoy: The 7 Best Online Exercise Programs for Women Over 50
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What strength training exercises do you do? Please leave a comment below.