How to Put Yourself First: A Woman Over 50’s Guide to Fitness

Woman over 50 lifts hex bar

Have you not been feeling like yourself lately? 

The world has changed in many ways over the last year. This can take a toll on our physical and mental health and make you feel different than you did before. 

Are you feeling slower? Unable to keep up with demands that you could before? The world has seemed to change to a slower pace, and maybe you’re now struggling to keep up. 

Maybe you don’t have any time left in your day for yourself. 

Have you been pushing your needs to the side to take care of others? 

What if we told you the most important investment you can make for your loved ones is actually investing in yourself? 

Our external environment can impact how we look and feel, but there are simple, yet effective changes that you can make to feel strong and in control again. 

We want you to feel confident in yourself so you can show up as the best version of you for the ones you love. 

Now is the best time to make a change. This is your guide to putting yourself first:

Physical Health 

As we age, our body changes. At 50+, we’re sure you’re no stranger to this. However, once you’ve reached that age, you may have found that some of these changes are now affecting your lifestyle. Maybe they’ve crept up on you over the years. 

Maybe now, you’re more fatigued by doing tasks that you once breezed through. You may find you aren’t strong enough to lift things or walk as long as you used to. When did this happen? And why?

This change in ability could be due to a number of conditions that women 50+ experience and should be aware of. For example, osteoporosis, sarcopenia, arthritis, and heart disease can all have an effect on how we look, feel and function. 

 
Osteoporosis

This is a condition that causes bones to become thin and lose their strength. Around 1 in 3 women will break a bone due to osteoporosis. 

Prevention factors include: light weight lifting, responsible weight loss, and a diet that includes calcium

Sarcopenia 

This is a condition that can occur as we age—it’s a progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass in the body which can cause weakness, physical disability, and poor quality of life and death. 

Prevention factors include: regular physical activity, nutrient-dense diet 

Arthritis 

This condition involves the swelling or tenderness of joints. This can cause pain and stiffness which can worsen as we age. Causes include genetics and injury. 

Treatment factors include: regular exercise, specialized mobility programs, joint strengthening movements

 

Read More: Improve Your Strength To Avoid Crippling Falls 

We want to bring attention to these conditions not to scare you, but make you aware of how important it is to take care of yourself—to put your physical health first. Even having to deal with one of these conditions can be debilitating. They may prevent you from enjoying the things you love and taking care of those you love. 

These conditions become more common as we age, but that doesn’t mean that we are helpless. Instead of fighting our bodies, we can create a partnership where we support it with what it needs. 

The common factor in treating and preventing these age-related conditions are all linked to physical exercise. 

Keeping those conditions in mind, it’s also important that you don’t just jump into any exercise plan. You can’t just jump into a 4-5 day a week gym rush that you maybe once tried in your 20’s and 30’s. That may cause injury and prevent you from moving all together. 

Here’s what you can do to put your physical health first:

  • Find a program that wants you to achieve your goals 

    At Movimento, we start your fitness journey with a conversation. We want to know what your goals are—not necessarily your weight loss goals or goals in the gym, but what you want to accomplish outside of the gym. Do you struggle with lifting those groceries onto your counter? Are you falling behind on family walks? 

    We can help you reach those milestones. In our gym, every movement is an effort toward getting you to reach your goals. 

Read More: 8 Exercises To Get The Body You Want

  • Find a program that works with your ability level. 

    Like we said, it can be easy to get excited and rush into things. But that may cause injury. With our programs, we work with your ability level on a day-to-day basis. 

    If you have an injury or are working with pre-existing conditions, we can work with that and still provide you a strength training program to lessen those aches and pains. We know your body will change from week to week depending on your activity and energy level. We work with you to make sure you still get the best workout you can. 

    For us, it’s not about what you can’t do. It’s about what you have the ability to do today. 
  • Find a program that takes your safety as the #1 priority. 

    You may have experienced this before: you sign up for a gym membership, they tour you around, and that’s it. There is no follow up. No checking in to see if you need help during your workout. You’re on your own. 

    That’s not us. We’re here with you every step of the way (at a safe distance of course). We provide private and semi-private personal training sessions in an inclusive and comforting studio space. We have designed our schedule so that a trainer is there with you for your whole session to show you how to safely work out to the best of your ability. 

    We design your programs with your safety in mind every time. 

Mental Health

In the past few years, the conversation about mental health has been shifting. No longer are we told to “man up” and “get over it!’ We know how important it is to keep our mental health in check in order to see positive changes in other aspects of our life. 

Many women put the needs and health of their family first, so they feel they don’t have time to take care of themselves. But just like physical health, you cannot be a positive influence on your family unless you look after yourself first. 

In our gym community, we see members with amazing attitudes, but we know that starts outside the gym. It starts with you. 

  • Check in with yourself 

    We have so much going on in our lives that it’s easy to forget to take care of ourselves. You can change this by starting with a daily check in. At the beginning of each morning, take 5 minutes (while you sip your coffee) to close your eyes and ask “How am I doing?” and “How am I feeling?” 

    You might be surprised with the answer you get.

Read More: Stress and Weight Gain

  • Find a new reason why

    Maybe you know you need to go to the gym because you’re uncomfortable about the way that you look. Maybe you want to go because that’s what you think is expected of you. 

    You won’t start making positive changes unless you really want it. 

    So what is your “why?” 

    And this doesn’t strictly have to be about the gym. This can be about any positive change you want to see. 
  • Finding value within yourself 

    Society puts a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way. Regardless of the body-positive ads, we see today, we can still feel that underlying ask to “just be a little thinner.” This can cause a lot of negative self-talk and create a barrier of motivation to do anything at all. 

    We want you to know that we don’t care what society considers as a “nice-looking” body. We care about you! We care about you being healthy—no matter what that looks like. 

    Because you have value. 

    Maybe you see your value in what you do for others. But we see it in you.
  • Find a community to support you 

    Especially after a time in isolation, it’s important to have a community (physical and online) that supports you—through the good times and the bad. 

    We host weekly mindset meetings with our community members to check-in. We know that it takes more than a motivational poster on the wall to make your mindset shift, so we facilitate conversations to dig deeper. What is motivating you this week? What are your struggles this week? Why do you work out? Who do you workout for? 

    Through this mindset conversation between our trainers and other community members, we will find ways to boost you up so you can keep working towards being the best version of yourself in and outside the gym. 

    Both in the gym and in the real world, we foster an environment for you to grow. 

Read More: Celebrating Our Members For International Women’s Day

Nutrition 

We’re sure you’ve heard it before: TRY THIS NEW DIET TO LOSE WEIGHT! 

Maybe you did try it. Maybe you lost 10 pounds, but as soon as you fell off the diet wagon you gained back 20. 

We want you to eat the foods you love. We don’t think that eating “bad” foods makes you a bad person. 

What we believe in is balance. 

We think you should be able to eat those foods you and your family love, but we also believe there are ways to balance it out with healthier options. 

Read More: 3 Comfort Food Recipes with a Healthy Twist 

We won’t recommend any one diet, because nutrition isn’t a one-size-fits-all program. It’s about what works for you and your family. Having good nutrition is about using each meal as an opportunity.  

  • What “Healthy Food” means 

    When we talk about making healthy choices at meal-time, we’re not talking about one particular food or another. What we’re talking about choosing more nutrient-dense foods. 

    Here’s how the National Cancer Institute defines nutrient-dense food: 

    “Food that is high in nutrients but relatively low in calories. Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Examples of nutrient-dense foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk products, seafood, lean meats, eggs, peas, beans, and nuts.

    It’s not about eliminating food groups, only eating plan chicken with broccoli, or never having the things you love to eat! We teach whole food nutrition that simply incorporates more nutrient-dense foods into your meals throughout the day. 
  • Food is fuel – the mindset shift 

    We don’t expect you to do a full food 180 when you start with us. But we do want to change your mind about how you look at what you eat. 

    With a busy family life, it may feel like you’re struggling just to figure out what to cook, if you have time to cook at all. But we want to shift your mindset about this. 

    The food you eat is fuel for all the great things you do. 
  • Awareness over restriction 

    We see it all the time. Clients will work their butt off in the gym (sometimes they work out every day between sessions at our studio and other activities), and yet they won’t lose a pound. The question is always: What are you eating? 

    A lot of the time people think they eat relatively healthy, but they’ve never kept track. Getting your nutrition in check all starts with awareness. 

    Write down what you eat in a week. That includes breakfast, lunch, dinner—but don’t forget to add your snacks too. You might be eating great nutrient-dense meals, but eating empty calories for your midnight snack. That could be the culprit as to why you can’t lose weight. Or not. We won’t know until we can take a review of what you’re eating. 

    When our members fill out their food journals, we provide non-judgemental feedback on what they’ve had to eat the previous week. Instead of guilting you about the bad meals, we show you the opportunities where you can make easy adjustments to your normal meal routines. 

Putting It All Together

Okay, so you’ve read the guide.

We’re so proud of you for taking the first step. Even thinking about putting yourself first through taking care of your mental and physical health is a big step in a forward direction. 

You know it’s time for a change. So, now what? 

We can help you from here. Let’s get started.

Like we said before, the first real step is finding out where you want to be. We treat your fitness journey as exactly thata journey. We care more about the work you’re putting in rather than the ultimate destination. While we celebrate each milestone you hit along the way, we want your relationship with fitness to be lifelong. 

Here’s what we offer to help you build that life-long relationship with fitness:

  • Customized strength training programs that fit your ability 
  • 1:1 and semi-private sessions to offer all the help you need through your sessions 
  • Nutrition accountability through food journaling, weekly meetings, and nutrition feedback and support 
  • A positive, non-judgmental environment for you to grow
  • A community of others, just like you, who are looking to focus on their fitness for the health benefits 

If you’re ready to make a change, we’re here for you. We want to get to know you and see how we can help you achieve your goals. 

Book a consultation call with us today!