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The 3 Biggest Fitness Mistakes Women Make in Their 50’s

We know that you try your best with your fitness. Maybe you’ve dabbled in dieting or hit the gym before, but nothing has really stuck. Or maybe you hit a wall after losing some initial weight. 

Every step you make is a step in the right direction if your goal is to live a more active life. But there are mental and physical actions that you may be doing that are preventing you from progressing in your fitness journey. These roadblocks may be obvious, but they can stop many in their tracks. 

Here are the top three fitness mistakes women in their 50s make:

–> #1 Believing Weight Gain is Inevitable

While it’s true that our bodies naturally will lose muscle mass and our metabolism slows down as we age, that doesn’t mean you need to let your weight control your life. 

Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle as we age, can be prevented by making adjustments to your lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise routines. Some of those changes may include the following: 

  • Participate in a strength training program 2-3 times per week such as the programs we offer at Movimento. This will build your muscles up, protecting your bones and decreasing the adverse effects of sarcopenia 
  • Add more healthy proteins to your diet to provide the fuel your body needs to repair and rebuild muscle groups that were stressed during a workout
  • Reduce your stress levels

Weight gain is only inevitable if we believe that it is—if we do nothing to fight it. 

Even before you look into making these changes, slow down a minute. Check-in with yourself and your body. What are you doing to feel better and to live better? What does your body need? What is your body telling you? 

–> #2 Ignoring Heart Health

Because women often assume the role of caretaker for everyone else in their life, they often put their own health on the back burner. We know you care about your family and want to make sure that they are safe, happy, and healthy. But you won’t be able to do that if you neglect your own health. By neglecting yourself, you actually can put a larger burden on your family, as they may have to take care of you if your health starts to decline. 

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States? It’s also the number 2 killer for Canadian women (second only to cancer). 

The reason heart disease ranks so high as a cause of death among women is a result of many factors including hormone production, lifestyle, and stress levels. 

The hormone centres of our brains send out important signals to our body in order to prepare us for internal and external battles. Whether that is childbirth or preparing for a stressful day, our body works in overdrive to make sure we stay alive. But if we are constantly up-in-arms 24/7 our bodies cannot rest and repair. Being switched “on” all the time can cause huge stress on the muscles, organs, and tissues of the body which may be detrimental to our health, including our heart health. 

To reduce your risk of heart disease, the Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends getting regular physical activity. Creating an active lifestyle can reduce your risk factors (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity) for heart disease and help your body regulate stress hormones better so when it’s time for you to rest, your body listens. 

–> #3 Not Working With Your Body During Menopause

We can spend a lot of energy resisting. 

We think it’s easier to say no to a strength training program or a lifestyle change than it will be to get out of bed and get ourselves to the gym. But that may not be the truth. 

Usually, it takes more energy to resist our bodies than it takes to accept new ideas and changes in our life. How much energy are you spending saying no to new ideas? How much energy are you spending battling your own body. 

During the process of menopause, we may notice changes in our body that make it become unfamiliar territory. Maybe it’s hot flashes, fatigue, weight gain, and loss of sleep. We wrack our brains and agonize over “why is my body doing this to me?!” 

Your body is not your enemy. 

Your body is your partner. It’s what carries you through life. 

Stop resisting your body and look for ways to support it—be kind to yourself. Your body doesn’t function the way it does in your 20’s or 30’s but that doesn’t mean something is “wrong with it.” You just need to find new ways to support it, to make it strong, and build it up so it can help you achieve your goals. 

This shift in negative feelings toward your body will allow a movement in energy to positive change. 

Move the focus from what your body can’t do anymore to what it CAN do right now. 

When we build our programs, we always focus on movements our members CAN make today. If jumping jacks aren’t available to them right now, we show them lower impact movements so they can build towards new movement goals. 

Think about your fitness goals. If you say no and resist because of your body’s limitations, will you be able to achieve them? 

It’s about saying yes to what you can do today! 

Chat with us about your fitness goals, at any stage of your life! We focus on fitness and nutrition programs that work with your lifestyle right now so you can move toward the lifestyle that you want! 

Our 6 Week Stronger For Longer Program is the perfect place to start… click here to learn more!