26 May 2024

How can I stay fitter & stronger as I age??


I know I have talked about these subjects a lot, but a few ladies fed back to me when I asked what they wanted to see in my newsletters.

So I thought I would take a new approach to talking about fitness & strength as we age.

In the ideal world we would all be able to fit in 4 or 5 fitness/strength sessions a week, eat lots of exciting healthy meals full of nutrients.

However, in reality,   ha – maybe fit in 1 or a max of 2 exercise sessions a week & grab food on the go as you get the kids ready for school or you have to catch a train or get into the office.

I think you will agree your life probably is much more based on juggling family and work life.  So, lets look at the more realistic lifestyle and think about HOW you can keep moving & WHAT you can do to eat heathier around kids, parents & work.

WHY – is it important as we age to move more/do exercise or lift weights?  Basically, the short & sweet of it is, we have reduced hormones which once supported out heart, bones & muscles.  We now need to do a lot more if we want to avoid breaking bones as we get older, feel more frail and prone to falling & we want to avoid heart attacks.

I don’t want to scare you, but your heart is a muscle & our muscle mass declines from mid 30’s onwards, then dramatically from post menopause.  So you honestly do need to get motivated to move your body more.  Muscles protect the bones – if you fall & break a bone it can have a detrimental affect mentally & physically.

I am not saying you have to start running or a fitness class aged 60, but I am saying you need to look at how you can make yourself get more active, move more, prevent stiffness, injury & ill health.

HOW to include movement/exercise into YOUR life

I want you to sit down (yes a contradictory term at this present moment!) & I want you to write down WHAT movement you have done these past few weeks.  Have you done any of the following:

  • Walked somewhere for more than 20 mins?
  • Been to classes or gone for a run/cycle
  • Spent a few hours gardening?
  • Walked up and down the stairs a number of times in the space of an hour (getting kids up? Taking things upstairs)
  • How long you sit without getting up (roughly) & how many times in the week?
  • How many times did you get out of breath & for how long?

A. For the NON exercise peeps

Maybe you don’t want to or don’t like to exercise??? This is for you.  If you are coming up to your peri-menopausal years or are through the menopause, you really should start to incorporate plenty of movement in your day

Notice I talk about MOVEMENT – it is as important as going to a class or doing ‘exercise’ as we age.  Think about an old door beginning to creak when moved – our bodies begin to creak when we don’t move out muscles enough!

What does your list look like?

You can see that making a point of going up & down the stairs many times in a day is really good to incorporate in your day.  So make a point of doing it whether you need to or not!

Gardening can be really physical – I’ve a new allotment & having to drag bags of chunky clay soil/weeds back home with me & you know what 10 – 15 mins of that is definitely a workout.

What I am getting to here is that you can incorporate everyday tasks – Movement tasks into your life & you need to.  It can wake you up when feeling low on energy, it can make you feel better – especially the getting outdoors.

IF you notice that you are sitting down a lot – maybe you work from home and hardly get up, then this really DOES need to be changed. You need to make a point of moving at any point in between your meetings.

For those who sit a lot:
  • Do a few arms & legs moves in all directions (ie dance like no one is watching type dance) for 1 minute or every time you get out of an online meeting.
  • Make an excuse you need to go to the bathroom – you are allowed to excuse yourself, so blinkin well DO – then in your bathroom or another room MOVE/DANCE/ MOBILISE.
  • If you just sit a lot reading or watching TV or your phone – again move go up & downstairs 6x. Put your phone down and move the arms & legs.

It is only YOU who is stopping yourself from moving & going forwards, without scaring you, you really DO HAVE TO MOVE MORE.  Maybe you can think of things you like to do – a few minutes here & there, so make yourself do it at different times in the day.

B. For the exercisers

Do you love exercising & get a buzz from running/body pump/spin – great, keep it going

Or do you like it in fits & starts.  You go full on out for a month or 2 & then get injured or ill & find it hard to get back into your routine?

Or are you someone who wants to exercise but finds it really hard to allow yourself to get out & do it. Or you need to turn up to someone who is expecting you, you aren’t motivated to exercise at home or just go to the gym?

As with non exercisers – we can all make excuses for not moving/exercising.

So for those who are motivated and can workout at home but are restricted by time:

  • Know that you can do a really good session in 15 mins – warm up, cool down & weights or cardio session. You don’t need 30 -60 mins. (look at my online membership where I have lots of quick workouts)
  • look at your diary each Sunday night & see WHERE in the week ahead you can fit in your exercise – whether it is a class or run but put it in your diary for that week.  Make it an appointment for you that you can’t miss.  Knowing you have it coming up will make you more motivated to do it.
  • accept that maybe the coming week is a really busy one so you will just make sure you move as much as you can and then say you will do a work out or class or run at the weekend.
  • Or IF you really want to exercise but time is not on your side – accept that you may just have to get up 10 or 15 mins early and go in the garden/downstairs/local park to do the workout or run.

Examples of workouts

TO finish here are a few workouts you can try which will take you very little time.  You can make them harder by adding dumbbells:

  1. 1 minute of Bodyweight squats, press ups, lunges, triceps dips, band rows or hands and knees dumbbell rows – do 2 or 3 sets
  2. Add in cardio or do on another day: 20 – 30 seconds as fast as you can followed by 10-20 sec recovery & do them for 2 – 5 mins (obviously choose ones that your body can manage and are pelvic floor safe).  Choose 1 or 2 or 3 exercises & alternate between them:  burpees, step ups, skipping, lunge jumps, sprint on the spot, squat to press, squat gallop 2 steps to the side squat then back, mountain climbers.

As with all exercises – focus on nice deep exhales to keep movement in the pelvic floor so you don’t just grip & hold on.

Still not sure which fitness class is for you?

Are you a woman who has pelvic girdle pain? Do you have pelvic floor issues? Have you had a C-section, episiotomy or tears? Do you have a Diastasis Recti or weak deep abdominals? Are you peri – menopausal? Do you want to get fit in a safe environment? I can help, get in touch to find out more.


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