Regardless of age, regular exercise is vital to maintain optimal health. Read on to learn about the ways physical activity affects women’s health differently throughout all the stages of life.
In the teen years, It’s important to engage in physical activities that are enjoyable and that boost self-esteem. While both genders experience anxiety disorders, girls are disproportionately affected during this time of life, and exercise should focus on wellness rather than weight loss.
This is a time for personal development and professional growth, including completing a degree or realizing career goals, making it challenging to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet. Try developing a lifelong habit of regular exercise to promote healthy behaviors to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life.
Because bone mass peaks around age 30, women should engage in physical activity that promotes building their bones, such as stair climbing and resistance training. In addition, it’s important to increase the load of workouts to improve muscular fitness and in turn, bone health.
Beginning around age 40, muscle mass begins to decline. This decreases functional capabilities and accelerates muscle imbalance. Resistance training involving free weights, weight machines or your own body weight can help prevent further loss of muscle and build muscle strength.
After menopause, the risk of cardiovascular disease increases for women and is believed to be caused by decreasing estrogen levels. Exercise during this decade not only protects you from heart disease but can also help alleviate menopausal symptoms.
As we age, systems helping us maintain balance decline in function, increasing the risk of falls. In addition, reaction time slows, making it harder to catch ourselves when we stumble. Therefore, incorporating balance training into your physical activity can help you to reduce your risk of falling.
Your 70s, 80s, and Beyond
Functional capacity for daily activities typically begins in this stage. Even if you haven’t exercised regularly over the years, it can still be highly beneficial to start. Engage in exercise that incorporates movement patterns simulating daily activities in order to slow the decline of functional abilities.
At Downtown Fitness, we believe that no matter what stage of life you’re in, making exercise a priority will positively impact your health and quality of life. Visit us at 1599 Main Street in Sarasota or call us at 941-260-3910 to learn more about the exercises most appropriate for your stage of life.