It is very important to be physically active at all stages of life but maybe more so as we get older. The benefits of exercise help women slow down the aging process, reduce the chance of disease and increase longevity. In this article I will discuss the benefits of exercise for women as they get older.
Weight training increases strength. This is important because as we grow older we become weaker and are more susceptible to injury. Strength training helps build muscle tone and increases tendon and ligament strength thus reducing the chance of injury. It also helps maintain function strength such as carrying shopping bags or opening jars. Weight bearing exercises such as lunges and squats with weights help to increase bone mineral density levels. This decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
When you do resistance training, muscle tone increases and the body uses up calories to maintain and grow that muscle. This results in the burning of fat and you become a fat burning machine at rest. Cardio exercise is important to burn calories as well as to lose weight. When women use weights they tend not to bulk up because of their low levels of testosterone and instead they become more toned and shapely. There’s no need to worry about getting bulky.
After having children, many women tend to have very weak stomach muscles and core muscles. When the core muscles are weak there is more chance of back pain and back problems. By doing core exercises the stomach and back muscles can be strengthened to prevent pain and injury. Physically active women tend to experience less symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes and mood changes.
Exercising has many health benefits. The combination of weight training and cardio training increases the healthiness of the heart and cardiovascular system. This helps to reduce the chance of heart disease. Exercise also helps reduce the chance of cancer especially bowel and breast cancer. When we exercise, morphine like hormones are released that make us feel relaxed and helps in maintaining a healthy mood and fights depression. I personally believe that it is important to exercise during winter when many people fall into a mild depression due to the bad weather. Enhanced insulin sensitivity is another benefit of exercise. People who exercise tend to have stable sugar levels, which help maintain energy levels and reduce the chances of diabetes.
As women get older, levels of collagen and other connective tissues diminish. Collagen is what keeps skin tight and youthful and doing resistance training can increase these collagen levels. Exercise helps flush out the body to keep skin healthy by increasing oxygen and nutrient supply to the skin cells. This helps maintain youthful appearance and reduces acne. The appearance of cellulite can also be reduced. The higher the fat level a woman has the more apparent the cellulite. Exercise helps by reducing overall fat levels and increasing collagen levels. Try yoga and bending exercises to increase skin health and reduce the appearance of cellulite.