My friend, I’m so happy to join you on your fitness journey. In the years I’ve been working as a weight loss and fitness coach and creating workout videos for women over 50 I’ve learned that there are three common exercise mistakes that menopausal women make. Here they are:
Menopause Exercise Mistake #1: Not Giving Yourself Credit for Physical Therapy
Got a tricky shoulder, or bad knees? Do your physical therapy exercises and call it a day! Women tell me all the time that they think they have to do a “real workout” every day in addition to doing physical therapy, but this is definitely not true.
Physical therapy exercises are specifically designed to re-train faulty movement patterns, so exercising with other workouts before you’ve cemented those good muscular habits can actually perpetuate your injury and make healing more difficult.
Give yourself credit for physical therapy. No matter how “easy” or “gentle” it may seem, and even if it only takes you a few minutes to work through your prescribed stretching and exercises — it counts as a workout.
I advise women over 50 to do moderate exercise every day, but the last thing I want you to do is injure yourself further or make it harder to heal from an injury.
Menopause Exercise Mistake #2: Exercising Too Much
Yes, you can actually exercise too much and too hard — especially after menopause! I’ve talked about this in a few other over 50 workout blogs: putting your body under the constant stress of strenuous exercise can make it more difficult to lose weight (if that’s your goal), and it may also make it harder to stick with a regular fitness routine.
The fact is, you’re still capable of doing hard workouts, but your menopausal body takes longer to recover than it used to. This means you need to prioritize rest and recovery in ways that you didn’t need to in your 20s, 30s and 40s.
If weight loss is your goal, daily moderate exercise (where the recovery is built in, because you’re always working gently) will regulate your blood sugar and moods and give you the consistent energy output that’s conducive to losing weight. If building muscle is more your jam, you can still hit the dumbbells pretty hard… but just once a week or less, and then it’s time to take a day (or two!) of recovery.
A regular, consistent exercise routine (and remember — physical therapy counts, too!) that includes the right amount of recovery for your menopausal body is your best bet for losing weight, getting in shape, building muscle and meeting any other long-term fitness goal.
Menopause Exercise Mistake #3: Skipping Balance Work
You know I love me some cardio — it’s sweaty, it’s fun and it’s crucial to include in your fitness routine to protect your heart health. However, if you’re ONLY doing cardio and maybe some strength training, without doing balance work, then you’re making a menopause exercise mistake.
A well-rounded fitness routine for women over 50 needs to include cardio, strength, and balance exercises. For many women, balance significantly decreases after your mid-fifties, but that doesn’t mean you can’t and shouldn’t work on it.
Even short intervals of balance practice done regularly can dramatically improve your stability and decrease your risk of falls. In fact, being able to balance on one foot for longer than ten seconds has been linked to a longer lifespan.
Wanna learn more about common mistakes women make after menopause? Incorporating these tips can keep you healthy, fit and independent for many years to come!
And if you’d like some friendly accountability along with a proven mindset management program to reach your weight loss and fitness goals at any age, come and join my online coaching program.