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    Exercise for a Long and Healthy Life

    It is really easy to ignore a lot of the fantastic evidence around the benefits of exercise for health – if you hate exercise! However if you are a woman in your 40’s and 50’s exercise really is something that needs to be in your life in as many forms as possible to help you enjoy a fuller older age with less hospital visits, disease and medication.

    I work with my clients to slowly but surely help them to find exercises that they love which can be habit stacked into becoming part of their weekly and then often daily routines. Within weeks of working with me, my clients have often completely shifted their mindset around their blocks to exercise.

    The Indisputable Benefits of Exercise:

    Scientific evidence overwhelmingly points to the benefits of regular physical activity for a longer, healthier life. Studies have shown that exercise can:

    • Reduce the risk of chronic diseases: Exercise helps prevent or manage conditions like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and dementia.
    • Strengthen bones and muscles: Regular physical activity helps maintain bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially important as we age. It also builds muscle mass, which improves metabolism, mobility, and balance.
    • Boost mental health: Exercise is a potent tool for managing stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also improve cognitive function and memory, particularly in older adults.
    • Promote better sleep: Regular physical activity can help regulate sleep patterns, leading to deeper, more restful sleep.
    • Increase overall well-being: Exercise enhances vitality, energy levels, and mood, contributing to a higher quality of life.

    I help you find the exercises that you can stick to and even enjoy:

    As we get to our midlife, exercise is the most powerful drug to help us master longevity and most importantly HEALTHSPAN. Healthspan is the amount of time that we will live in good health. There is no point living to 100 years of age – but spending 20 of those years imobile or with memory loss being kept alive in a nursing home on medication.

    I want my clients still walking up hills and travelling independently into their 80’s and possibly even beyond. So – what is the best exercise to achieve the most wonderful healthspan?

    The “best” exercise for longevity isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s about finding activities you enjoy and can stick with long-term. However to be incorporating a mixture of the following is where you ideally need to be to keep your best potential health.

    • Cardio: 

      Zone 2 training is wonderful for longevity. This is cardiovascular exercise like jogging, sitting on an indoor bike, swimming, or brisk walking. Zone 2 training is about raising your heart rate more than you would on a walk, and keeping it there steadily for around 45 minutes. This can be pleasurable if you start to do it regularly and also relaxing. I tend to do this on my Watt Bike a 3 times a week and it could be done watching the TV, listening to music or a podcast.

      HITT – High Intensity Interval Training is also really beneficial for increasing telomerase’s replenishing action and keeping our body cells healthy. This is short bursts or heart pounding activity alternated with periods of recovery.
    • Strength training: Include exercises that target all major muscle groups at least twice a week. Bodyweight exercises, free weights, or resistance bands are all great options.
    • Flexibility and balance: Activities like yoga, Pilates, or tai chi improve flexibility, balance, and posture, reducing the risk of falls and injuries – and of course these are also great for relaxation too.

    Women in Perimenopause and Menopause: Building Strength, Embracing Change:

    For women in the peri-menopause and menopause years, specific considerations come into play when optimizing exercise for longevity. Hormonal changes during this stage can lead to decreased bone density and muscle mass, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and sarcopenia. Strength training becomes even more crucial to counteract these effects and maintain strength and independence.

    Here are some of the ways that I work with my female clients:

    • We start small and gradually increase intensity and duration. I choose exercises you can comfortably perform, and slowly progress to avoid injuries.
    • I focus on compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at once, like squats, lunges, push-ups, rows, and overhead presses.
    • I teach my midlife ladies to not be afraid of weights! Lifting weights, even light weights, is essential for building and maintaining muscle mass and bone density.
    • In sessions we balance strength training with other activities. Include cardio, flexibility, and balance exercises for a well-rounded fitness routine.
    • We listen to your body. I encourage you to take rest days when you need them, and modify exercises if necessary to avoid pain or discomfort.

    Remember, consistency is key. Even small amounts of regular exercise can make a significant difference in your overall health and longevity.

    Beyond the Gym: Embracing Movement in Daily Life:

    Exercise doesn’t have to be confined to the gym. Incorporating movement into your daily routine is a great way to stay active and boost your overall fitness. Here are some ideas:

    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
    • Park further away and walk to your destination.
    • Do household chores with vigor, like gardening or cleaning.
    • Take active breaks throughout the day, like stretching or quick walks.
    • Find ways to make exercise fun, like dancing, playing sports, or joining group fitness classes.

    Making Exercise a Habit:

    The key to reaping the long-term benefits of exercise is making it a consistent part of your life. Here are some tips for staying motivated:

    • Set realistic goals and track your progress.
    • Find an exercise buddy or join a group fitness class for support and accountability.
    • Reward yourself for reaching milestones.
    • Make exercise enjoyable! Choose activities you truly enjoy.
    • Remember, even small amounts of activity are better than none.

    Exercise is not just about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years.

    By incorporating regular physical activity into your routine, you will improve your physical and mental health, build strength and resilience, and enjoy a longer, more vibrant life.

    I want you to live your best life and embrace your exciting midlife years and beyond. I can help you to do this – so please lets have a chat and see if you think working with me is worth a try?

    Or fill out the form below for any questions or further details……