YOGA AND EXERCISE FOR WOMEN 50 PLUS
Knowing the benefits of Exercise from a personal and professional perspective, I continue to research articles on the topic. I was a bit dismayed to see that so many yoga and exercise programs advertised for 50 Plus, portrayed pictures of greyed hair women sitting on a fit ball, or chair bound struggling to reach their toes, more articles depicted participants walking in a circle catching soft balls to prompt motor skills. I read these articles with great interest – since at the ripe age of 51, I am now stereotyped into these images and classified as a senior citizen. So am I now expected to look, act and exercise like this?? Not NOW, not in the near FUTURE and hopefully not EVER. I don’t consider myself a senior citizen – it’s just a number, act how you feel, not what’s on your birth certificate. I feel the need to dispel this myth of what women 50plus (senior citizens?) can and can’t do!
Sure we can no longer train the same way we did in our teens, 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s, but research shows many of the exercises we did back then are now not considered unsafe anyway (for any age). We should avoid burpees, situps, crunches, star jumps, trampoline exercises, overhead weights, wide leg squats, pushing or pulling heavy objects such as tyres, ropes; a large variety of pilates classes are also unsafe for lower back and pelvic floor.
Is it possible to be the best versions of ourselves at 50 plus? Absolutely, we are just like a fine wine, we get better with time. Full Life Fitness is a community of women that are walking proof of what is possible with a little training, encouragement and self belief. Middle age does bring with it it’s fair share of challenges; kids finishing school, aging parents, martial changes, empty nesters, balancing a work life balance. There may also be injuries, medical issues, menopause, weight gain, lack of energy and of course over 50 comes a higher risk of developing a number of conditions, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancers etc which are the very reasons to maintain exercise and stay active. It is important however not to jump into just any exercise program, finding the right trainer/coach, yoga for you, that will prescribe the right exercises for YOU and your conditions. There are a lot of trainers and yoga teachers purporting to give exercise programs to women 50 plus. It really does comes down to finding someone with life experience, empathy, depth of knowledge of medical issues and also the understanding of the challenges we face.
At FLF we train clients with individual modifications to cope with any injuries/conditions. We screen every client thoroughly, then ever so gently, we find the right exercise options for you and your ability, building slowly if necessary. Whether that be Yoga, core and pelvic floor strengthening, bushwalks, cardio, weights or a combination. The difference between failure and success on our programs is your determination, consistency and realistic approach to reaching your goals.
A regular week may consist of cycling, rowing, boxing, bushwalking with packs, core strengthening, weights (including heavy ones at that), yoga, pilates, functional activities. If there is something that you can’t do, we simply modify or provide suitable alternatives. We also go on adventures together, test our fitness with weekend getaways and multi day hiking trips, travelling together on adventures forming great bonds and life long friendships. Our training methods are as much about mental health as they are physical health.
I am proud of all the ladies who train with me each and every week. In particular the Ladies in their 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s continue to amaze and inspire me. Powering along on a bushwalk, bending and stretching (as well if not better than some ladies half their age), they exude vibrant health and vitality and their zest for life is infectious.
Don’t let anyone put a label on you, regardless of size, age, sex, abilities; don’t let fear hold you back from anything. We are a community of strong capable women and you can do so much more than you first thought possible. Our mindset approach means that before you know it, you are loving that person looking back at you in the mirror, stand tall, let me push you out of your comfort zone. BELIEVE