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Ladies, Don't Let Your Bones And Muscles Waste Away!

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Ladies, take care of your bodies and don't let your bones and muscles waste away as you move through the decades of your life! Below, you will find some general fitness guidelines to follow:

Ages 18-35

Your #1 goal during this stage of life is to achieve peak bone mass. One good way to do this is to include high-impact exercises in your program, such as jumping rope, running, high-impact aerobic dance, basketball, volleyball, soccer and gymnastics. Also important, are high-intensity weightlifting with free weights or dumbbells.

Ages 35-50

Primary goals in this age group are to maintain bone mass and improve coordination and balance. MENOPAUSE ALSO BECOMES AN ISSUE. According to information in About.com, menopause isn't the only cause of middle-age spread. Other factors include reduced activity, decreased metabolism, increased calorie intake and genetics. THE SIMPLEST WAY TO EASE INTO MENOPAUSE IS TO EXERCISE, ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE. Exercise helps ease symptoms, maintain bone mass and improve balance among other benefits.

Ages 50+ and post-menopausal

Follow the same guidelines for ages 35-50. If you have osteoporosis, get medical approval for your exercise choices and follow these general guidelines to protect your spine and avoid falls: 1) avoid impact exercise, 2) avoid spinal flexion (bending forward) and spinal rotations (twisting the torso), 3) Discontinue (or get medical approval) for jarring sports such as bowling, tennis and basketball and 4) use lighter weights during resistance training and work your way up to more challenging training.

Ages 70+

Balance exercises are critical for this age group. Continue to follow the same guidelines as the 50+ age group in order to protect your spine.

It doesn't matter if you're 40 years old or 75 years old. If you don't build muscle, you'll lose muscle. Exercise and fitness will help you to increase the range of movement, increase lean muscle, strengthen bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, improve your ability to do everyday activities, improve health, help prevent accidents, injuries, and sickness, and speed up rehabilitation.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.