We experience change in many ways as women over 50 and over 60. We look different. We feel different. We might live in a different area of our state, our region, our country, or even internationally. Our family might look different. At a minimum, our children are no longer children, and in fact, we may be grand parents.
One inevitable change that we all experience is the slowing of our metabolism. Why does this happen? What difference does it make?
The good news, though, is that we CAN do something about that. And we want to pay attention to the things we can do to keep the metabolism going strong. How? You can keep your metabolism strong and healthy past the age of 50 with some simple lifestyle changes and targeted exercises.
In this post, we’ll discuss how slowing metabolism affects us, what metabolic exercise means, why it’s so important to pay attention to what we’re doing every day, how to increase your metabolism, plus some essential tips on how you can stay fit after fifty. Oh, and of course, lots more about the best metabolic exercises for over 50…and 60…and beyond!
The short definition of metabolic training is: compound exercises with little rest in between in an effort to maximize calorie burn and increase metabolic rate during and after the workout.military.com
Why Does Our Metabolism Start to Slow Down as We Get Older?
Our resting metabolic rate (RMR) decreases as we age. The easy-to-understand result of this? We’re burning fewer calories at rest than when we were younger. Darn.
Couple that fact with the loss of muscle mass and our tendency to become less active as we get older and, poof! Among other things, we gain fat, particularly around the belly.
How much muscle mass do we lose as we age?
We lose about one pound of muscle with each passing decade. So if you’re in your twenties, by the time you hit forty, you’ve lost four pounds of muscle and will have to work that much harder to stay as strong and healthy as before!
A lot people think it’s just because they don’t exercise but that is only part of the problem. Exercise is key to boosting your metabolism, building muscle, and staying healthy past fifty, but what you eat also plays a huge part in this too. So let’s talk about our diet for a moment.
What foods can we eat that will help maintain or increase metabolism?
It’s important that we maintain a balanced diet full of fresh vegetables, beans and lentils, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, with no more than two servings of red meat per week.
Is protein an important part of our diet to keep metabolism strong?
Protein is an important part of our diet, as it helps to preserve and increase muscle mass. Protein also has a higher thermic effect than carbs or fat so you’ll burn more calories digesting protein vs other nutrients. Healthy sources include beans, lentils, eggs (especially the whites), poultry, and fish.
Why should we keep red meat at a minimum as we age?
Red meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol, both of which can contribute to heart disease. But that’s not all. Red meat also contains a compound called carnitine. Carnitine converts fatty acids into energy but when you have too much it actually begins breaking down muscle cells. That is just the opposite of what we are working to achieve.
Other foods and beverages that will help keep our metabolism working well include fresh fruit like blueberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon.
Quick tip: add fresh lemon juice or a slice of lemon to your ice water for a metabolism-boosting drink.
Here are good fats to include in your diet:
- fats that come from whole foods and are not highly heated or processed.
- pasture fed and finished animals
- olives, coconuts and free range eggs
- raw nuts and seeds
- wild salmon
- organic yogurt
- coconut oil and coconut meat
- chia, flax, hemp
What are Metabolic Exercises?
A metabolic exercise is a type of aerobic activity that requires you to work at an intensity where your heart rate stays elevated throughout the workout.
Examples include: running, brisk walking, and walking uphill on inclines, as long as it keeps your heart rate up for about thirty minutes. LISS, or low intensity steady state, exercise is a wonderful example of metabolic exercise, and doesn’t include the high intensity intervals like HIIT, or high intensity interval training. Learn more about the difference between LISS and HIIT here.
Is aerobic exercise considered metabolic exercise?
Aerobic exercises are any activity that requires oxygen and thus, your heart rate stays high for the duration of workout. So the answer is yes.
What is a benefit to aerobic exercise? It helps you maintain a healthy weight by burning calories even at rest! It also increases good cholesterol (HDL) while decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL), lowers triglycerides and blood sugar levels.
What are some aerobic exercises we can do to maintain our metabolism?
Examples include: walking, swimming, hiking, and biking.
How can it benefit women over 50? It is important to maintain aerobic fitness in the later decades of life because, along with strength training, will help keep us prevent falls that are responsible for more than one-third of the cases in people over age fifty. You don’t want to let yourself get into that group, do you? It can also reduce rates of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes
The best thing you can do is stay active! Try to avoid a sedentary lifestyle if you are healthy enough to be up and about. Too much sitting around means we don’t get those muscles moving and make them stronger, especially as we age.
What are some other types of strength-building and strength training metabolic exercises for women over 50 and over 60?
Exercises that involve:
How will these exercises help to keep my metabolism strong?
Metabolic workouts will increase your heart rate, burn calories and boost fat-burning hormones. They also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease because they strengthen and tone muscles with a high metabolic demand such as those in your lungs, legs and rear end.
It can be difficult to remain motivated, encouraged, and feel supported when you’re trying to establish a healthy habits and lose weight. Did you know that your smart phone can be a very effective tool for accomplishing your goals to live a healthier life? Learn more about MIGHTY HEALTH, the healthy lifestyle app created for women and men over 50
Best Metabolic Exercises for Over 50 Women
Different variations of push ups, squats, planks and other core strengthening moves will all help keep your metabolism strong, as mentioned in the previous section. These exercises can be a bit difficult to do at first, but if you keep at it and don’t give up, you will become stronger and your muscles will learn how to perform the exercises. And, there are always modifications that can be made to the exercises so that you can perform them without danger of injury.
I’m good with squats and lunges, but struggle with the plank. For me, it’s a modified version most of the time where I’m on my knees instead of straitening my legs. But, I do the best I can and it’s better than not doing them at all!
Bottom line, my friend? We need the aerobic exercise with an elevated heart rate, but we also need the strength training, which also elevates the heart rate! You don’t have to be running, moving fast, or using heavy weights to get a tremendous overall body strength workout.
Here is a great example of 30 minutes of metabolic exercises for over 50 women, and as the cover image states, it is all done while standing, with no cardio involved:
Some Simple Lifestyle Changes We can Make to Maintain Our Metabolism
Here are a few other essentials in addition to metabolic exercises for over 50 women, that will keep our metabolism working strong as we get older:
Get your rest
Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night if you can.
A consistent evening routine and bedtime routine will help prepare your body and mind for the upcoming rest. Remember to avoid exercise within a couple of hours of going to bed – work that into your morning or afternoon activities!
Keep stress under control
Try not to get too stressed out. I know, it can be easier said than done. But if you can keep yourself on an even keel most of the time, it will help lower cortisol levels, which can rise and lead to weight gain.
There are number of ways to help relieve stress. Do something you love, like a hobby or spending some quality time with friends. Go for a short walk (one of my go-to stress relievers), or take a 30 minute reading break.
Listen to your body, and give it the self-care it is asking for. Keeping your body well tuned and cared for will go a long way toward maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Pay attention to our diet
Remember what we discussed earlier? Wise choices with the foods we eat and beverages we drink, as well as remembering that moderation is key, will go a long way toward helping us keep our metabolic rate in a healthy range.
As women over 50, and over 60 like me, we choose how to live each day. We are constantly making choices. Even if you think you’re just sitting quietly doing nothin’, that is a choice, my friend.
So let’s choose a variety of activities and actions that will keep us strong and fit as we get older. Maintaining a healthy metabolism is one of the most essential choices and commitments we can make!
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