Why Are Metabolic Exercises for Over 50 Women Essential?

Last Updated on November 30, 2023 by Candi Randolph

Have you ever looked at a flight of stairs and thought, ‘Why does it feel like I’m about to climb Mount Everest?’ Or perhaps you’ve wondered why those bags of groceries seem to be getting heavier each week. Well, let me tell you, it’s not the stairs or the groceries conspiring against you – it’s often about our changing bodies as we age.

When we hit the big 5-0, our muscle groups start to play a game of hide and seek with us, and unfortunately, muscle loss can become all too real. But don’t fret! There’s a secret weapon in our arsenal to combat this and it’s called metabolic exercises. They are the best way to say “not today” to muscle and bone density loss, and even that stubborn fat that loves to stick around.

metabolic exercises for over 50 women

Metabolic exercises are compound movements that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, encouraging not just weight loss, but also fat loss and muscle growth. They’re like the multitaskers of the exercise world, offering maximum results in minimum time. Plus, incorporating these into your physical activity routine is a great way to maintain health and vitality as older adults.

So, if you’re ready to show those stairs who’s boss and make those grocery bags feel like feathers, then keep reading. Because we’re about to dive deep into why metabolic exercises for women over 50 are not just essential, but a total game-changer! 

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.


Why Does Our Metabolism Start to Slow Down as We Get Older?

why our metabolism slows 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?

Have you ever heard the term ‘metabolic exercises’ and thought it sounded like something out of a science fiction movie? Well, put away your space suit because this is not an alien concept. In fact, it’s something you might already be doing without even realizing it!

So, what are metabolic exercises, you ask? Picture this: you’re with your personal trainer (or your trusty workout video), you’re sweating, panting, and feeling like your entire body is on fire – in a good way. That, my friends, is metabolic resistance training, a type of exercise that maximizes your energy expenditure to give you the most bang for your workout buck.

Metabolic exercises are strength training workouts that get your heart rate up and keep it there, helping you burn calories like a well-tuned furnace. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a seasoned gym-goer to get started. These exercises can be tailored to any fitness level and, with proper form, you can safely reap the benefits of strength training.

In a nutshell, metabolic exercises are like throwing a surprise party for your muscles – they never know what’s coming next! And just like a great party, the effects linger long after the event itself. 

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:

  • pushing, or pressing away from you,
  • pulling, or tugging toward you,
  • hinging, (also called lunges) or bending from the hips,
  • squats, and
  • planks
examples of metabolic exercises

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 25 minutes of metabolic exercises for over 50 women, with Pahla B., a weight loss coach for women over 50. She makes working out fun and has a peppy personality. Check it out!

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.


Well, we’ve come to the end of our journey exploring the wonderful world of metabolic exercises. And I have some good news for you – you don’t need to be a gym rat or own a set of fancy weights to reap the benefits. Your own body weight can be your best fitness tool! Yes, that’s right. No more excuses!

Bodyweight exercises are incredibly versatile and can target every muscle group in your body, including those sneaky ones in the upper body that try to hide away. They’re like the Swiss army knife of workouts. And guess what? They not only help to reduce body fat and boost metabolism, but they also do wonders for your mental health. Talk about a win-win!

Now, if you’re feeling a bit more ambitious and want to amp up your fitness routine, weight training is another fantastic option. Remember, it’s not about being the strongest or the fastest, it’s about making consistent progress towards your fitness goals.

Just imagine: soon, you’ll be breezing through your day with improved energy levels, a metabolism that’s working like a well-oiled machine, and an overall sense of wellbeing. All thanks to these fantastic metabolic exercises!

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to mix things up in your workout routine, remember – every step, squat, and lunge brings you closer to a healthier, happier you. 

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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What metabolic exercise means and why we need it as women over 50

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