Many older women may be feeling a bit stiff and restless after sitting inside during a cold winter and rainy spring. I know I am!
Summer is the time to venture out into the world and get some exercise, establish healthy eating habits and have fun in the sun. Longer days bring more sunshine for an essential daily dose of vitamin D.
Whatever your age or fitness level, there are many workouts for older women that are ideal for the warm weather months.
As you embark upon the summer season and if you want to increase your level of physical activity, remember that it’s important to start small. Even if you are used to doing regular fitness activities, it’s a good idea to go slowly if this is the first workout of the season or if it’s been awhile since you did this particular sports activity. Sports injuries are no fun!
If you have been sedentary for awhile or are looking to lose weight, it’s probably a good idea to consult with a doctor or personal trainer before you start a new fitness program, and start with a few minutes of exercise at a time and build up every day.
Another tip for health and safety is to always carry water and a snack and wear good shoes that fit – old or ill-fitting shoes might not support your feet and can cause a variety of injuries. Exercise is wonderful, but doing too much too soon, or exercising in the wrong way, can create disappointing setbacks. So be careful out there!
So, those warnings out of the way, here are a few specific ideas for workouts for older women this summer…
Don’t assume that you’re “too old” to ride a bike! Even if it’s been 30 years or more since you have ridden a bike, it’s never too late! Many cities have free bike rental schemes, or you can rent a road bike by the day or by the week if you want to give it a try without committing to an expensive bicycle purchase.
Start on a flat area away from the road until you get your confidence up – and be sure to go slowly, wear a bike helmet, use safety signals, and obey traffic laws.
Depending on where you live, bicyclists often have the right to ride in traffic along with cars – but you also have to stop at stop signs, obey traffic signals and follow the rules of the road!
Swimming is one of the best workouts for us older women. Being in the water burns lots of calories and is great exercise for weak joints, since the water provides constant resistance to your muscles while also being low-impact on your body – you get all the exercise benefits with much lower risk of pulling a muscle or straining a joint.
Swimming is relaxing and is also fun with grandkids. Try Boating, Aqua Zumba or Water Aerobics to make swimming more social. Swimming – indoors or outdoors – is an ideal way to keep cool and get fit.
Get out into the wild outdoors and find a hiking trail. Hiking in wooded areas is also a good way to find a cool spot to get out of the summer heat. Pack a picnic and walk until you are tired – take a break and enjoy the view. Wear good shoes, sunscreen, water and take it easy to start – there are many paved trails, established hiking trails and guided tours if you want to be more adventurous.
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art dedicated to slow movement, breathing, and control of body posture. Many cities are now offering Tai Chi classes, as well as Yoga classes, and often outdoors. These activities are great workouts for older women to try, especially if you can find an early morning class where you can watch the sun rising. Re-connecting with your body and your breathing is an ideal way to start the morning.
Tennis a true “life sport” that people can play at all ages and stages of expertise – and even if your mental image of tennis is more along the lines of the high-speed grunting athletes at Wimbledon, the truth is that tennis doesn’t have to be a serious game.
If nothing else, taking up tennis can be a fun excuse to buy a cute outfit and hat. As a nice side benefit, playing tennis can also be a great way to meet new people, since it usually involves visiting a tennis club.
Summer is a fine time for outdoor activities, but in case of rainy weather or extreme heat and humidity, one of the other great workouts for older women is to go mall walking (in air conditioned comfort) with a friend. Remember to keep up a good pace, don’t stop at every shoe shop and don’t spend too much money – treat yourself to a sorbet or ice tea after your exercise time is up.
What are some of your favorite exercises for older women? Please join the discussion below.
Tags Fitness Over 60