Though a 54-year-old woman’s body is not the same as a younger woman’s, it can still look and feel healthy and strong with age-appropriate exercise. If your goal includes getting in and staying in shape, then proper exercise is in order. You can push your body as a 54-year-old woman, much like you did when you were younger, provided you are healthy and capable of working out. No matter what your past exercise history has been, improving your fitness now will keep you looking and feeling your best throughout your later years.
Aerobic exercise can help women that are age 54 shed excess pounds and maintain a normal and healthy weight. The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that good health outcomes are more likely when individuals participate in moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, at least 150 minutes a week. If weight loss is a concern for you, working your way up to more than this amount would help you even more. If you choose to do vigorous intensity exercise, such as jogging, you may reduce your exercise time to 75 minutes each week.
Mirabai Holland, director of fitness and wellness at 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, says strength training helps baby boomers build muscle and regulate glucose metabolism. Research indicates that strength training promotes longevity and reduces risk of disease. Do strength training exercises for 30 to 45 minutes, two times per week. Try bicep curls, modified squats and lunges and push-ups, for example. You may even do some of these exercises with a resistance band.
Flexibility becomes more important for a 54-year-old woman. If you do not stretch and move your muscles, then your joints naturally become less flexible, thereby negatively impacting your range of motion and ability to do normal, everyday tasks. A. Lynn Millar, Ph.D., a physical therapist and professor for Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, states that the best stretches are those that enhance flexibility for those areas where you feel tightness in your body. Although many guidelines recommend stretching three times each week, Millar suggests stretching daily. Hold stretches for 15 to 30 seconds per stretch. Good stretching exercises include head circles and calf stretches, where you stand or sit and reach for your calves and stretch your hamstrings in the process.
Balance training is a beneficial exercise not only for improving balance, but also for building stamina, strength and coordination. A 2007 study published in "Osteoporosis International" suggests a routine balance training program may improve mobility and reduce falling frequency. Sabrena Merrill, balance training expert in Kansas City, MO, suggests that balance training improves timing and coordination. Try standing on one leg and holding it for 10 seconds. Another balance exercise involves standing on the tops of your toes and holding for a count of five before releasing.
Core training is essential for a woman that is 54-years-old. Tightening and toning your abdominal muscles support the back and help prevent injuries. Perform crunches rather than full sit-ups, which are not as effective and can lead to strain on your neck. You can also perform a reverse curl by lying on your back and pulling your knees into your chest. Hold this position for five seconds and then release. Begin with 10 repetitions before gradually increasing the number of repetitions.
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