Are you a woman in your 50s who is starting to feel the effects of aging, particularly in terms of muscle loss? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Many women in their 50s experience changes in their bodies that can lead to decreased muscle mass. However, there are several preventative measures you can take to combat muscle loss and regain your strength.
This checklist is specifically designed to help you feel like yourself again by providing you with effective strategies and tips to maintain and build your muscles, allowing you to enjoy an active and vibrant lifestyle well into your 50s and beyond.
1. Resistance Training At Least 3 Times Per Week
There’s no doubt about it – resistance training is the MOST important thing you can do to prevent losing your muscle mass, bone density, and strength. Whether you are concerned about developing osteoporosis, your daily tasks are feeling more challenging than they used to, or you don’t feel as firm as you once did, resistance training is the secret sauce that can take care of it all.
BUT, how you do your resistance training matters. Research shows that it needs to be done frequently (at least three times a week) AND it needs to be challenging.
The two biggest mistakes I see ladies making in their 50s are 1. They think one to two times a week is enough (it is not) and 2. They avoid really challenging themselves with their workouts out of fear of injury or feeling sore.
This is exactly why I teach all of my clients the four Exercise For Life Principles so they can exercise as often and as intensely as they need to to build their strength, muscle, and bone while making sure they stay perfectly safe and injury-free.
2. Move Consistently Throughout Your Day
One of the biggest issues many women in their 50s run into is once the demands of their life slow down, they start to slow down.
In other words, if their life isn’t asking them to be up and moving or out doing things all day, they rest on the fact that they did that for years and now deserve to kick their feet up and relax.
While I am not at all against taking time to relax, I need you to understand that if you aren’t actively trying to keep your body moving throughout your day, your body will quickly start to lose all of the strength, conditioning, and muscle mass you have spent your entire life building.
There is a stark difference between taking a week off to relax on vacation and slowing your activity down for months or years at a time. The former can be great for your mental/emotional health and help your body get back to feeling good. The latter, however, is a recipe for feeling old when your mind thinks you should still be in your 30s.
So get up and get moving, and keep moving throughout your day!
I recommend my clients move for a minimum of three 10-minute bouts every single day, and more if possible. There are more opportunities to move throughout your day than you may think. For example, if you are watching a TV show, walk laps around your living room during the commercials. You will get about 17 minutes of activity in every hour without missing a second of the shows you enjoy.
3. Muscle Activation Techniques® At Least 1 Time Per Month
This is a wild card that not many women know about but makes ALL the difference once they start to do it.
As you get older, your muscles stop functioning as well as they once did. This usually shows up as losing strength and flexibility, but in reality this is just your muscles not contracting well.
Muscle Activation Techniques®, or MAT®, helps fight this by getting your underactive muscles firing on all cylinders again.
Not only will this help you feel stronger and more flexible, it will also help you keep your muscle mass for longer because you will be able to have more effective workouts with less chance of injury or soreness.
MAT® does need to be done by a trained practitioner, but it will be 100% worth your time to meet with one regularly, even if it is just one time per month.
At the end of the day, muscle loss is not an “old person” problem, it is an “I don’t exercise enough” problem. By changing how often you are exercising and how you go about doing your exercise, muscle loss can be something you are able to prevent for decades.
If you would like help with implementing any of these steps, I would love to be there for you in any way I can. I specialize in working with women 50+ and am available for both in-person and online training. You can book a consultation with me online here.