On average, many adults aged 65 and over spend most of their time sitting down. To show how physical fitness and health are closely linked, just in Australia, 66% of the population over 50 years have osteoporosis or osteopenia, and out of this, most of them are women. Rossana Nogueira, a doctor and researcher at Griffith University, explains:
“Our metabolism tends to slow as we age, so maintaining a healthy body weight can become challenging, mainly for women. But there is one specific reason that makes exercise (more specifically, weight-bearing exercise) so important for women. The right type of exercise has been proven to improve bone health, which results in osteoporosis prevention, or it can be used as a form of treatment.”
The good news is that you can start now! It’s never too late to make positive changes to your lifestyle. Exercising and moving your body is a great way and tool no matter what age you are:
“exercise is essential for aging people, as it can prevent or delay muscle mass loss, among other health issues such as diabetes or heart disease”, adds Dr Nogueira.
Currently finishing a study about bone health in aging women, Dr Nogueira explains, “ during the trial, we have observed not only improvement in our ladies bone health and body composition in general (possible effects include lean mass gain and body fat reduction), but improvements in their daily routine. Simple things such as sitting down in the toilet, carrying bags from the supermarket, and being able to put away a dish in a high cupboard are only some examples of testimonials we have heard from our ladies.”
The research has been popular with participants as they can see a significant improvement in their health and lifestyle. Jane Colbert, a participant in the study, says how being part of the research has helped her mentally and physically “ The research program renewed my focus on exercise as a key ingredient of health and happiness.”
Jane started the program nine months ago and is asserted that she will keep on going,
“Having completed the program, I am motivated to continue with a similar professionally supervised exercise routine to maintain and build on the gains made through participation in the research program.”
A final word from Dr Nogueira “Lift weights, ladies! Weight lifting is not only amazing for your bones, but it will improve your health in a way that you will notice in your daily routine. You’ll feel taller (better posture), stronger (imagine the difference when doing/carrying groceries), more toned, and so much more confident! Trust the weights. They are the single best way for aging women to improve overall fitness.”
This International Women’s Day, make an informed decision about your health and start looking after yourself. You can choose to stay fit and healthy for longer no matter your age. Because as you know, age is just a number so #BreakTheBias.