The odd walk in the country is insufficient to meet exercise guidelines.

How Can a 50 Year Old Woman Get Motivated to Get in Shape?

by Jillian O'Keeffe

Modern-day life is engineered so women can be as lazy as possible. Gone are the days when a 50-year old woman walked to the shops and carried bags of groceries back. Instead, she can hop into her car for the trip, stopping along the way for a large takeout cup of cream-topped sugary coffee. This lack of exercise built in to daily life, coupled with endless tasty foods available in the grocery store for dinner and the well-known propensity for women to put on weight around this age, means a 50-year old woman has to try very hard to motivate herself to get fit.

Team Up With Friends

Researchers at Penn State University found that people who have a partner to support their exercise goals tended to spend more time exercising than people who went at it alone, according to an article in "Women's Health" by Liz Plosser. In addition, the presence of a friend or two can also help the time fly by if you spend the time chatting instead of staring at a blank gym wall, praying for the exercise session to be over.

Research Health Issues

As women get older, their bodies gets older with them, and just like a classic car, certain bodywork and engine issues tend to arise. According to the Mayo Clinic, women tend to develop more fat on the abdomen after menopause, which tends to occur in the late 40s or the early 50s, and this extra abdominal fat makes diseases like Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and bowel cancer more likely. Other health problems that are more likely to occur in older women than in younger women are osteoporosis and breast cancer, and the Mayo Clinic says physical activity and being a healthy weight help protect against these issues. Moderate physical activity, such as brisk walking, for 150 minutes a week, or intense exercise for 75 minutes a week, is the minimum amount the Mayo Clinic recommends for women of this age group. Strength training such as lifting weights twice a week is also important.

Adopt Exercise as a Mood-Boosting Strategy

If you're bored at work, miss your grown-up kids or just feel a bit down occasionally, then you can use the endorphin-boosting effects of exercise as a motivation to help get in shape. The Mayo Clinic says that exercise helps to improve sleeping patterns too, so if you tend toward the insomniac, as well as getting fit, you can kill two birds with one stone by exercising.

Tailor Your Exercise To You

If you enjoy your exercise sessions, you're much more likely to do them than if you dislike them, according to Kristen Dieffenbach, Ph.D of West Virginia University, who is involved in athletic coaching. She says in the "Women's Health" article that you should try all of the available gym equipment and sporting opportunities to find one or two that suit you.

About the Author

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.

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