As the body ages the level of difficulty to stay physically fit increases tremendously.  While it is not impossible to stay physically fit, there are variables to overcome and knowledge you must have to continue to live a healthy existences.  There is truly a difference between women and men and fitness levels once you are over the age of 50. 

Once I reached 50 one of the things I started noticing with my body was not responding to exercising as it did in my 30s and 40s. The change to my body composition and the activities I was capable of changed almost overnight. Activities that were once easy to do became a struggle to execute. Trying to stay physically fit has become a huge challenge.  Initially I could not quite put my finger on what was happening to my body.  In trying to figure out what was going on with my physical fitness level, my energy, the aches and pains in my joints I made modifications to my fitness regiment.  After spending time modifying my exercise regiment there still was something that was just not quite the same or quite right.  This was extremely frustrating, to the point where I just wanted to give up and accept my new body.

While my body was ready to call it quits my mind was still trying to figure out what the heck was going on.  A decision was made to talk with friends and family members over the age of 50.  We had discussions of our experiences of not being able to build muscle as quickly as we did in our 20s, 30s, and 40s.  I also describe how although I have not gained much weight, but my weight distribution had changed to concentrated areas such as my belly and my back side.  There was also discussions about how muscle aches and pains seem to intensify following exercising. Finally, in my discovery conversations, the constant, women over the age of 50 and my male counterparts were not experiencing the same situations. The ah ha moment was that women over age 50 were experiencing the same situations regarding, problematic fat concentration in their mid sections, difficulty with building muscles, aches and pains in joints, while men over 50 had none of these symptoms.

Upon completing the interviews with family and friends, the discovery unfolded a vast difference between women and men over the age of 50.  This led to seeking out the expertise of a fitness expert.  Fitness coach Tracy Holtzman was the person for me.  Tracy Holtzman has been a fitness coach for over 30 years.  She helps women of all ages set and meet their fitness goals.  Tracy is also a woman in her mid 50s, therefore making her the best individual in my sphere to ask questions. 

I asked Tracy the following question to ensure I am heading down the right path with my physical fitness. When asked how much should a 50 year old woman exercise?

According to Coach Tracy it is important to work on rebuilding or continuing to build lost muscle mass.  Regular exercise is important; you should work toward getting in physical conditioning at least 3 to 4 times week for at least 30 minutes each day you work out. She also stated do not be afraid to try something new and different.  Sometimes what we need to is awaking areas that have been either dormant or not challenged.

I am starting to take Coach Tracy’s advice. I am now pushing my limits with pole dancing and incorporating it into my daily routine of physical fitness.  I am also using it to enhance my mental as well. 

Photo by: Regina Sykes