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Staying strong as you age

As women age, they will lose a larger portion of muscle than men do. This muscle loss will typically occur around menopause, and can be detrimental not only to overall health and fitness, but also to mobility and can lead to injury. Preventing excessive muscle loss will help not only your quality of life, but has been shown to also reduce symptoms of menopause.

You can prevent excessive muscle loss by ensuring you eat a balanced diet with sufficient protein, but also by keeping up with regular exercise and mobility work. Gentle stretches, yoga, and Tai Chi are excellent ways to ensure your muscles stay strong and are in good health, without putting too much of a toll on your body. Flexibility is not only great for your muscles, but also improves the health of your heart, blood vessels, and brain neurons.

Resistance or strength training is typically marketed to younger people, but it is never too late to start on a strength-building program. If you are starting a resistance or strength-based program for the first time later in life, be sure to consult a qualified professional for expert advice. Following a strength-based program has been shown to not only build muscle and bone mass, but also improve brain function, and utilise energy more efficiently.

One of the most important aspects of increased activity is sleep. If you do choose to increase your energy output during the day, particularly if you are performing resistance or strength-based exercise, it is highly important to get enough rest and sleep. Take time out of your day to relax. You may find this time is well spent reading a book, practicing meditation, or going for a stroll. Making sure your body and mind have time to unwind and relax is highly important for staying strong both physically and mentally.

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