Getting or staying in shape at a certain age can often prove to be more than challenging. After 50, hormonal changes alter the way our metabolism works and how our bodies store fat. But menopause fitness coach and trainer Kate Rowe-Ham says that keeping fit after menopause is far from impossible — you just have to adjust how you exercise and choose a workout that’s right for you.
With that in mind, Rowe-Ham came up with a fitness routine for older women that will fire up all those muscles — no gym or fancy equipment required. Her workout, which was posted on Fit & Well‘s Instagram page, is just what you need to not only stay in shape, but get even stronger. Check out the video below.
According to Rowe-Ham, getting fit after menopause shouldn’t just be about losing weight. Instead, she says we need to reframe how we approach exercise, and prioritize staying healthy and mobile as we age. How do we do that? By training our bodies to be stronger in the patterns of movement we use the most each day.
“This workout focuses on the six patterns of movement that are fundamental as we age: Hinge, squat, lunge, push, pull, and twist,” Rowe-Ham explains. Her workout includes seven exercises that are specifically designed to target and strengthen these bodily mechanisms, and it takes just about 30 minutes to complete.
A Strengthening Workout for Women During Menopause
For this total body strength building workout, you’ll perform each of the seven exercises for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest in between for a total of two rounds. The first round is done using only your bodyweight, but if you want to take things up a notch, you can add dumbbells during your second round, as Rowe-Ham demonstrates.
In the video, Rowe-Ham starts off with some light stretching and a very brief cardio warm-up. Then, she begins the real workout. The moves are:
- Hip hinge
- Alternating reverse lunge
- Push up with knees on the floor
- Bent over row
- Russian twist
- Loaded carry
For the second round of the workout, Rowe-Ham grabs some weights to increase the intensity a bit. If you’re feeling like you’re doing a lot of work during the first round with just your body weight, hold off on adding weights until you’re feeling stronger. If you complete the first round with little struggle, adding some resistance will take the workout up a notch. Don’t have weights at home? No problem — Rowe-Ham says it’s just as effective to use wine bottles, water bottles, or canned food to add that little extra bit of a challenge.
Rowe-Ham also emphasizes that for each exercise, we should be mindful of keeping our core engaged to strengthen and protect the lower back — a common site of pain for women in their 50s. This will also help to improve our posture, relieve shoulder and neck tension, and minimize lower belly bulge which, as we know, can be particularly hard to target!
All in all, Kate Rowe-Ham is right when she says that getting in shape after a certain age is still doable. As long as we’re intentional about how we’re moving and feeding our bodies, anything is possible.