Women’s Health published a great article in their July / August 2022 issue about what you need from a fitness routine through each decade by Bridie Wilkins. Although health and fitness looks and feels different for everyone, there are some changes that happen for pretty much all women around the same age and it’s great to be aware of these to shape our fitness habits around our changing needs.
Reading through the article, I have never been more confident that Barre is not only sustainable through every decade but also ticks every box of recommendations for women at all stages of life including through pregnancy and the menopause. From resistance training to focusing on consistency and working our bodies in a way that includes unilateral (single sided) movements and dedicated work on mobility and stability, Barre could be the number one thing to help future proof your body!
Here’s what you need to know about training through each decade;
Science says we’re in our peak physical stead in our 20’s which is sad as we likely spent too much time partying to appreciate that! Our muscle regeneration is at it’s most efficient and we keep building bone mineral until our late twenties. When it comes to fitness, our 20’s should be all about starting to understand our bodies and training in a way that feels good for us.
This is a great time to explore all sorts of different types of fitness so you can discover the ones that you actually enjoy and start to build consistent movement habits. Strength training is recommended across all decades and your 20’s is a good time to get to grips with great technique to help you build a solid foundation for progressing these workouts.
Our confidence increases as we age and having a great exercise routine is a good way to boost your self-esteem. As we start to navigate this chapter of our lives we can feel all sorts of societal pressures and overtraining can become a problem. One study, the Psychology of Sport and Exercise, found that over training was most common in women aged 18-30 who were taking on intense exercise sessions to try and meet beauty ‘ideals’. With the prevalence of social media and comparison culture, it’s easy to see how we could slip into this habit of overtraining.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average age a woman becomes a mother is 30.7. Between 3 and 15% of pregnant women meet the suggested physical activity guidelines and this decreases further postnatally. Focusing on functional and corrective exercises that target your core (including your pelvic floor) will be so beneficial during this time. Your 30’s is also a time that the perimenopause, which can happen 10 years before your periods eventually stop, can begin. We lose 1% of muscle mass every year after 30 so exercise might feel harder than it did in your 20’s.
There’s a lot that happens in your 30s but prioritising consistency is one of the best things you can do for your fitness routine. Finding something you love to do and continuing to incorporate some kind of strength training will be amazing for keeping your bones strong.
Stress is something that can become more prevalent in your 30s as you juggle more responsibility and feel pulled in many different directions. Adding some breathwork or mindful movement to your weekly routine will be fab for lowering your cortisol levels and helping calm your nervous system.
Your 40’s are a time where you’re likely to be navigating more hormonal changes than ever before. You might notice your body changing in new ways as your oestrogen levels drop and muscle mass decreases.
As your body changes you might feel the need to adopt an ‘all or nothing’ approach as you try to combat these changes but consistency is still your BFF here. We’re looking for longevity from your relationship with fitness and as we know, the easiest way to find that is by prioritising a form of movement that you love.
Unilateral (single-sided) training should be a key part of your fitness routine in your 40s. Exercising in this way is amazing for improving balance and ironing out any muscle imbalances making it a game changer for injury prevention.
Your 50s are a time to keep moving in a way that feels great for you, prioritising strength training and working on mobility and stability. It’s a time where you might experience some pelvic floor issues due to a loss of muscle mass so keeping up with your pelvic floor exercises will be really important.
Prioritising strength training will help maintain bone density and increase muscle mass. Increased muscle mass will also improve your metabolism, enhance functional movements and improve balance. Prioritising mobility and stability will also be amazing for improving your range of motion and reducing risk of injury.
Focusing on low impact movement in your 60s is a great way to reap the rewards of an exercise routine without compromising joints. There are lots of ways of adding cardio into your routine whilst keeping things low impact and that will be amazing for improving your cardiovascular health.
By this time we’ve had almost 2 decades of muscle mass loss so it’s a great idea to stick with your strength training be that with body weight, free weights or resistance training.
Are we more convinced than ever that Barre is the bees knees?
Not only have we found a form of movement that we absolutely love in Barre, but we’ve also found a form of movement that supports all our needs throughout each decade. Our members are made up of wonderful women across every single one of these decades and it’s been amazing to see how much each of them benefits from Barre, both physically and mentally, as a form of movement.
If you’re yet to try it then I’d love to invite you to join us for a 7 day free trial. Discover how The Barre Coach Method can transform your relationship with fitness and set you up with a sustainable fitness habit for life here.