The oldest member of the US 2012 Olympic team is 54 year old Karen O’Connor. As an equestrian not only is riding for hours each day necessary for peak performance but the rider must also incorporate flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning and strength training. Most Olympic equestrian competitors train up to 5 hours each day.
45 year old Dara Torres is the oldest US swimmer to compete at the Olympic Trials. Even though she did not advance to the team, Dara is an inspiration to all women with her strength, endurance, and physical fitness.
Let’s Get Real
Now most of us realize we are not going to train for an Olympic event (even though are daily routines should count as some) but we can be inspired to look and feel our best with a regular exercise routine. As our hormones and bodies change we begin to lose muscle mass. Muscles burn more fat so strength training is much more efficient in burning calories during menopause.
How about all the added Benefits
- With mood swings, irritability, and sleep disturbances, menopausal women are more prone to depression. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins inhibit pain in your body by blocking the release of another chemical that makes you perceive pain. This feeling of euphoria from exercise can give you a mental boost. Yoga and pilates helps to relieve stress and tension and increases flexibility as well as building muscle.
- Building muscle mass not only burns more calories but helps improve bone density. With menopausal women being more prone to bone loss and the development of osteoporosis, The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that women engage in weight-bearing exercise regularly, such as walking or jogging.
- Cardio or aerobic activity burns the most calories but you must walk at a brisk 3.5 mph pace for 1 hour to burn 277 calories. Jogging at 5 mph doubles the number of calories burned. Swimming is an excellent calorie burner and is less stressful on the knees.
So even though we are not training for the Olympics, we can be inspired by the ability of women throughout our lifespans to be healthier, more fit, and happy. Tell me what you do to exercise and keep in shape and share with everyone your inspiration.