Where popular medical opinion once prioritized minimized activity and lots of rest for aging adults, the 21st century is revealing surprising trends that have more Boomers than ever getting out and staying active. Don’t miss these 5 trending fitness and diet ideas:
Time to break out the yoga pants for more than just grocery shopping! For many women in the Boomer generation, yoga is rising in popularity, with more than 14 million adults over 50 practicing yoga each year according to YogaAlliance.org. The combination of gentle stretches, flowing movements, deep breathing, and mindful meditation has been shown to lower blood pressure, boost blood circulation, and increase lung capacity, heart rate and muscle tone, all which can prevent and reverse signs of heart disease, the leading cause of death for women in the U.S. Want to try yoga but not sure where to start? Look online or at a local gym or YMCA near you for beginners, gentle, or restorative yoga classes.
Wearing Fitness Trackers
Wearable fitness trackers like FitBit or BellaBeat offer a digital solution to logging your personal fitness progress, helping you stay on top of your weight, physical activity, and even your mood changes. Synced to an app on your phone, wearable fitness technology records and transmits vital statistics from heart rate, to steps walked, and calories burned, as well as your own diet and nutrition. Typically available as small, sleek accessories like bracelets or pendants, wearable fitness trackers make sense for the 40+ woman on the go.
Exercising the Brain
With rates of Alzheimer’s and dementia at an all time high according to the Alzheimer’s Association, exercising to prevent cognitive decline is big in the mind of the Boomer woman. Fitness that prioritizes blood flow, boosts brain cell connections, and promotes strong memory is a must for combatting Alzheimer’s.
Socially engaging exercise, like taking zumba classes, enjoying daily brisk walks with a friend, or group golfing, for example, encourage conversation and mentally stimulating activity as well as physical fitness. Fine motor skill exercises also strengthen communication between brain cells and synaptic production, so in between spin and yoga classes, make sure to keep up with your favorite hobbies like knitting, crocheting, origami, and even playing Scrabble.
Being Smarter About Calories
As menopause inches closer and metabolism slows down, Boomer women know that being smart about calories is important for avoiding unwanted weight gain and related diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. New revelations in food research are influencing diet trends for the better. For example, coconut oil has been shown to aid in weight management because its unique fatty acids are converted into ketones for energy in the body instead of glucose. Ketones, as opposed to glucose, are not stored as fat when they are not used up. Swap butter for virgin coconut oil when cooking or add to your own smoothies or oatmeal.
Apple cider vinegar is also finding its heydey among nutrition enthusiasts for its ability to alkalize in the body and help regulate blood sugar. Drink 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water before each meal.
Addressing Pain, Not Avoiding Activity
Wear and tear on the aging body might keep some adults out of the gym, but exercise as a healing tool is trending big time. Experts never recommend exerting yourself or overdoing activity, especially through injury or pain, but non-pharmacological aids for common fitness ailments can help keep you on your feet and speed up recovery. Orthotic inserts to address plantar fasciitis pain or shin splints can keep avid runners pounding the pavement, while supports like a knee brace or an IT band strap provide stability and compression for tender leg muscles and tendons during a workout.
In addition to these five trends, Boomer women are taking to the outdoors more and more to stay fit. Whether it’s regular hikes, outdoor yoga, water sports, or simply working your own vegetable garden to fuel an organic, healthy diet, staying active outdoors will be hugely popular for 2017.