Fifty Plus: A Weighty Matter
Baby boomer women know only too well that the battle of the bulge starts heating up with a vengeance once you hit menopause. To any who read the health columns (or, if you don’t, all you need do is glance in the mirror from time to time), realize menopause tends to deposit weight around the middle—turning us from ripe, luscious pears into full, round apples. Gone is the familiar waistband of our youth only to be replaced by the elastic version with extra give.
Making weighty matters even more challenging, our metabolisms slow and we lose muscle mass. Even if your weight remains the same, the ratio of fat to muscle changes significantly—with muscle dropping an astonishing 40% by the time we reach 80. (For those who love to throw around big words, this phenomenon was given a snappy new name not long ago: sarcopenia.)
So what’s a girl to do? We hear over and over that a mixture of aerobics, weight training, and balance/stretching exercises is the answer, but we also know that making time for regular workouts can be tough. If you relate, take a look at my last post and consider taking baby steps. As little as 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week along with a couple of 15-minute weight training sessions can go a long way to keeping us healthy.
I also found two articles—one in U.S. News and World Report, and another at Life Extension that give additional tips and suggestions. There’s not a lot of sex appeal surrounding sarcopenia so, for those of us on the far side of 50, let’s vow to stay fit and feisty. With some smooth moves and a bit of sweat, we’ll keep on rockin’ well into our 80s and beyond.