10 Exercise Mistakes Midlife Women Make
I’ve worked as a personal training and fitness instructor for several years. So I’ve seen many mistakes that women make while working out. These are just some of the most common.
Lifting weights that are too light
Whether it is because they are afraid of bulking up, they’ve been told by fitness instructors to lift light weights or they’ve seen fitness models in magazines using 2 lb weights many women do not lift weights that are heavy enough. If you can lift the weight for more than about 12 repetitions with good form then it is probably not heavy enough.
Lifting weights that are too heavy
The opposite does happen, especially with women who have exercised for years. If you can’t use the weight with proper form, then it is probably too heavy. Even if it is the same weight you used when you were 30.
Using the same weight or resistance for every exercise
We have big muscles and small muscles. Some exercises use one muscle, some exercises use several. So why do some women think that 5 lb weight are right for everything?
Doing too many repetitions
The number of repetitions you do depends on your goals. If you want to get stronger, sticking to a lower number of repetitions is more beneficial. It is also more time efficient to do a smaller number of repetitions at a heavier weight.
Doing tummy exercises to try to lose belly fat
One of the most common questions I get is what exercise helps to reduce belly fat. If I tell them squats or high intensity interval training they don’t understand what I mean. Abdominal exercises don’t help to reduce belly fat. The problem is that working the muscle in an area, does not reduce the fat in that area.
Spending a long time on cardio machines
Cardio is an important part of an exercise program. But it’s not the only part. Too many women never move beyond the cardio machines. As you get older you lose muscle mass. Your muscles get smaller and weaker so doing some resistance training is important to maintaining that muscle.
Working out in the fat burning zone
Many cardio machines still show you the fat burning zone. This is a low intensity level where you supposedly burn a higher percentage of fat than if you exercise at a higher intensity. It may be a higher percentage of fat, but you actually burn a higher amount of fat when exercising at a higher intensity.
Doing the same workout all the time
Your body adapts to the demands placed on it. If you never change your workout, you never adapt. That doesn’t mean you need to change things up every workout, or every week. There is something said for repetition. It helps your muscles to progress, but once you reach a plateau, then it is probably time to change things up a bit.
Don’t ever ignore pain, but know the difference between pain and muscle discomfort. If you feel a sharp pain while exercising stop immediately. If it is discomfort that starts after exercising, even up to 2 days after, then this is just delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and not something to worry about.
Pain is a sign that you are doing more than your body is ready for right now. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to do more. Pain can have lots of reasons. It can be causes by an injury in the muscle, tendon or ligament. Imbalances that causes rubbing can cause pain. Arthritis is another cause of pain. These are just a few examples.
Letting their spouse/ partner/ boyfriend show them what to do
I’ve seen many examples of women being helped by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. Even if they know what they are doing, it might be right for them, but not necessarily right for you. They can also be either too easy on you, or too hard.
Whether you are a beginner, or have been exercising for a while, chances are you are making some mistakes. Join my Facebook group to discuss fitness and nutrition issues for menopausal women.