How strenuously can I exercise if I'm middle-aged?

If you're middle-aged, how strenuously you can exercise should begin with using activity as a way to build and support your body -- not punish it.

Consider your current physical condition and adjust your effort accordingly. Older women and heavier women may have already developed some degenerative changes in their weight-bearing joints, making them more susceptible to injuries. Most people over 40 have some deterioration of the cartilage (joint-covering tissue that provides shock absorption and helps bones move) in their knees. Which can cause the cartilage to tear more easily.

Set realistic goals for your physical activities to achieve a balance between promoting good health and limiting injuries. Doing too much, too fast, without building up the strength and endurance you need is one of the biggest mistakes many women make. When you are starting a new exercise program that is unfamiliar to you, find a trainer or instructor to work with you. That will ensure you understand proper form and progression of the exercise.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.