At What Age Do Women Reach Peak Physical Fitness?

Women reach peak physical fitness around their late 20’s and early 30’s, the same age bracket as men. Beyond that point, however, inevitable changes in their physiology start to happen.

Flexibility

You’ll find yourself becoming less agile as you age. This happens due to cross-linking of collagen fiber in the joints, and could result in a reduction in mobility by 3 to 4 inches when measured with the sit and reach test. The loss of flexibility can be controlled with stretching exercises and certain forms of yoga.

Heart Rate/Metabolism

The rate at which calories are burned slows down as you grow older. This decrease in metabolism means you have to reduce your calorie intake and work harder and exercise more in order to burn calories and prevent weight gain.

A decrease in maximum heart rate also occurs with metabolism changes. Your heart responds differently from younger years as you age, and this is evident from the standard formula of subtracting your age from 226 to calculate maximum heart rate. Find ways to keep your heart rate under the maximum such as avoiding physical stress so that you can avoid overworking the heart.

Bone Density

Loss of bone density is where women differ the most from men. Bone loss starts much earlier in women than in men. While men start losing bone density around 65 years of age, female bodies start to experience it after menopause. Women reach maximum bone density by the age of 20, so before menopause they should keep up their intake of calcium and do regular physical activity over the years to strengthen their bones and keep bone density high instead of just giving up.

Muscle Mass

Muscle mass starts decreasing by 5% every ten years once you approach middle age. By the age of 60, there will have been a loss of 30-40% in muscular performance. The rate of losing muscle strength can be decreased with strength training. This helps maintain muscle mass and also gives your metabolism a boost through calorie burning. Since strength training is low-impact, it will not adversely affect your joints.

Putting your peak of physical fitness behind you does not translate to giving in to physiological changes. You simply need to perform different exercises and adjust your lifestyle accordingly in order to lessen the impact of these changes and slow down the negative effects of aging.


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