4 Reasons Women Over 40 Should Ruck

4 Reasons Women Over 40 Should Ruck

For years, I hated carrying anything when I walked or hiked. It made me feel encumbered and weighed down. I would do it when necessary – like on a long hike when carrying water and snacks was a necessity – but always complained about it. Then, one day, I stumbled across research that suggested that walking with a weighted pack could be helpful for a nagging back issue I’d wrestled with for years.

I was skeptical, but willing to try pretty much anything. I started slow and quickly discovered that walking with a weighted pack – otherwise known as rucking – not only amped up my walks but made my back feel better. Lots better. Intrigued, I dug deeper into the research and discovered that, as a woman in my 50s, rucking is really, really good for me. Here are 4 reasons why:

  1. Cardiovascular Health: Though heart disease is still considered more of a man’s disease than a woman’s, the research doesn’t bear that out. Especially after menopause, the incidence of heart disease in women begins to climb, ultimately catching up to that of men. Accordingly, women must be proactive about their heart health. Rucking is an excellent, low-impact cardiovascular exercise that promotes circulation, lowers blood pressure, enhances cardiovascular endurance, and helps improve overall heart health.

  2. Bone Density: Despite a lifetime of lifting weights, I was diagnosed with rapidly progressing osteopenia in my mid-50s. “But I’ve done everything right,” I whined to my doctor. “And you’d be in much worse shape if you hadn’t,” he replied. Weight-bearing exercises like rucking can contribute to maintaining and even improving bone density, which is crucial for women over 40, as we are more susceptible to conditions like osteoporosis. Yup, maintaining my bones is yet another reason for my newfound passion for rucking. 

  3. Functional Strength: I don’t know about you, but I want to be strong, independent, and physically capable for as long as possible. Rucking can help. By engaging a host of muscle groups, including the legs, core, and upper body, rucking is a full-body workout that helps develop functional strength, contributes to better posture, and improves overall stability for the long haul.

  4. Weight Management: Sadly, research shows that it becomes more and more challenging to maintain a healthy weight as we age, especially as the impact of menopause creeps in. Rucking is an effective way to burn calories. While several factors influence the number of calories you will burn when you ruck – including the weight of the pack, the distance you cover, and your individual fitness level – you can be assured that your body is working harder, getting stronger, and torching more calories.

Remember – if you have any medical conditions or injuries, check with your doctor before embracing the power of rucking and, as I did, start slow and build gradually as your body adapts.

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