Female Fitness Is Discipline Over The DecadesPosted on Apr 25th 2011 1:30PM by That's Fit Editors
It is time for all middle aged women to start thinking about exercise as mandatory, not optional, just as we consider brushing our teeth not optional.
We all need to face this new evidence that walking around the block with you dog a few times a week is not sufficient exercise. Doctors need to start recommending more and vigorous exercise to their female patients and should also encourage them to lose weight if needed.
This study only looked at the effect of exercise on weight, not diet. It found that women who are at a healthy weight and eat a "normal" diet should exercise moderately for 60 minutes each day or they all gained weight as they aged. If you enjoy dieting however, you will most likely be able to maintain your weight on 30 minutes of higher intensity exercise. Even worse news, if women are already overweight even one hour of exercise was not enough to prevent weight gain.
It's important to keep in mind that their recommendation of 60 minutes of exercise each day is for maintaining weight as we age. Still, 30 minutes or even 20 minutes of sweating is better than no minutes. Thirty minutes of exercise on most days still has fantastic health benefits. It will improve your cardiovascular health and help lower your risk for many diseases and conditions. If you don't exercise, start with shorter increments and split up your workouts in the day and work up to the hour. If you do exercise, kick up your routine.
I am was at first concerned over this new research but now I realize it has a ring of truth as I look around and see me and my female friends aging. I'm glad this study was done. As women, our metabolism decreases as we age. It's just calorie reality! So now we know what (and how much) we need to do to keep weight gain at bay.
I love the recommendation for more exercise. Make exercise a priority.
As aging women we need to take weight maintenance as serious as a locomotive, bearing down on us, roaring down our tracks with it's whistle blaring and us in it's spotlight, unable to stop and us unable to get out of the way. This study crushed any of our ideas that we could relax as we age and taper off on our fitness standards. This new study, which was huge, followed 30,000 older women for 14 years -- has just smashed any of our hopes for doing less. Not only that, we have to do more, and for longer. Harvard researchers found that if you are a female 55 years or older you need to do one hour of moderate -- biking, brisk walking etc -- exercise every day of the rest of your life with no more days off or you will gain weight -- this is to maintain your weight.
These brilliant Harvard scientists failed to mention what we'd have to do to actually lose weight as an older woman. They really are saying that if you go into menopause with extra weight, you are taking it with you.
Make sure to follow Penny on Twitter @pennylovehoff or visit her website for more health tips.