Middle aged women need 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every day just to maintain a normal body weight, according to the latest story from the Journal of the American Medical Association. The recommendation is based on a 13-year study of more than 34,000 women with a mean age of 54.2 years and a normal diet.
Previous federal guidelines from 2008 recommended only 150 minutes per week in order to achieve “substantial health benefits.” Can you make time for 60 minutes of exercise every day? According to these findings, you’ll need to do so if you want to keep those midlife pounds from creeping in. If you care about your appearance and health, you should find a way.
Visiting the health club for an hour every day isn’t exactly practical, nor is it exciting; so how can we put this theory into practice?
1. Do 30 minutes of high intensity exercise instead of 60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. If you’re healthy enough for it, push yourself harder and burn more calories.
2. Gain some muscle with strength training and you’ll burn more fat. Try kettlebells.
3. If the weather is acceptable, bike or run to the health club. Don’t drive.
4. Stop searching for that perfect parking spot. Park at the outer edge of the lot and walk.
5. Change your corporate culture. Ask your boss about implementing a workplace fitness program. Make sure you mention the surgeon general’s 2010 recommendation to create healthier work sites. (Tell the co-workers to stop bringing all those cookies and donuts too.)
6. Know the difference between performance and appearance. When you evaluate your fitness and health achievements, it’s easy to focus on body weight and areas of excess fat. Appreciate those gains in performance and remember there are solutions to improve body shape when nothing else works.
7. Exercise should be fun. If your current routine feels like pulling teeth, try something new and always try to keep an upbeat, positive attitude.