We all know the benefits to exercising. However, some workouts can appear overwhelming and turn people off from physical activity. Fortunately, a new study focused on middle-aged women led by Miranda Armstrong found that women do not have to be “super athletes” to benefit from daily exercise. Armstrong, a physical activity epidemiologist at Oxford University, and her team found that moderate exercise each week can decrease a middle-aged woman’s chances for heart disease, blood clots and stroke.
More than 1.1 million British women averaging the age of 56 joined the study between 1996 and 2001 with no history of heart disease, stroke, blood clots, diabetes or cancer. They found that the women who did moderate exercise two to three times a week had decreased their chances of heart disease, stroke or blood clots by twenty percent compared to those who did little to no exercise.
So what is considered moderate exercise? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, moderate exercised is defined by having an increased heart rate, breathing rate, and sweating. Examples of moderate exercise include:
- Brisk Walking (3 mph or faster)
- Water Aerobics
The take home message from this study is that physical activity does not to be stressful or complicated but should simply be incorporated into your daily routine. Studies have actually found that inactivity is more of a risk than obesity in early mortality. A sedentary lifestyle invites more risk to your health including heart disease, cancer and even an early death. These findings allow us to focus more on physical activity and exercise rather than just losing weight.
A Healthier Lifestyle
Make realistic and attainable goals for yourself when it comes to exercise. Find activities that suit your lifestyle and personality. If you do not have thirty minutes for physical activity break it up into ten minute intervals throughout the day. Health.com highlights a few easy ways on how to incorporate fitness in your routine:
- Do your errands during your lunch break with a brisk walk
- Don’t take the short cut-Try the stairs instead of the elevator; do not park right next to the store entrance. Try to attain those extra steps whenever you can!
- Rather than email or call a coworker, get up and walk over to them
- Have a 5 minute morning workout! Before you get ready for work take 5 minutes to do some crunches and push-ups to get the day started
- Walk or jog with your dog for another 15 minutes. If you can’t find inspiration to walk longer throughout the day, take your dog with you - they’ll definitely appreciate the time outside!