Middle-Aged Women and Moderate Exercise

Women across the globe, and especially in the Big Apple, have been hearing about the physical and emotional benefits of exercise non-stop, and many attempt to incorporate a fitness regime into their schedules. Why, then, is it so hard to stay committed?

According to a new study, middle-aged women are more likely to stick with an exercise routine at a moderate intensity, as opposed to those who push their limits.

255 women between the ages 40 and 60 were recruited for research. The women were told to do either moderate or vigorous exercise for a limited amount of time, during which volunteers monitored their reactions. Women who participated in moderate exercise were twice as energized and confident that they’d be able to exercise in the future. In comparison, the women who had undergone intense exercise were more anxious and depressed as a result of their work outs.

“Exercise makes you feel better, but it is going to be more pleasant when performed at moderate intensity as compared to vigorous, especially when you have been previously inactive or may be overweight,” explained Dr. Steriani Elavsky of Penn State University. She continued, stating that it is important for women to monitor their intensity levels.

Some moderate-intensity exercises include brisk walking, ballroom or line dancing, biking, canoeing, general gardening, baseball, softball, volleyball and water aerobics. Recommended activities are those that would “allow you to talk in short sentences while doing them, but would not allow you to sing,” said Elavsky.

She added, “The effects we observed were large and moderate intensity is sufficient, in fact, it is optimal. We also hope that clinicians will realize the importance of considering the proper exercise intensity when making recommendations about exercise. Moderate intensity exercise should be recommended for patients who are not meeting physical activity guidelines, or those who may be decondition, overweight or obese.”