SOS: Day 60
An hour of exercise?
60 minutes of exercise? Every day? I don’t want to scare you, but the answer is yes. If you’re a woman. If you don’t want to gain weight.
If you’re a man, stop here. Lucky you! You get the day off from SOS. If you have a wife or girlfriend, however, you might want to break the following news to her gently.
All women, read on.
Two years ago, the U.S. government set federal guidelines for moderate intensity exercise at 150 minutes a week. That’s a half hour five days a week. Kinda difficult, but not so bad, right? Given the substantial health benefits you get.
But still, a lot of us don’t put in two hours of activity a week. If you’re not there yet, get on the treadmill and keep working to increase your time. Come back and read this when you’ve increased the length of your aerobic exercise.
Women who are already working out 150 minutes a week, read on.
When the government came up with its guidelines, it considered health factors like disease prevention—not weight gain.
But in March 2010, Harvard researchers published a study about just that in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study tracked over 34,000 normal weight (25 or less BMI) women aged 45 or older for thirteen years. The women weren’t dieting, and most gained an average of about six pounds.
However, women who did not gain either exercised intensely for 30 minutes or moderately for 60 minutes every day.
No wonder so many middle-aged women complain about packing on the pounds! You must exercise an hour a day just to stay at your current weight as you age.
For overweight or obese women, even 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity isn’t enough to hold steady, much less take weight off.
Of course, if you don’t want to exercise more, you must cut calories.
If you’re at your goal weight, you can avoid middle-aged spread by working out either:
- intensely for 30 minutes a day (things like swimming laps, running, cycling, or participating in other intense training)
- OR moderately for 60 minutes a day (such as walking or taking a leisurely bike ride)
If you’re overweight, you must do the above, but also cut calories.
I’ve waited until you’ve been SOSing for a while before I broke this news. When the study came out, I was bummed…thinking I could never make it up to an hour a day of walking. But I did. If I can do it, you can, too.
Remember: you don’t have to do this overnight, in the next week, or even in the next month. Work up gradually, adding a minute a day. You’ll be glad you did.
SOS Month 2
What to do so far:
In case you missed a day, the reminders below are clickable.
Mitigate your snoring.
Work out to dance DVDs.
Exercise for the fun of it.
Remember lesser-known benefits of exercise.
Record body measurements.
Decrease your chemical load.
Review your food diary.
Eat 2 ounces of nuts daily.
Diets don’t work; lifestyle changes do.
On the Ides, I’d rather be…
Release anger and hostility.
Wear a pedometer daily.
Get 8 hours of sleep.
Add 1 minute/day and 1 day/week to your workout.
Learn lessons from your own story.
Collect pedometer data for a week.
Quantify for your health.
Write down pedometer data.
Be accountable to someone.
Walk a dog.
Check your heart rate while exercising.
??Follow the doc’s prescription.
Women can maintain weight in middle age with 60 minutes moderate exercise.