We hear it all the time; exercise is good for us. But since exercise often seems about as much fun as a root canal for some, we wonder if it really is worth it. What are the benefits to regular exercise? Is it important for menopausal women to get moving? You bet it is and youíll enjoy the following gains.
Better overall physical fitness
Regular exercise helps keep our bodies in good shape. It doesnít have to be a lot of exercise. While itís recommended we get about 30 minutes of physical activity every day, even just 20 to 30 minutes three times a week is beneficial. Getting regular exercise keeps our bodies moving. Just like the old adage, if we donít use it we lose it. Allowing our bodies to become inactive leads to greater risk for injury; exercise helps prevent injury.
The key to maintaining a healthy weight is eating properly and burning more calories than we take in. A brisk 30 minute walk can burn up to 300 calories. While exercising you build up more muscle mass - this muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat. As you increase your muscle mass and decrease the amount of fat in your body, you body will burn calories more efficiently. A pound of muscle will burn more calories than a pound of fat even when you are just sitting.
Better cardio health
Working out your heart and lungs will go a long way to preventing heart disease and stroke which are among the leading causes of death for women 40 and over. Good heart and better blood circulation are essential for good health as we get older.
Increased flexibility and mobility
Using those muscles and joints keeps them moving. Otherwise we risk our bodies becoming stiff and rigid to the point of seizing up on us. Regular exercise means we can still enjoy our favorite activities. We can also prevent injuries from falls or muscle strain, helping us to remain independent in our advancing years.
Good mental health
Exercise helps to combat stress. Feeling angry or upset? Work out some of that frustration by going for a walk or participating in other physical activities. Exercise cannot compensate for the more serious issues in our lives, but keeping fit does help contribute to a more positive attitude as part of our overall health.
That simple walk is a great way to build bone density. Walking is a weight bearing exercise that helps maintain stronger bones and use your calcium intake more efficiently. Stronger bones will decrease your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. Keep your strong posture and confidence in your body by keeping those bones healthy.
Exercise does not have to be strenuous and you donít need to go through the hassles of joining a gym. Just choose your favorite physical activity and make throughout the week for your routine. This is a busy stage in life, but you owe it to yourself to take care of you!
Please make sure you discuss any changes to your physical fitness routine with your doctor.
Menopause, Your Doctor, and You