Between work, kids, chores, cell phones and life in general, who has time to exercise?
As a woman in my 40s with a full-time job, a kid, two dogs and a husband, finding the time and energy to exercise is difficult. But as an instructor, I understand that as we get older, especially women, loss of bone density and muscle mass becomes a problem. Women who take the time to exercise at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week can reduce this loss.
Physical activity can help build muscles and strong bones. It may also help prevent osteoporosis. But, again, how do you find the time?
The answer is that you have to make the time. My realisation that I was not doing enough came as I became tired more often and more irritable, and was sleeping badly. The kicker was when my doctor told me that I have borderline-high-to-high blood pressure. This above anything else made me rethink about finding more ways to sneak in time for exercise.
The top 10 reasons to exercise, especially for those of us over 40, according to healthline.com, are:
It makes you feel happier.
It can help with weight loss.
It is good for your muscles and bones.
It can increase your energy levels.
It can reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
It can help with skin health.
It can help with brain health and memory.
It can help with relaxation and sleep quality.
It can help reduce pain and increase pain tolerance.
It can help improve your sex life.
Knowing that exercise has all of these benefits should inspire us to find time to do it, but how? A couple of small things I have done to add more physical exertion into my daily routine have begun with changing my lifestyle in general. These include:
– Walking up and down the stairs instead of taking the elevator
– Going for a walk or jog during my son’s baseball practice or any other practice he may have
– Regularly taking my dogs for a walk at lunchtime
– Parking my car a little farther away from the door of the place I’m going
– Going to the Humane Society on Saturdays and Sundays and giving a dog a walk
Those who are currently sedentary and want to become active need to be careful and start slowly. It’s important to start in a way that prevents injury, keeps your interest and avoids your becoming disheartened.
Marion Pandohie is a fitness instructor who is filling in for columnist Tony Watts this month.