A recent study indicates that previously held notions about exercise may be misleading people into sedentary lifestyles.
You’ve heard the advice. “When you exercise, never over do it to the point of losing your breath. You should be able to carry on a casual conversation while you work out.”
If longevity is your goal, then this advice may fall hopelessly short. A totally different kind of exercise, according to recent research, holds the real medicinal benefit. Get ready – what you really need to do (with your doctor’s approval) isn’t so….casual.
Then get aggressive when you exercise. No wimps allowed! Age is no excuse! (But remember that thing about getting your doctor’s approval).
A new research paper, co-authored by Professor Debra Anderson and Dr. Charlotte Seib of Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation in Australia, gives strong evidence that women over the age of 50 will have better mental and physical health with much more intense exercise than is typically recommended.
The report was published in Maturitas: The International Journal of Midlife Health and Beyond. The research reveals that family physicians would be prudent to prescribe that women of middle age years and beyond should increase both the amount and intensity of physical activity.
Accumulating data from five years of investigation into the effects of exercise, researchers discovered that mild workouts for 30 minutes per day, such as a brisk walk, do little to improve either physical function or mental wellness in mature women.
In fact, the study indicates that a mild workout will not improve longevity or increase a woman’s life expectancy to the degree that an effective, high intensity workout will. If the physical activity does not leave the person feeling winded, it is not substantial enough, according to research.
The notion that women over the age of 50 cannot handle anything more intense than walking is a myth. Professor Anderson, who regularly works with mature women through wellness programs, points out the many activities that older women are perfectly capable of incorporating into their lifestyle.
Rather than simply walking, older women should instead spend about thirty to forty-five minutes pursuing activities that increase heart rate and leave them out of breath. Swimming, cycling, hiking and running or jogging are excellent examples of the types of exercise that improve a woman’s physical and mental wellness.
Adding intensity to a daily workout (perhaps by working up to it if you haven’t exercised in a while) does not require special gym memberships or aerobics, as people can easily include such activities into their day-to-day routines.
Combined with other health improvement changes, such as good nutritional choices and plenty of quality sleep, the results of an intense daily workout will allow you to enjoy a longer life expectancy and achieve a positive state of mental wellness.
As Jack Lalanne once told me in a salty tone of voice, “Get off your butt!”
Professor Anderson put essentially the same advice this way:
“When once we thought that 30 minutes of mild exercise a day was enough to improve health, research is now telling us that older women should be doing at least 30-45 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise (and by that we mean exercise that leaves you huffing and puffing) five times a week.”
“It’s also important that the exercise be tailored to ensure that it is high intensity enough to obtain the positive sustained effects of exercise,” said Anderson.
Got it? If your doc gives the go ahead, then get after it. Avoiding intense physical activity seems like self-sabotage under these circumstances. Why not do something that makes you feel great (afterwards) and extends your life, according to science?
Here’s a tip straight out of our NLP Certification Training. When you’re trying to motivate yourself to do something you don’t enjoy doing, but need to do anyway, then DON’T mentally picture yourself doing it.
We all have images in our mind’s eye. So, you want to motivate yourself – and you picture yourself doing something as a reminder you need to do it. Now, there’s that image of you sweating and suffering on the elliptical machine.
Yuck. You’ll pass on that!
No, no. Instead, picture yourself feeling good afterwards. Then, go there. You’ll be more naturally motivated by the positive association of having accomplished something good.
Don’t picture yourself doing the dishes. Instead, picture yourself feeling good in a nice, clean kitchen. Then get there by doing the dishes.
Don’t picture yourself balancing the checkbook. Instead, picture yourself feeling relieved after having balanced the checkbook. Then get to that good feeling.
Picture the result you want (not the process that you don’t enjoy) and how good you’ll feel, then move forward through the hard part. These little mind strategies are what NLP is famous for and – barring psychological attachments – they really work.
If you want help implementing the principles in the article, consider life coaching with Mike Bundrant.
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