Let’s face it. Despite the evidence that exercise is good for us, many of us in the U.S. are pretty sedentary and don’t get the exercise we need. According to The Heart Truth, 40 percent of all women do not list exercise as one of their “leisure” activities. Compared to men, women exercise a lot less.
Frankly, I understand that. Most of us have only a finite amount of leisure time. There doesn’t seem to be an abundance of true free or leisure time floating around in our day-to-day lives. When I do have down time, I want to spend it doing things I enjoy and exercise doesn’t bubble up to the top of that list! Personally, I’m more of a bookworm and couch potato queen than an exercise diva. Given the choice between curling up with a good book or getting outdoors on a Texas summer day to run in 110 degree heat, the air conditioning and good book will win every time!
The problem is that after so many years of ruling my kingdom (or is that queen-dom?) from the couch, my body pretty much looks like the stay-puff-marshmallow-girl. Plus, I’m post-menopausal and am beginning to pay a bit more attention to that internal tick tock life clock counting down my days. The older I get, the more aware I’m becoming that the time to take action to improve my heart health was probably yesterday and that since I procrastinated and read the book instead, I’d better take action today.
I don’t know about you, but my free time is precious to me because it’s in such short supply. If I’m going to exercise, then I want to make the most of the time I have available. While we all know that exercise is good for us and good for your heart health, I had to wonder if there were any differences in the amount of exercise that is required for post-menopausal women. Is exercise as beneficial for us as it is for younger women? Does our age work against us? If we haven’t been exercising all these years, have we missed our opportunity? Do we need to exercise longer? Harder? More vigorously? Do we need to exercise more frequently than younger women to gain the same heart health benefits?
These are valid questions.