7 Benefits of Exercise Besides Weight Loss for Women Over 50
Dear Alexandra and Kymberly: What are some benefits of exercise, especially for women over 50? People tell me all the time that movement is good for me for many reasons, but I can only think of one: weight loss. “Hates to exercise” in Hygiene, Colorado
Great question. And I’d ask about your city, but I lived near there and know it exists! Nevertheless it is a unique name for a town. And I sure am tempted to say, “Hi Jean!”
Quite a few great reasons and more than seven exercise benefits exist. One really popular reason, especially for baby boomers is covered in “Energy: Can a 57 Year Old Have More than a 20 Year Old?” For now, we’ll start with seven the Mayo Clinic touts, starting with the one you already know:
Benefits of Exercise
- Helps manage weight – Forget all that crazy talk pre-printed on cardio machines about fat-burning zones: a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. In a simple sentence that includes a verb, engaging in exercise causes you to burn calories. If you burn them, you aren’t storing them!
- Improves mood – decreases stress, helps stave off depression, increases self-esteem and happiness, and is relaxing; all to do with brain chemicals.
- Combats chronic diseases – We in the fitness industry have been shouting about this for years. But is anyone listening? Noooooo. Too bad, I’m going to shout it again: most chronic diseases can be prevented or managed with exercise – hypertension, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, abnormal cholesterol levels, stroke, arthritis. While we’re at it, if you’re a smoker, quit smoking! Exercise can help undo the effects of smoking — yeah, once you quit!
- Boosts energy level – When people say “I’m doing my cardio,” they are secretly talking about Biology 101. The cardiovascular system is more efficient when it’s all “exercised up.” Go Heart! Go Blood Vessels! While we’re here: Go Lungs!
- Promotes better sleep – As long as I don’t exercise right before bedtime, I can improve..zzzzzzzzz. snort
- Has positive effect on sex life – Women: Hello arousal! Men: Goodbye erectile dysfunction. Nuff said.
- Can be fun – Okay, most of the people who live on this planet might wonder about the fun part, but obviously the researchers at the Mayo Clinic are whooping it up!
In the end, all you need is the one benefit that will get you motivated to exercise. Any list, no matter how long or short, will be irrelevant unless it resonates with you. And no, “resonate” is not a type of furniture polish!
Dear Readers: If you had to choose one of the benefits from the list above, which one would get you motivated to move? Need more motivation? Read 7 Top Secret Reasons People Exercise
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Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA