I was asked yesterday by SBS news to comment on a press release by Health and Sports Minister Sussan Ley which was encouraging working Australian women to exercise more.
Currently, only four in ten women in Australia exercise for at least the recommended 150 minutes a week, be that by walking or some other mode of moderate vigorous activity. As we age, our level of activity decreases from one half of women aged 18-25 meeting those goals, to only one in four aged in their mid-70s.
The benefits of exercise for women include: reduced dementia risk, reduced osteoporosis, optimised muscle mass which aids sugar metabolism thus avoiding diabetes and also keeping lean. There is also positive data on exercise reducing certain forms of cancer (lung, colon and breast cancer – the latter in particular), reducing stroke severity and improving digestion. Exercise is fantastic at reducing stress, depression and anxiety and boosting mental performance and work productivity. Finally there is some data stating that it can also improve libido hence help in relationships – if applicable.
Women above the age of 50 among other risk factors have an increased risk of stroke and hypertension compared to men. It is important for women to hit that age bracket with fantastic blood pressure, weight, lipids and blood sugar level – all addressed with exercise.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that biologically we are mammals and that to optimise our physical functioning we do need to move a lot, and eat a diet that is replete with plant foods, in the right amount and the right combination.
#health #fitness #stressmanagement #exercise