"Thank you for calling the Weight Loss Hotline.
If you would like to lose a half pound right now,
Press 1 eighteen thousand times!"
- Randy Glasbergen
Are you frustrated with the shape of your body?
Do you avoid weighing yourself because you dread seeing the number on the scale?
Do you lack the abundance of energy that you once enjoyed back when you were 30?
Are you concerned about the staggering statistics that one out of every two women over the age of 50 will die from Heart Disease?
Are you concerned about developing osteoporosis?
Would you like to improve your fitness level and exercise regularly but don't know how or can't seem to find the time to get started? Well…Let's get to the heart of the matter and weight no more.
Building a strong WHY
I've long believed if there is anything in my life that I don't like and would like to change; I must first know WHY I don't like it and WHY I want to change it. Until I get to the "heart of the matter" nothing will change. I'll continue to do the same things, the same way, always hoping for different results. It is not until I understand WHY I'm unhappy and what I would like to see different, that my motivation to change the circumstances greatly increases. That is when HOW to change it seems to appear without effort.
Today's article is about exercise and menopause so let's first talk about WHY it is important for women in menopause to have a regular, daily, exercise program.
There is an abundance of scientific evidence to support the many benefits of exercise at any age, but particularly at menopause. The benefits of exercise for women in menopause include but are not limited to the following:
- Helps to decrease hot flashes and night sweats
- Improves mood
- Enhances restful sleep
- Burns calories
- Improves overall circulation in the body
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Lowers Total Cholesterol
- Increases good HDL Cholesterol
- Stabilizes Blood Sugar
- Strengthens integrity of bone mass
- Helps to maintain lean muscle tissue
- Increases overall strength of body
- Tones and firms muscles
The health benefits of regular exercise during and beyond menopause help to protect a woman from heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity. This in turn improves day to day quality of life and longevity. Looking at the side benefits, regular exercise helps us look and feel better about ourselves and where we are in our life. Not to mention it will give us more energy to pursue the really important things that we want to do which may include traveling, continued work, volunteering for our favorite cause, or visiting family and friends.
In an ideal world you would think that with all the above mentioned benefits to exercising regularly, no woman would pass up the opportunity to exercise. However, we are all human and we all have many reasons for not doing certain things that we know are good for us.
If you answered yes to any of the questions at the beginning of this article and you aren't exercising regularly but you'd like to, I would like to help you develop a strong WHY you want and need to exercise and also give a few suggestions on HOW you can get started.
"My weaknesses have always been Food & Men – in that order!"
- Dolly Parton
I found the above quote recently and I had to laugh. Food was my main motivation to start exercising.
I started jogging when I was 30 years old. Even though I wasn't overweight at the time I wanted to look and feel better and I also wanted to be able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted without gaining weight. Now you know I love to eat! Fortunately for me my timing was perfect. The fitness craze was just beginning to take hold and I live in Southern California, so the weather was conducive to daily outdoor activities.
I began jogging slowly, two days a week, for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. After a few months I noticed that I could jog further in the same time frame and I wanted to jog more frequently. I increased the frequency to three to four days weekly and the length of time to 45 to 60 minutes. By this time I was "hooked" on jogging. The benefits I received of increased energy, decreased weight, improved mood and increased self-esteem became my strong WHY and the how was a given. Many of my friends and family also started commenting on how good I looked. To a woman "compliments" on how good we look are always a good motivator!
I continued my jogging routine for over twenty years. By the time I turned 50 I decided to run my first marathon. I was so excited after finishing my first marathon I decided to run it again the following year. However, after the second marathon it was clear to me that I needed to switch to another exercise program that would be easier on my body but still have many of the same benefits. I chose hiking. Hiking allows me to enjoy the view, while still burning calories, increasing my energy and socializing with friends.
Long Term Benefits of Exercising
My "Why" to exercise over 30 years ago has served my body well. I have no signs of osteoporosis, heart disease or diabetes. I am extremely fortunate. Now that I am postmenopausal my WHY to continue exercising is that I want to remain healthy and strong while maintaining the highest degree of day to day quality of life. And I also want to live as healthy as possible for at least another 30 years so that I can watch my two granddaughters grow up and become beautiful young women.
Take some time now to think about your WHY. How long would you like to live? What is your present level of fitness and quality of life? Are you having any health challenges like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes? Are you having any health situations that exercising regularly will help to improve? Have you had a bone density test? Are there any signs of osteopenia or osteoporosis? Or do you just want to lose the "midlife" belly fat and look better in your clothes?
Once you have a strong WHY to exercise the how and when to exercise will follow.
HOW to Get Started
Many women that I have counseled over the years regarding exercise tell me they don't have the time, or they don't know how to get started. You may also be thinking "well look at you, you started exercising 30 years ago no wonder you feel so good". But when I started jogging 30 years ago I could hardly jog half a block without wheezing. And try and remember that our bodies are very resilient; by starting today you can change your level of health and fitness just by walking thirty to forty five minutes a day five days a week all in less than three months! So the way to get started is one step at a time. Don't make it complicated. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and some comfortable loose clothing.
After you are walking regularly you will notice that you don't want to miss a day. Friends, family and co-workers will start commenting on how great you look and will want to know what your secret is. This is when you will know that you'll never have to address the "why" again. It has become a part of YOU!
If you prefer to exercise at home and don't want to have to purchase a treadmill, resistance bands, or any other fitness equipment, check out the following website for how to turn your house into your own private gym and all the motivation that you can possibly use to get you started and keep you going at: www.winthefitnessgame.com.
In closing remember that daily exercise is the key to living a long and healthy life and looking great doing it!