As we age, it takes a little longer to recover from exercise. But that doesn’t mean that as women “of a certain age,” or men for that matter, we should hang up our sneakers. In fact, there’s something to the adage, “use it or lose it!” The truth is being a weekend warrior may even add a few years to your life!
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association* in January 2017 showed that as little as one to two days of exercise per week helps to decrease our mortality. This is good news for those of us who lead busy lives and are only able to find the time to exercise on the weekend. However, if you’re able to squeeze a couple more days of exercise into the week, you’ll fare even better. The study explains that participating in a variety of exercises four to six times per week is not only beneficial to your musculoskeletal system, but it also helps to decrease pain or even avoid it altogether.
To get the most out of your exercise, The American College of Sports Medicine recommends resistance training at least two nonconsecutive days per week. They recommend trying exercises that involve all the major muscle groups, such as walking, hiking, swimming or cycling. And they suggest a goal of performing at least 30 minutes of moderate activity or 20 minutes of more vigorous activity at least three days per week.
All that being said, exercising at any age can cause soreness, especially if we overdo it. It’s always important to let your muscles heal in between workouts by giving yourself a day to recover. Be good to your body, and it just may be good to you!
*Source: Emmanuel Stamataskis, PhD, et.al. Association of “Weekend Warrior” and Other Leisure Time Physical Activity Patterns With Risks for All-Cause, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer Mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine, January 2017
This blog post is part of our Simply Women initiative that caters to the unique health care needs of women and their families.