Posted in Wellness Wednesdays
Most of you have probably heard that we lose muscle mass as we age. But according to this article in the New York Times, this is not an inevitable outcome. It’s kind of a use-it-or-lose-it thing.
As you know, I’ve decided to use it. I did that whole P90X thing and definitely got stronger by the end of the 90 days. It was a tough regimen. I was committed but it was tough. Was it worth it? Well, I’m not really sure.
While I know I got stronger, as evidenced by the amount of weight I could lift and number of repetitions I could perform by the end of the program, it’s probably not a routine I will keep up. It’s a little bit of torture, not total agony, but definitely extremely hard work. I really don’t think I can keep up that level of intensity.
Well, I’m not alone. According to this study, middle-aged women are happier, and more apt to keep up their exercise routine with moderate exercise rather than a vigorous regimen. "The study found that moderate intensity exercise caused more women to report later that they were in a better mood and to have greater feelings of energy, psychological wellbeing and ‘self-efficacy.’" Most interestingly, the boost in mood was not as great for those that exercised more vigorously.
Now, I don’t care to know the technical definition of middle-aged, but I do know that I was much happier walking a moderately paced five to eight miles over the course of a day on my Australian vacation than I was doing P90X over the course of a mere hour at home. And I don’t think it was just because I was on vacation. It was because it didn’t feel like exercise. It didn’t feel like a chore. The study's lead researcher pointed out, “Exercise makes you feel better but it is going to be more pleasant when performed at moderate intensity as compared to vigorous.” Well of course, exercise is more pleasant if it doesn’t actually feel like exercise!
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