I think most people would greet with dismay the newest "conventional wisdom" about how much exercise we need each day to keep from getting fatter as we age. For a normal weight woman to avoid middle-age spread, she needs 60 minutes every day of moderate cardio-type exercise. If you start your journey into middle age with a few extra pounds, you'll have to diet it off as well as do even more daily exercise. Here's what the Real Age doctors say about these findings, along with links about how to make this daunting task easier.
In a long-term study, middle-aged women who averaged about 60 minutes' worth of moderate-intensity exercise like walking on a daily basis experienced almost no weight gain during a 13-year period.
If you struggle with your weight already, you might need a little more than a daily 60. The overweight or obese women in the study weren't able to halt weight gain with the same level of exercise that worked for their healthy-weight peers. For a truly effective weight loss plan, try our online version of the best-selling book YOU: On a Diet. This online version combines daily walking with an easy-to-follow, proven-to-work eating plan that has helped hundreds of RealAge members lose weight. Find out more with this quick 99-second version of the diet.
The Fitness Factor
The really great news about the exercise study? Moderate-intensity exercise helped the healthy-weight women avoid weight gain even while they continued to eat as they normally would. No special diet was needed. Having trouble keeping yourself moving? Here are three strategies for overcoming common excuses:
- No time? Here's the exercise advice the RealAge docs have for busy people.
- No cute shoes? Check out this video for tips on picking the best walking shoes.
- Don't know where to start? Learn the keys to walking for weight loss.