Sunday, May 19, 2024

Women should start exercising by this age for better quality of life

Must read

Middle-aged women need to get active — or stay active — by 55 to enjoy a better quality of life as they get older, according to a study published Thursday.

Australian researchers followed 11,300 women in their late 40s or early 50s for 15 years. The women fit into one of three categories: they exercised for at least the recommended 150 minutes a week; they didn’t initially work out that long but started to when they reached 55, 60 or 65; or they never exercised that much.

Quality of life was assessed with a physical health score and a mental health score that were calculated from a survey that included 36 questions about functional health and well-being.

The study authors reported that the women who consistently exercised 150 minutes a week and those who started to reach the fitness threshold at 55 had a three-point higher physical health score on average than the women who didn’t meet the physical activity guidelines.

“Our study shows that it’s important for women to be active throughout mid-age to gain the most benefits for physical health in later life. Ideally, women should increase their activity levels to meet the guidelines by age 55,” the authors wrote in the study, which was published in the journal PLOS Medicine.


Middle-aged women need to get active — or stay active — by 55 to enjoy a better quality of life as they get older, according to a study published Thursday. Mat Hayward – stock.adobe.com

The study authors reported that the women who consistently exercised 150 minutes a week and those who started to reach the fitness threshold at 55 had a three-point higher physical health score on average than the women who didn't meet the physical activity guidelines.
The study authors reported that the women who consistently exercised 150 minutes a week and those who started to reach the fitness threshold at 55 had a three-point higher physical health score on average than the women who didn’t meet the physical activity guidelines. Monkey Business – stock.adobe.com

The researchers found the effect of physical activity on the physical health score to be “significant” even when accounting for socioeconomic factors and pre-existing health conditions.

However, there was “no significant association” between physical activity and the mental health score.

According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening a week.

Moderate-intensity activity is characterized as exercise that allows you to talk but not sing the words of your favorite song.

Examples include brisk walking, participating in water aerobics, riding a bike in a place that’s not hilly, playing doubles tennis, and mowing the lawn.

The activity doesn’t have to be done all at once — it can be completed in 30-minute intervals five days a week or in shorter periods.

Latest article