Motivation for MOMS

I saw a video the other day that asked the question, “If you could swap bodies with someone you loved for one year, how would you live differently for them?” Several of my family members came to mind, and with Mother’s Day around the corner, I hope you read this article and encourage your mom (or any loved one) to begin an exercise program, even if you have to (or get to) join them as they move their body! 

Here are three reasons WHY exercise is important as you age:

1. Heart Health and Longevity: Regular physical activity significantly impacts heart health. Engaging in aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking, jogging, or cycling, helps maintain healthy blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, and improves overall cardiovascular function. Women who prioritize fitness tend to have lower rates of heart-related conditions, leading to increased longevity. A strong heart supports a longer, healthier life.

2. Strength Training for Women:
As women age, maintaining muscle mass becomes essential. Unfortunately, age-related muscle loss occurs gradually, affecting mobility and overall physical abilities. Strength training, which involves resistance exercises using weights or resistance bands, plays a pivotal role. By challenging muscles, women can counteract muscle decline (read: reverse aging), enhance strength, and improve functional abilities. Even simple activities like lifting weights or doing bodyweight exercises contribute to preserving muscle mass.

3. Independence and Quality of Life:
As women age, maintaining independence becomes paramount. Strength training not only prevents muscle loss but also enhances daily functionality. It allows women to perform everyday tasks with ease, whether it’s lifting groceries, climbing stairs, or getting up from a chair. By staying strong, women can maintain their autonomy, enjoy an active lifestyle, and experience a higher quality of life.

New evidence suggests that just like heart-pumping aerobic exercise, strength training also may help older adults live longer. But doing both types of exercise is even more beneficial, according to a study published in the November 2022 issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study involved surveys from nearly 100,000 men and women ages 55 to 74. Participants reported the frequency and duration of their exercise, including moderate and vigorous physical activity and weightlifting.

After a median follow-up of nine years, researchers found that weightlifting alone was linked to a 9% to 22% lower risk of dying. Moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise appeared to lower risk by 24% to 34%. But the greatest longevity gains were among people who did both types of exercise; their risk of dying during the follow-up period was 41% to 47% lower compared with people who did not exercise.

Prioritizing fitness through regular exercise, including both cardiovascular activities and strength training, empowers women to lead healthier lives, reduce disease risks, and enjoy greater longevity. 

However, at the end of the day, if science and studies are just not enough to get you off the couch and moving, maybe these real-life experiences will do the trick. I posed the question, “What is your reason for exercising as it relates to being a mother?” in my gym Facebook group. The answers were inspirational and insightful. Maybe the quote below will ring true for you and you can act, for you and your family.