Exercise priorities vary with life stages
Reported September 01, 2009
The amount of exercise that women manage to do as they go through different
life phases changes over time.
Researchers analysed data from 22,595 Australian women and found that lower
levels of physical activity were linked with marriage and childbirth in
young women and declining health in older women. They also found that
activity levels often increased in women who were retired or widowed.
By recognising the life events that are associated with decreased activity,
women could be alerted to the risk. For example, if you are an older woman
with heart disease or diabetes, it is vital to stay active, as physical
activity can help to manage those conditions.
The researchers suggested that widowed women may use increased physical
activity as a way to cope with the loss of their spouse. The study also
found that young women who suffer harassment at work tend to boost their
activity levels, and this may be their way of coping with the stress of the
Situations like marriage and children change the amount of expendable time
during the day. It may vary culturally, but having children almost always
decreases the feeling of self-priority in women.
Figuring out ways to maintain regular physical activity throughout the life
cycle is important. Even a walk around the block with a friend can do
wonders for both mental and physical health.