Exercise Takes Time? Really?

Reading yet another piece on an exercise study, this one with older (60-74 years) sedentary women, I giggled at this observation:

“They complained to us that working out six times a week took too much time,” Dr. Hunter says. They did not report feeling fatigued or physically droopy. Their bodies were not producing excessive levels of cytokines, sending invisible messages to the body to slow down.

Rather, they felt pressed for time and reacted, it seems, by making choices like driving instead of walking and impatiently avoiding the stairs.

As noted in the study abstract, the groups working out twice or four times a week (half strength training and half aerobics) had about the same physical improvement as the group working out six times a week, and became a bit less active overall than the other 2 groups.   And, of course, this is about averages and older women, and individuals vary.  But it’s nice to see recognition that you don’t have to work out every day to have useful strength or endurance results.  Or that people might have things to do besides exercise.

5 thoughts on “Exercise Takes Time? Really?

  1. Sometimes these experts inspire so much facepalm. Exercise is not one size fits all. Doing what works for you and what you like is the best way to stick to it. We are not all super athletes. Probably most of the experts aren’t either.

    • This goes to the doing what you like part of my statement. I can easily work out in the pool for an hour to an hour and a half and not find it a heinous task, because I really enjoy it. I’m fine with walking for an hour with my walking poles. However, working out on a treadmill or an elliptical is pure misery after about 10 minutes due to my sciatica. I used to browbeat myself into trying to work out for a half hour on the machines, and I hated it so I’d never do it. I used to browbeat myself into running instead of walking, which I much prefer, and I eventually gave up on it because of the asthma attacks. Now I have no problem sticking to a minimum of four or five days a week. Six just isn’t likely to happen.

  2. I can’t imagine how someone would feel going from no scheduled exercise to 6+ hours a week of activity. That’s a lot of time to take out of your life all at once… I recently ramped up to a 6-day training schedule and it is a TREMENDOUS time investment.

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