How much Exercise for Women over 40
If you are a woman over 40, you might ask yourself: How much Exercise for Women over 40? After menopause losing weight is getting harder and harder. Especially if a sedentary lifestyle contributes to a lack of exercise and physical activity.
Regular exercise is an important component to lose weight permanently- but, in real life, how much exercise does actually help to lose weight? You might say “the more the better” and you are right- theoretically. After all, the common thinking is: The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose.
How much Exercise for Women over 40 – Is More Really Better?
That’s not really true. There is an effect called compensation. Compensation means: There is a gap between the expected weight loss (as predicted by the calories burnt by exercising) and the weight loss achieved. It doesn’t take a PhD to understand where the compensation effect comes from: When people go on an exercise program, they start to eat more. It’s often justified by thinking “As long as I am burning off the extra calories, I can allow myself to eat more”.
Unfortunately, we often tend to underestimate the calories we’ve eaten and to overestimate the calories burnt… So the attitude of “when I am exercising I can eat more” leads not to permanent weight loss. When I’m asked by my coaching clients about how much exercise for women over 40 they should do I always point out that the compensation mechanism can really destroy all the effort put into a weight loss program. This has been verified in a scientific study:
How much Exercise for Women over 40- Scientific Study Regarding the Compensation Mechanism
Researchers measured the amount of exercise related to the compensation mechanism and found a very interesting correlation. Previously sedentary, overweight or obese, postmenopausal women participated in three different exercise programs of 72, 136 and 194 minutes per week. The first two groups doing a bit over 1 hour of exercise a week and a bit over 2 hours a week didn’t compensate- their actual weight loss was as expected. So these women did not eat more while being on the exercise program.
But the women on the exercise program spending more than 3 hours per week lost only half of the predicted weight. It might be that they thought “I’ve been working so hard on the exercise program, now I can eat”.
This does not mean you should go for low intensity exercise programs taking only 2 hours a week. It means if you are exercising hard, there are chances you might feel compelled to compensate and start eating more. So: If you are doing an exercise program, watch your food intake as well- or you might not be able to lose weight permanently after 40.
How much Exercise for Women over 40 – General Results
By the way: All exercise groups had a significant reduction in waist circumference indicating healthy weight loss. Losing belly fat lowers the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems.You can find quite a few exercises for women on this website.
Recommended reading for “How much Exercise for Women over 40”:
- Exercise After Menopause And Increase Your Quality Of Life
- Move More Or Eat Less to Lose Weight Permanently?
- Need A Fat-Burning Exercise Program?
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