That's a dramatic title for a blog post, isn't it? My apologies. But I needed to catch your attention.
As we get older we often start to notice a few aches and pains that never troubled us before. Feeling stiff in the mornings, slower recovery times after exercise, a slower metabolism, feeling tired... it's enough to make you want to give up and sit on the sofa. Which is what I am doing now, actually, as I type this blog post...
I confess, I have never been physically energetic. Mentally, I could win Olympic Gold, but physically... well, let's just say I am more Pooh than Tigger. I also have significant cartilage loss in both knees which makes squatting, running and walking up and down stairs difficult at times. It would be easy to give up and slide gently into old age whilst sitting on my (not inconsiderable) bum.
But here's the thing. The less I move, the more I ache. The more I ache, the less I move - and the more I eat. The more I eat the heavier I get and the heavier I get the more uncomfortable exercise becomes. Sound familiar?
Before you rush off to look out that Jane Fonda-esque leotard and tights (you're not as old as me if that doesn't make sense!) the latest research suggests that sustained aerobic exercise isn't necessarily the best way for midlife women to lose weight and gain fitness. Interval training, where your heart rate is raised then lowered several times, can produce results more quickly than longer, steadier paced activities.
If the phrase "interval training" makes you think of top athlete style effort, think again. Walking fast and slow counts too. The important thing is to start where you are, but to start on the 3 pillars of fitness:
Fitness and nutrition coach, Sam Palmer, would add another pillar - enjoyment. Life is too short to spend hours slogging away in the gym if you don't enjoy it. Dance around the kitchen, chase your kids/grandkids round the park, take a brisk walk in the sunshine - just move!