OCEANSIDE–If you are a woman and don’t exercise enough – or at all – you are literally making yourself sick.
This is the conclusion of a new study released by Oregon State University last week, indicating that inactive women are at a higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome, a group of medical conditions including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and excessive belly fat.
“Even taken separately, each of these conditions can be dangerous to your health,” says Coach Berry R.B., a fitness expert and owner of Dare to be Fit Personal Training Studio in Oceanside. “Combine them, and your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke increases.”
Should you be worried? It all depends on your level of activity. The study found that women average only about 18 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous daily exercise, far below the recommended minimum of 30 minutes a day.
The reasons for lack of physical activity among women range from busy work schedules and family obligations to – incredibly enough – vanity. In an interview with the New York Times last year, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin noted that because they don’t want to mess up their hair, some women avoid physical activity altogether.
“Anyone who doesn’t want to work out will always find a convenient excuse,” Berry says. “But the bottom line is this: hair – or any other reason – should not stand in the way of your health.”
If you need even more compelling reasons to work out – other than the ones cited above – how is this: numerous studies have shown that women who exercise at moderate to vigorous levels for three or more hours per week reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by 30 to 40 percent.
And if you are a man, don’t think you’re off the hook. Even though this particular study focused on women, many men also skimp on exercise. According to a 2011 report by Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than two in 10 Americans get the recommended levels of physical activity, and more than a quarter of U.S. adults of both genders don’t exercise at all.
“While this recent research mentions the risk of metabolic syndrome in women, let’s not forget that inactive lifestyle can be dangerous for men and women alike,” Berry points out. “For both, it ups the risk of obesity, heart disease, several forms of cancers, diabetes, and stroke – all of which can lead to early death.”
If a busy schedule – not hair – is the reason why you don’t exercise, Berry suggests the following time-saving tips:
Plan your sessions early in the morning, before your schedule gets too busy. You’ll be energized for all your day’s activities and won’t have to worry about fitting in a workout later, when things get too hectic.
Focus on time-saving but highly effective exercises like interval training, which typically lasts 15 to 20 minutes per session. Ask your trainer to create intervals that are best suited to your needs.
To learn more about Coach Berry’s weight loss program, e-mail at email@example.com, or call (760) 967-6847.