Women’s Health Week: Exercise Through The Lifespan

Exercise for Women, through the Lifespan…

Women’s health week is an important time to remember that exercise is one of the fundamental elements in leading a healthy, independent life.

Exercise Requirements:

A woman’s need for physical activity changes throughout the lifespan. According to the Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, women aged between 18-64 should partake in the following;

  • 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or,
  • 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or,
  • an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.

For adults 64 years and above, it is recommended that you aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily.

To understand the intensity of your exercise, it is good to remember this simple tool. If you can feel you are working, but are able to carry on a conversation, then you are in the moderate category. If you can feel you are working, but are unable to chat, this would fall into the vigorous category.

An example of your ‘vigorous intensity’ activity, might be X2 60-minute exercise classes a week, such as; spin classes, circuit classes, pilates, running, swimming, group and/or personal training.

On top of this, an example of your ‘moderate intensity’ activity may include a weights session, resistance-based exercise, yoga or a brisk walk throughout the week. Including a weights-based exercise session at least two times a week is particularly important for women in menopause, this will help to maintain bone density which decreases the risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis.

Exercising with Chronic Pain or a Disability:

While we understand pain and/or disability can make exercise very challenging, it shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your goals. If you do suffer from chronic pain or a disability, it can be helpful discussing this with your doctor or physiotherapist to find alternative options specific to you. There are many forms of exercise available and a qualified health professional can guide you on what’s best for you.

Finding the Time:

We all lead very busy lives and finding time for exercise can sometimes fall by the way side, it’s important to remember the long-term benefits that exercise can bring. Not only has exercise been shown to improve mental health and well-being across adulthood, but there are significant health benefits for many chronic conditions, such as; diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, just to name a few. Exercise is the ultimate self-care and it’s important to make it a priority, at any stage of your life.

So, this Women’s Health Week take the time to get excited about exercise. With the warm spring weather in the air, it’s the perfect opportunity to start something new!

If you have any questions about starting exercise, or the best exercise suited to you, our women’s health physiotherapists offer class assessments and tailored exercise programs to help get you started. For more information, please visit our website www.fitwise.com.auor call our rooms on 9822 4999 (Armadale) or 9486 0512 (East Melbourne).

Phoebe Kipen
General Physiotherapist

Consulting at our East Melbourne and Armadale practice

1. Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines (2019). Department of Health | Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines and the Australian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. [online] Available at: https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/health-pubhlth-strateg-phys-act-guidelines#npa1864 [Accessed 29 Aug. 2019].

Check out this great article on the Jean Hailes for Women’s Health website: Physical Activity & Exercise

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