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Midlife women are often juggling full-time jobs with family responsibilities. What would encourage them to fit exercise into their schedules?
PROCEDURE: A group of healthy women who worked full time, ages 40-60 years, were followed for one year. The women answered questions about how much they exercised, what their exercise goals were, and how committed they were to achieving those goals.
FINDINGS: Women who stated their goals were weight loss or health benefits reported significantly less physical activity than women whose goals were generating a sense of well-being and reducing stress.
COMMENT: “Unfortunately, the standard approach to exercise taken in our culture has mainly taught Americans to consider exercise as a type of medicine to prevent disease and lose weight,” said corresponding author Michelle Segar, PhD. “It turns exercise into something they should do rather than something they want to do, [which] undermines and harms motivation and participation.
“With life enhancement as her goal, a woman is more likely to choose physical activities she enjoys doing, making it much more likely that she will stay motivated and remain physically active.”
This is true with all things, right? It's always harder to do things when they are seen as medicinal or things we *have* to do. It's all about having a shift in perspective, not thinking "Oh, man, I have to get out and exercise and lose this weight", but thinking "It feels so good to get my body moving, energy flowing!" There are many things in society that are presented in a way that opposes the goal, but we as adults have to be aware of them and change our own individual thinking, then present things from our new, more positive point of view, so we slowly start to change the way things are viewed around us.