An article was released recently that stated ‘half of British women do no regular exercise’ according to a survey by Nuffield Health Healthier Nation Index.

I don’t know that I am surprised by the figures, but it does make me so sad. More than half of the women questioned said a lack of time, due to work, was their reason. I personally think there are so many other, bigger barriers though, including:

Lack of confidence – so many times I’ve heard women tell me they will join my classes when they are fitter or slimmer.

Exhaustion or boredom  – I’ve had conversations with women who can’t face going to the gym because they are too tired to do their (60-minute cardio) workout or that they don’t really like it.

Demotivation and frustration – it’s my most frequent conversation with women that they feel that the exercise their doing isn’t working because the scales just aren’t changing! 

I really believe it is time for a deeper conversation to be had around exercise. A conversation that moves away from working out hard and for long durations in order to crush calories. Instead we must start the conversion about why regular exercise is so important, particularly in our 40’s and beyond when our hormones start to decline.

Estrogen is the most well-known of the sex hormones. It gets blamed for so much, which is maybe understandable as it does have over 400 functions, including maintaining the structure and function of the muscle, tendon and ligament tissue. When our estrogen declines the tendons feel it. One in four women in their 50’s develops hip and rotator cuff issues. Frozen shoulder and plantar fasciitis are also very common in peri and menopausal women.

Our bone health is reliant on estrogen, alongside optimum nutrient absorption.

Estrogen is also the cardio protective hormone. Heart disease is the biggest cause of death in women, killing more than twice as many women as breast cancer in the UK every year.

All of these conditions are responsive to the right type of exercise (and a few other elements because wellbeing is about a whole-body approach). 

Ladies, when it comes to your workouts you don’t need to spend hours at a time in a gym, using every piece of cardio equipment. In fact, that could do more harm than good. Short bursts of intensity are much more beneficial than long cardio sessions and little, often, varied and purposeful is the best strategy to exercising.  It really is about moving well NOT more. Workouts honestly only need to be between 10 – 40 minutes for maximum benefit.  

Do you work out regularly or do you have barriers to exercise? Are you exhausted or lacking in time from spinning all the plates? Is it time to change your thinking to movement?