"I've gotta do WHAT? I haven't even been doing the 30 minutes of exercise I thought I should be getting!" Women everywhere groaned when they heard the results of a study published in the March 24/31 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
How much exercise do women need?
According to the JAMA study, women need 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day to prevent weight gain as they age if they consume a normal diet. While this may motivate some women to exercise more, it raises the bar too high for many who aren't even close.
So if you're not getting enough exercise and feel discouraged, what should you do? First, tuck this study away as one more piece of evidence that exercise is good for you - then forget about it. Next, ask yourself this question:
What is the least amount of exercise I could do...most days, joyfully and consistently?
Do the least amount of exercise???
Yes, joyfully and consistently. When the discomfort and difficulty of making a change is too great, you won't. Therefore, instead of focusing on the gap between where you are and where you should be, focus on the gap between where you are and where you could be.
In fact, I suggest lowering the bar so low that the temptation to step right over it is irresistible! What might that look like for you?
- Walking for five minutes a day?
- Dancing to one song each evening in your living room?
- Taking one flight of stairs at work (then taking the elevator up the other three floors)?
- Doing floor exercises (or standing up) during the commercials of one 30 minute television show?
- Walking one lap around the soccer field during your child's practice?
- Something else?
Your negative self-talk might be saying, "That's not enough! It won't make any difference." But if it helps you take that first step over the bar, you are on your way!