Inactivity in women over 30 greater health risk than smoking

It’s not what size your body is but what you do with it’- Lack of exercise overtakes obesity and 
smoking in biggest risk factor for heart disease in women over 30.

This has been reported in an Australian study recently released. The study looked at the data on heart disease risk and what conditions contributed to risk throughout different ages and population groups.

Previous research had resulted in the knowledge that high body weight, smoking, high blood pressure and physical inactivity are all risk factors for heart disease. This study specifically looked at how these risk factors changed over the lifespan of Australian women.
The researchers from the Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and Health at the University of Queensland followed the health of more than 30,000 women born in the 1920s, 1940s and 1970s.

They have concluded that from approximately the age of 30, the risk of heart disease caused by inactivity is greater than other risk factors. The conservative estimate in Australia is that over 3000 lives would be saved if women in the age group and beyond added exercise and activity into their lives. While the study was carried out on our neighbours across the Tasman, the results should certainly be ringing alarm bells amongst inactive women in NZ with the lead author of the study Professor Wendy Brown saying that public health policy encouraging exercise and physical activity should be a priority.

Our Ministry of Health guidelines suggest just 30 minutes a day of activity to gain health benefits, achievable by almost everyone, with the right support and assistance. There are many options to keep you motivated and moving with enough variety to suit everyone from simply walking around the block through to group fitness classes, social sports and many gym based activities.

And while many magazines and internet articles on weight-loss and fitness may suggest that in order for exercise to be effective it has to be hard, the benefits can certainly be had without lifting huge weights or running marathons. REPs Registered Professionals have always understood, through their education and experience that health and lifestyle management is not about ‘looking the part’ but rather ‘living the life’. While what our bodies look like is a definite motivator for many women, just wearing a smaller pair of jeans will not insure you against heart disease and other lifestyle illnesses.

So the results of this research is a very compelling reason to get started on an exercise
programme. This is your health we are talking about. Make the move-to-move today.
How do I get help to get started into exercise? We are very fortunate in New Zealand to have NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) registered professionals who can provide you with all of the guidance and support that you need. They are suitably qualified and experienced to get you started with safe and effective exercise advice. Sally is Reps registered.