Well, basically everything. As we get older, our bodies lose their physical, physiological, and neural aspects, such as skin elasticity, bone density, muscle mass, and memory loss.
The more we move (stay physically active), the less we lose. At least the "losing process" slows. The less we move (become sedentary), the more we lose. This means the "losing process" speeds up.
The biggest most important "losing process" aspects for women are bone density and muscle mass. When women reach the age of 30, [Yes, 30!] they start to lose bone density and muscle mass. The best way to hold-off or slow this process is to MOVE IT (be physically active). Now, walking won't cut it. Women need to run and jump. When bone cells detect the force load of running and jumping, they begin to increase bone density. Personally, I like to do handstands and cartwheels; I started doing them when I was seven years old, and I've never stopped.
FACT: When women reach the age of 30, they start to lose bone density, muscle mass, and flexibility.
Men on the other hand, don't start the "losing process" until between the ages of 45 and 50.
And boys and men are much more physically active than girls and women are. So, it is imperative that all us females get active at an early age.
Flexibility! As we age, we lose this too. Even though females tend to be more flexible than males, we still lose it if we don't move it. In my professional opinion, not enough emphasis is placed on stretching to maintain or increase flexibility.
So here's my Rx for being physically active:
Now, what I've listed above is called frequency. This is how often you should exercise or be physically active. MOVING IT!
Q: How long should I workout? 10 minutes or 1 hour?
Good question. If you're just starting out, then you should take it slow and keep your workouts short. As you gain cardiopulmonary endurance (less breathlessness as you go) and muscular endurance (less muscle fatigue as you go), then you can increase your intensity and your time.
Intensity is how hard you workout. For example, you might be walking at a slow pace; this would be walking at low intensity (not working-out very hard). If you walk at a quicker pace and you start to breathe a bit heavier, then you're working out at a higher intensity level. The intensity level is relative to a particular individual's fitness level. As you become more fit, your intensity level will increase. The higher your intensity level, the more calories you'll burn.
Time is the duration of your workout. We all are crunched for time these days. So, getting a 10 minute workout is better than none at all. But of course the more time you put in, the more calories you'll burn.
The higher your intensity level, the more calories you'll burn.
FIT individual's pay very close attention to the Frequency, Intensity and Time aspects of their workout. Becoming FIT means you have to MOVE IT or you'll LOSE IT. Being FIT is a good habit to get into. Choosing to stay FIT and making it your lifestyle is to choose longevity with good quality of life.
So, MOVE it or Lose it!
It's imperative that females get active at an early age. Walking won't cut it. Women need to run and jump.