Attracting and maintaining a client base can be a struggle. To be successful, it helps to understand what types of exercise appeal to specific populations. For middle-aged women, the experts suggest keeping the intensity moderate. The study, reported at the North American Menopause Society meeting in Washington, DC, included 134 women aged 40–60. The goal was to determine whether vigorous-intensity exercise and moderate-intensity exercise had different psychological effects on the women.

“As part of the study, 134 women completed a vigorous-intensity exercise bout (maximal graded exercise test), and 121 of them completed a moderate-intensity exercise bout on a treadmill at self-selected pace,” stated the study authors. Psychological measures were assessed before, during and after each trial. Heart rate and rating of perceived exertion were also recorded. In general, the women gave more favorable responses after the moderate-intensity exercise bout.

“From a mood-enhancing perspective, these results indicate that moderate-intensity exercise should be promoted for midlife women,” the authors confirmed. “Deconditioned, overweight or obese women are likely to respond to vigorous exercise less positively, creating the potential for discouraging women from pursuing and maintaining regular physical activity. From a motivational perspective, women should be also encouraged to engage in enjoyable forms of physical activity that are personally meaningful.”