A new study fromHarvardUniversitysuggests that every day women need to bike or walk briskly in order to prevent weight gain as they get older.
Women who were 25 to 42 years old at the start of the research gained less weight if they spent an additional 30 minutes a day riding bikes or walking 3 miles an hour or faster by the end of the study. Those who increased only slow walking didn’t reduce their weight gain during the 16-year study, according to the report published onJune 28, 2010in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
In theUnited States, about 66 percent of adults are overweight or obese, while 16 percent of children are overweight, according to the researchers. The findings help clarify how much exercise is needed to slow weight gain as people age and the results also apply to men, said co-lead author Rania Mekary.
“We want to give practical solutions to people to lessen their weight gain,” said Mekary, a research associate at the Harvard School of Public Health inBoston. “Even small steps can make a difference. It’s never too late.”
The researchers in the study looked at 18,414 premenopausal women who didn’t have chronic diseases and were part of the Women’s Hospital Nurses Health Study II starting in 1989. Participants were questioned about their medical history, lifestyle and health-related behaviors every two years.
During the 16-year study, the women overall gained an average of 20.5 pounds. Anyone who stayed within 5 percent of their original weight was classified as having no weight gain.
Women in the study gained about 3.5 pounds less if they increased their time riding a bike by 30 minutes a day compared with those who didn’t increase their riding time over the study. The participants weren’t asked about biking intensity, so it’s unclear at what speed they were riding.
Those who increased the amount of time they walked briskly at 3 miles an hour or faster by a half hour daily gained about 4 pounds less, the study showed.
It’s difficult to stay with an exercise program unless you enjoy the exercises you do. At www.leemedfitness.com you can find a number of pieces of exercise equipment to help you enjoy your workouts more by letting you exercise at your own pace in the manner you choose to lose weight and stay healthy.
Originally published by Nicole Ostrow, Bloomberg News