"This has not been shown in a large controlled study before," said Timothy S. Church, M.D., principal investigator and research director at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. "This is the first large controlled study of postmenopausal women to look at the effect of exercise training on the quality of life. It shows that exercise gives you energy and makes you feel better."
This study included 430 sedentary women, average age 57, who were overweight or obese. Researchers randomly assigned women to one of three exercise groups, including those expending about four kilocalories per kilogram (kcal/kg) of energy each week amounting to 70 minutes a week; 8 kcal/kg/week amounting to 135 minutes per week; or 12 kcal/kg/week amounting to 190 minutes a week. Most of the exercise was divided into three or four sessions a week. When not in organized exercise, these women were fitted with pedometers. A fourth group had no planned exercise and served as controls.
Researchers measured quality of life before and after the six-month exercise intervention with the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 Health Status Survey. The scores were adjusted for ethnicity, age, employment status, smoking, antidepressant use and marital status.
To determine physical health, women were asked about physical functioning such as what types of physical activities they participated in from carrying groceries to climbing stairs to walking a mile; limitations in physical activity; pain; and their own assessment of their health.
Researchers determined mental health by having the women do a
self-assessment of vitality, social-time, ability to accomplish what they
set out to do, and whether they were nervous, down in the dumps, peaceful
|SOURCE American Heart Association|
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