Navigation Links
Regular Exercise While Young May Slow Middle-Age Spread

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- People who consistently exercise during their younger years, especially women, are less likely to face the battle of the bulge that less-consistent types struggle with, researchers say.

But regular exercise while young only appeared to prevent later weight gain if it reached about 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week, such as running, fast walking, basketball, exercise classes or daily activities like housework, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

This is the amount of physical activity recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"This encourages people to stick with their active lifestyle and a program of activity over decades," said study lead author Dr. Arlene L. Hankinson, an instructor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, noting that the study covered 20 years.

"It's important to start young and to stay active but that doesn't mean you can't change. It just may be harder to keep the weight off when you get to be middle-aged," said Marcia G. Ory, a Regents professor of social and behavioral health and director of the Aging and Health Promotion Program at Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health in College Station, Texas.

Most of today's research focuses on losing weight, not preventing weight gain in the first place, Hankinson said.

To investigate the latter, this study followed 3,554 men and women aged 18 to 30 at the start of the study, for 20 years. Participants lived in one of four urban areas in the United States: Chicago, Illinois; Birmingham, Alabama; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Oakland, California.

After adjusting for various factors such as age and energy intake, men who maintained a high activity level gained an average of 5.7 fewer pounds and women with a high activity level put on 13.4 fewer pounds than their counterparts who exercised less or who didn't exercise consistently over the 20-year period.

Much of that benefit was seen around the waist, with high-activity men gaining 3.1 fewer centimeters (1.2 inches) around the gut each year and women 3.8 fewer centimeters (1.5 inches) per year.

The researchers cautioned that higher levels of physical activity alone may not be entirely sufficient to keep off weight, however, noting that men and women at all activity levels gained weight over the 20-year period. Nonetheless, they noted, higher activity certainly helped hold down weight during the transition from youth to middle age.

The 20-year follow-up in this study was particularly impressive, Ory noted, especially given that most weight-focused studies these days are shorter term.

"You can track [weight] at key decision points -- what kinds of activities do they do in a reliable manner and what difference it makes," she said.

The gender difference (the magnitude of the benefit was double in women than in men) could be explained by physiological differences, the researchers suggested.

"The two physiological things that are associated with female gender that definitely play a role are having children and menopause," Hankinson said. "But there could be other physiologic differences we can't measure, and there may also be cultural differences."

"We know that for women who are going through menopause, there's this natural increase in weight gain," added Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "My comment also is to train for menopause as if you're training for a marathon. If you start exercising before menopause hits and do that for 20 years, you don't have to gain weight. Health isn't about flipping a switch. It's about maintaining a lifestyle."

"Let's go into middle age with the best opportunities we have for good weight, and you do that by starting early," Ory agreed. "But it's never too late to start good behaviors. You're just probably going to have to do it more intensively."

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has guidelines on physical activity.

SOURCES: Arlene L. Hankinson, M.D., instructor, department of preventive medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago; Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., director of women and heart disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Marcia G. Ory, Ph.D., Regents Professor of social and behavioral health and director, Aging and Health Promotion Program, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, College Station; Dec. 15, 2010, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Landauer, Inc. Declares Regular Cash Dividend
2. Regular analgesic use increases hearing loss in men
3. Air Travel Could Raise Risk for Heartbeat Irregularities
4. Beverage Industry Delivers On Commitment to Remove Regular Soft Drinks In Schools, Driving 88% Decline In Calories
5. Freezing, Medicating Away a Dangerous Irregular Heart Rhythm
6. Maintaining regular daily routines is associated with better sleep quality in older adults
7. Did Regular Flu Shot Up Risks for H1N1 Flu?
8. Treating Common Irregular Heartbeat Might Also Ward Off Alzheimers
9. Regular Guy "Braco" Healing Masses in Europe
10. Laser Used to Blast Away Cells Causing Irregular Heartbeat
11. Fowl news: Hints from Taiwan that free-range eggs may be less healthy than regular eggs
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Regular Exercise While Young May Slow Middle-Age Spread
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Charitable giving is at ... are made in the last five weeks of the year totalling over $358 billion ... 2012 to connect the nation’s charities with those individuals who want to “give back” ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... sizes, has launched their Black Friday sale a week early, offering 40% off ... to transform the intimate apparel industry through both mobile fit technology and the ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... author explored the different restrictions and variables that determine which patients are or are ... are those patients that have a BMI over 40, are more than 100 pounds ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Catalent ... for drugs, biologics, consumer health and global clinical supply services, today announced that ... Clinical Trial Supply East Asia Conference, to be held at the InterContinental Seoul ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... DMG Productions announced that they ... airing first quarter 2016 via Discovery Channel. Dates and show times TBA. , Aphria, ... is in the business of producing and supplying medical marijuana pursuant to the Marijuana ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Thanks to a donor with a personal ... Center,s Sister Diane Grassilli Center for Women,s Health now ... San Francisco . Fred ... with a gift of $617,320 that allowed the Center ... Tomosynthesis and Whole Breast Ultrasound. Tomosynthesis, three-dimensional (3-D) mammography ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015  Natera, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... genetic testing and the analysis of circulating ... present at the 27 th  Annual Piper ... 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET.  Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., CEO of ... business activities and financial outlook. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Array BioPharma Inc. ... Chief Executive Officer, Ron Squarer , will ... in New York.  The public is welcome to ... the Array BioPharma website.Event:Piper Jaffray Annual Healthcare ConferencePresenter:  ... December 2, 2015Time:1:30 p.m. Eastern Time Webcast: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: