Women may need at least an hour of exercise daily to avoid weight gain

Here’s a bad news story to post the day after the Easter holiday — a day when many of us consume more calories that we should. Nevertheless, being committed to always bring you the truth about the medical news you can use, here we go: A major study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that without making significant changes in their nutritional habits, women need a lot of exercise just to keep their weight stable.

The AP reports that investigators found that “at least an hour of moderate activity a day is needed for older women at a healthy weight who aren’t dieting,” and overweight women require “even more exercise … to avoid gaining weight without eating less.”

The researchers “said it’s uncertain whether the results would apply to men.” (Whew!)

As they age, people often put on weight. This is “partly because their metabolism slows down,” but the study’s lead author said that it “probably” has more to do with “people’s natural tendency to become more sedentary, without changing their eating habits.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that “the issue of how much exercise is required to maintain a normal weight is far from settled,” with other exercise experts saying “that an average of 35 minutes a day, seven days a week, is probably sufficient.”

The Boston Globe reports, “Lee doesn’t want people to give up on exercise, even if they can’t do an hour a day,” calling it “the best thing you can do for your health.”

USA Today reports that Lee “emphasizes that it’s possible to get the health benefits of physical activity, such as lowering the risk of heart disease, some types of cancers and type 2 diabetes, by following the government guidelines and doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.”

But, ladies, don’t let this discourage you. For as I’ve said before, some physical activity is better than none, and there’s no better time than now (the day after Easter) to start increasing what you are already doing – if anything.

So, if you’re ready to become more highly healthy and happy, why not order a copy of my new book 10 Essentials of Happy, Healthy People: Becoming and Staying Highly Healthy. You can see the Table of Contents here, and read the first chapter here. Also, there’s a small-group reader’s guide available for no charge here.

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