Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Study Shows Middle-Aged Women Need to Exercise One Hour Every Day To Avoid Weight Gain

According to a study just published in Journal of the American Medical Association, middle-aged American women need to exercise in a moderate intensity an hour a day, every single day, just to avoid weight gain.

The study followed 34,079 women over 13 years. In that time, they gained an average of about 6 pounds each. Don't let the word “average” fool you into thinking that a handful of really heavy women skewed the average. Some 87 percent of the women gained weight.

An hour a day, every single day?! Is this even a possible goal to set and reach?

The answer is Yes. But take one baby step at a time before you get frustrated, burnt out and quit.

  1. Know where you are. You got to know your numbers - weigh, body mass index (BMI), body fat, and waist measurement. User-friendly calculators can be found www.cdc.gov/healthy weight/assessing. If you are not sure, find a fitness trainer in the gym and hire one to your home for consultation.
  2. Exercise. The study refers to an hour of moderate exercise. It doesn't mean you have to gym every day or run on treadmill or bike. Other activites such as walking,  hiking, golfing all help 300 to 400 calories. If you increase the activity level and intensity, you can even burn more calories by running, aerobics or swimming.
  3. Watch your calories. The truth is that you can't outtrain a bad diet. You can train all day, every day, but eat all night and more than you can burn off, you will gain weight.
  4. Portion control. Most people are overweight for one simple reason: They eat too much. You have to learn what a serving size is. It varies depending on the type of food, form and measuring unit. You'll find calorie counting isn't that hard. It may be tough at first, but in time you'll find that you don't have to be stuffed to be satisfied. The American Dietetic Association offers good advice at http://www.eatright.org/.

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