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Older women need hour workouts to fight flab

Mar 24, 2010 6:51:00 AM - thestate.com
Rev up the treadmill: Sobering new research spells out just how much exercise women need to keep the flab off as they age - and it's a lot.

At least an hour of moderate activity a day is needed for older women at a healthy weight who aren't dieting. For those who are already overweight - and that's most American women - even more exercise is called for to avoid gaining weight without eating less, the study results suggest.

"We all have to work at it. If it were easy to be skinny, we would all be skinny," said John Foreyt, a behavioral medicine expert who reviewed the study but wasn't involved in the research.

Brisk walking, leisurely bicycling and golfing are all examples of moderate exercise. But don't throw in the towel if you can't do those things for at least an hour a day. Even a little exercise is good for your health even if it won't make you thin, the researchers said.

Their findings are based on 34,079 middle-aged women followed for about 13 years. Most were not on calorie-cutting diets. The women gained an average of almost 6 pounds during the study.

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