April 14, 2010

Walking Can Prevent Menopausal Weight Gain

Canadian researchers have discovered that walking for a total of 45 minutes a few times per week may help menopausal women stave off weight gain.

The researchers, led by Dr. Pascale Maurige of Quebec's Laval University, studied a group of 35 sedentary, moderately obese women who were either nearing menopause or had recently become menopausal as they completed a 16-week walking program.

The women spent a total of 45 minutes every other day walking at moderate intensity at an indoor track. All but five of the 35 participants completed the program, including 16 premenopausal and 14 postmenopausal women.

Their findings, which were published in the latest issue of Menopause, the official journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), suggest that both groups of women seemed to experience physical and mental benefits from the exercise.

According to an April 13 article by Rachael Myers Lowe of Reuters Health, "Greater weight loss was achieved by the premenopausal women who lost an average of about 4.4 pounds compared to 1.5 pounds for the postmenopausal women. They also tended to lose more fat mass."

"Postmenopausal women, however, tended to benefit with a larger drop in their waist size and from gains in lean body mass," she continued, adding, "Postmenopausal women had the larger gains in health-related quality of life scores in bodily pain, daily physical functioning, general health, emotional and mental health while premenopausal women had the greater gains in all physical activities of life, vitality and social functioning."


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