Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women and exercise: It may not always be fun, but it's beneficial

Date:
November 8, 2012
Source:
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Summary:
Experts say that while physical activity is necessary for both men and women, there are gender-specific benefits that women need to know.

The end of the year is fast approaching and you know what that means: As soon as the calendar turns to 2013, you will be vowing to get physically active. But experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham say with all the benefits you can glean, why wait until you make those New Year's resolutions to get active, especially if you are a woman?

Men are more likely than women to meet the federal guidelines for adults of at least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Inactive adults have a higher risk for early death, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some cancers. For women, increasing research is showing exercise may help reduce breast cancer risk, says Marcas Bamman, Ph.D., director of the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine.

"Exercise as a means of preventing or reducing the risk of various cancers, particularly breast cancer, is important for two reasons: both the direct physical effects and the indirect effect, which is preventing or contributing to mechanisms that help prevent weight gain," Bamman says. He adds that when people gain weight, their cancer risk rises, too.

A reduction in breast cancer risk is not the only benefit associated with getting active, especially for post-menopausal women.

"The body shape of post-menopausal women is more likely to change due to the removal of hormone-specific profiles like estrogen," Bamman explains. "Unless they exercise regularly and watch what they eat, they will have a tendency to gain more abdominal fat, which is the most dangerous, and their body composition will become more apple-shaped -- like a man's -- instead of pear-shaped."

Bamman's suggestion for most post-menopausal women: a mix of endurance and resistance training, three to four days per week.

Another factor women need to consider is loss of bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis, says Retta Evans, Ph.D., UAB associate professor of health education. But -- you guessed it -- exercise helps here as well.

"Starting at around 30 years of age, women begin to lose bone mass," Evans says. "Unless you are doing something to oppose that, such as weight-bearing exercise, it will continue. Resistance and weight training are the best, but things like walking or jogging in combination with weights are good enough." Dance, Zumba and kickboxing also help with maintaining bone mass, Evans says. But activities like swimming, because they do not involve weight-bearing, don't qualify.

Exercise can also help with another cause of concern for many women: their posture. But it's not just any type of exercise, Evans says -- it's yoga.

"Yoga helps to maintain your muscularity and that helps with maintaining your posture," she explains. "It also helps in stretching all of the muscle groups, front and back. Yoga is another great weight-bearing activity as well."

Whether exercising is a means to feeling healthy or looking healthy, Evans says the most important thing is to stick with it.

"The bottom line is people have to find something they enjoy doing and once they find something they enjoy they are more likely to continue," Evans says. "It doesn't take anything except a pair of good walking shoes to start something as simple as walking around; anything that keeps the body moving as opposed to being sedentary can help contribute to a path toward better health."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. The original article was written by Nicole Wyatt. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Women and exercise: It may not always be fun, but it's beneficial." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108140924.htm>.
University of Alabama at Birmingham. (2012, November 8). Women and exercise: It may not always be fun, but it's beneficial. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108140924.htm
University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Women and exercise: It may not always be fun, but it's beneficial." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108140924.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

How to Master Motherhood With the Best Work/Life Balance

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) In the U.S., there are more than 11 million couples trying to conceive at any given time. From helping celebrity moms like Bethanny Frankel to ordinary soon-to-be-moms, TV personality and parenting expert, Rosie Pope, gives you the inside scoop on mastering motherhood. London-born entrepreneur Pope is the creative force behind Rosie Pope Maternity and MomPrep. She explains why being an entrepreneur offers the best life balance for her and tips for all types of moms. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

Catching More Than Fish: Ugandan Town Crippled by AIDS

AFP (Apr. 22, 2014) The village of Kasensero on the shores of Lake Victoria was where HIV-AIDS was first discovered in Uganda. Its transient population of fishermen and sex workers means the nationwide programme to combat the virus has had little impact. Duration: 02:30 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins