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 19, 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 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
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