If you struggle with your weight, the fight just got a little tougher. The latest advice from researchers regarding women and their weight is that we need to exercise an hour a day, 7 days a week, to maintain our weight without dieting and to avoid the weight gain that comes with aging.
An hour. As in, 60 minutes.
Have you seen a woman lately with an extra hour in her day?
Nonetheless, that’s the recommendation released online Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"We wanted to see in regular folks -- people not on any particular diet -- what level of physical activity do you need to prevent weight gain over time," said the lead author of the study, Dr. I-Min Lee, an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard University. "It's a large amount of activity. If you're not willing to do a high amount of activity, you need to curtail your calories a lot," Lee told the Los Angeles Times. More from the story:
“The study was based on surveys of more than 34,000 U.S. women who were, on average, age 54 at the start of it. They reported their physical activity and weight, as well as health factors such as smoking and menopausal status, over 13 years. On average, the women gained 5.7 pounds during the study.
“Only those women who were normal weight at the start of the study and engaged in moderate-intensity activity an average of 60 minutes per day, seven days a week, maintained a normal body weight, defined as a body mass index of less than 25. That amount of exercise is three times higher than the amount recommended by the federal government -- 150 minutes per week -- to lower the risk of chronic ailments such as heart disease.
"You can still do much for your health with a lower level of exercise," Lee said. "But if you want to exercise for weight control, it's 60 minutes a day."
Finding that 60 minutes may well be harder than doing the exercise itself for today’s women, who often are balancing jobs, marriages, children and even their aging parents.