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Exercise Can Overcome Genetics to Fight Obesity

older woman with workout mat smiling

Here’s good news for mature women who think obesity is just part of their DNA.

It turns out that exercise can overcome genetics to fight obesity in mature women, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed data from 8,200 women of European ancestry in their 70s. They determined that genetic influences on obesity are strongest in inactive women – and, get this, weakest in those who get plenty of physical activity.

“The choices we make in our life play a large role in our health,” said study author Heather Ochs-Balcom of the University at Buffalo in New York.

“In older age, we can overcome our destiny for obesity — given to us by our parents — through exercise,” Ochs-Balcom explained. “For the elderly, exercise is important for preventing muscle loss, which helps reduce the risk of falls. Plus, there are many other benefits of exercise in older adults.”

People over 65 should be as active as possible, the National Institutes of Health says. Anything is better than nothing. Aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Break that up in plenty of short sessions if you like.

Good examples of movement for aerobic exercise include walking, running, gardening, dancing or joining a gym or fitness studio.

I highly recommend strength training twice a week as well.

Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. And contact me to learn more about the positive effects of exercise on your weight and lots more.

Now that you know that exercise can overcome genetics to fight obesity, you don’t have to accept “That’s just the way I am” any more.

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