Biking, Brisk Walking = Less Weight Gain

BOSTON, June 30 (UPI) — Pre-menopausal U.S. women who walked briskly and bicycled had less weight gain than others over 20 years later, researchers said.

Anne C. Lusk of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and colleagues tracked 18,414 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II, an ongoing study of more than 116,600 U.S. female nurses ages 25-42 when the study began in 1989.

During the 1989 baseline, 50 percent of the women spent time slow walking, 39 percent spent time walking briskly and 48 percent reported they spent time riding a bicycle.

Women who said they did not bicycle in 1989, but increased their bicycling by 2005 were less likely to have gained weight, even if only biking 5 minutes a day.

The women who initially bicycled for more than 15 minutes day in 1989 but decreased their time by 2005 gained more weight, but normal-weight women who bicycled more than 4 hours per week in 2005 had lower odds of gaining more than 5 percent of their baseline body weight in 1989, compared with those who reported no bicycling.

“The benefits of brisk walking, bicycling and other activities were significantly stronger among overweight and obese women compared with lean women, whereas slow walking continued to show no benefit even among overweight and obese women,” the researchers said in a statement.

The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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