Women trying to lose weight can benefit as much from a moderate physical activity as from an intense workout, according to a new study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Prior studies had focused on short-term weight loss. Data were lacking about the optimal degree and amount of physical activity for long-term weight loss.
The study — "Effect of Exercise Dose and Intensity on Weight Loss in Overweight, Sedentary Women: A Randomized Trial" — appears in the September 10, 2003, issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
The same issue of JAMA also includes an article on recreational physical activity and breast cancer risk. The study, based on data from the Women's Health Initiative's Observational Study, found that increased physical activity was associated with a reduced risk for breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Longer duration physical activity gave the most benefit but the physical activity did not need to be strenuous to reduce breast cancer risk.