July 16, 2015 7:10 pm
Updated: July 16, 2015 7:59 pm

300 minutes of exercise a week for postmenopausal women to lose weight: study


WATCH ABOVE: The Battle of the bulge is often a life long struggle, but losing fat becomes a lot more difficult as we age particularly for women after menopause, but a exercise does help according to a new Calgary study it just might take longer than you think. Heather Yourex reports.

CALGARY – Four years ago, Elizabeth Oman was burning the candle at both ends. She was 40 lbs overweight and knew she wanted to get in shape, but as a full-time student with a son in his final year of high school, she just couldn’t seem to find the time.

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“I had every excuse why I couldn’t possibly exercise, so I didn’t.”

That changed when Oman decided to take part in the BETA trial at the University of Calgary.  The trial was a year-long study involving 400 inactive, postmenopausal women who agreed to get moving so researchers could see if exercise could help them reduce their breast cancer risk.

“We know that women who are postmenopausal have an increased risk of breast cancer,” said Dr. Christine Friedenreich, the lead researcher for the BETA trial study. “After menopause, if there is weight gain and if women are overweight or obese, that breast cancer risk increases.”

Current Health Canada guidelines suggest adults get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week for better health. After dividing participants into two groups, with one group exercising 150 minutes and the other group exercising 300 minutes, researchers found more exercise had a greater benefit.

“We saw sometimes up to 20 to 40 centimetres squared of body fat difference between the two groups,” said Friedenreich.

During the study, participants were asked not to change their diet, adding only moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Oman admitted she didn’t see any weight loss at first, but after two years, she dropped 40 lbs.

“I also met someone. (He) really wanted to find someone who was physically active and I wouldn’t have qualified four years ago; I wouldn’t have even been on the list. But now we’re officially engaged.”

You can read the full study here.

This article is not written or edited by Global News. The author is solely responsible for the content. © Heather Yourex-West, 2015

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