New research indicates that even small amounts of physical activity, approximately 75 minutes a week, can help improve the fitness levels for postmenopausal women who are sedentary and overweight or obese, according to a study in the May 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The full study is available here — no registration required.

“The level of walking we studied was so light most people would not consider it exercise,” said the study’s lead researcher,Timothy Church, M.D., Ph.D. “The message for women here is just get up and walk. You don’t need a gym, you don’t need fancy clothes or a stop-watch. All you need is a pair of comfortable shoes that you can walk in.”

Read more coverage by Reuters and NPR.

Plus: A study in the June 2007 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that women “can fight menopause’s heart-threatening consequences by losing weight, exercising more and eating better; and these lifestyle changes may be particularly helpful to those who stop taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) a new study shows,” reports Reuters.

“These results have important public health implications and suggest that a nonpharmacologic lifestyle approach is both safe and effective for cardiovascular risk factor reduction in postmenopausal women, especially those who discontinued HRT use,” Dr. Kelley K. Pettee of Arizona State University in Mesa and her colleagues conclude.


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