Monday, June 28, 2010

Walk It Off: Walking and Bicycling Keep Weight Off Long-Term

Excess weight is a major risk factor for developing sleep apnea. And once sleep apnea is present, it can be hard to shed extra pounds.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that people with sleep apnea combine weight loss with oral appliance therapy or CPAP.

Keeping a healthy weight can help prevent the onset of this sleep apnea.

“Women gain average 20 pounds in 16 years - but don't have to,” reported USA Today. The article reported on a new study that found that a little bit of exercise can make a big impact on health.

The researchers noted that as little as five minutes each day helped to control weight.
Women who want to prevent weight gain as they age should hop on a bike or take a brisk walk.

The study included data from more than 18,000 premenopausal women. Data came from the Nurses Health Study II, a research project that began 1989. The women answered questions on their medical, exercise and lifestyle habits over this time period. They were free from chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease.

While women gained an average of 20 pounds over 16 years, those who biked or walked briskly on a regular basis were less likely to gain.

Women with excess weight benefited the most from bike riding. According to a press release, overweight and obese women who bicycled two or three hours a week were 56 percent times less likely to gain weight.

Anne Lusk, a research fellow at Harvard School of Public Health, noted that slow walking doesn’t do much. Women who walked less than 3 miles per hour still gained weight.

The study was published by the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Image by Sacha Fernandez

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The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.