Ladies -- Exercise to keep off the pounds.

Ladies -- Exercise to keep off the pounds.

In case you needed another reason to get outside now that the weather is warming up ... Did you see the study released last week on how much exercise older women need to avoid gaining weight? An hour a day for women who aren’t dieting and who aren’t already overweight.

An hour a day. Quite a time commitment.

The Associated Press reported on the results of the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study looked at 34,000 middle-aged women and charted their weight over a period of 13 years. It found the women gained an average of almost 6 pounds during the course of the study. Only 13 percent of the women gained little or no weight during the study, and they consistently got about an hour of moderate physical activity every day.

Women and men usually gain weight as they get older. No surprise there — people tend to be less active and their metabolism slows down. Those who can’t exercise at the recommended level will probably need to cut calories as they age in order to maintain their weight.

The researchers said any amount of exercise is beneficial, though, even if you can’t do an hour a day. So get out for a walk or bike ride. You’ll feel better, and help keep the pounds off.

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