The Zoomer Report: Yoga and Weight Gain

I’m always talking about the benefits of exercise — here’s an added advantage from a particular type of exercise. Yoga may prevent middle-age weight gain.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that middle-aged adults who practice it regularly gain less weight as they age than those who don’t.

As we age, our bodies require fewer calories. But many people don’t adjust their intake to make up for the decrease in metabolism, and that usually translates into a gain of about a pound per year.

According to this study of more than 15,000 participants, people who practice yoga at least 30 minutes once a week for four or more years — gained three fewer pounds over a 10-year period than those who didn’t do yoga.

Normal weight men and women gained 9.5 pounds over a decade, while their non-yoga practicing counterparts gained 12.6 pounds.

For overweight participants, the difference was even more dramatic: those who practiced yoga lost about 5 pounds, while those who didn’t gained 14.

The researchers say this is less about burning calories and more about an increase in body awareness. That makes yoga enthusiasts more sensitive to the feeling of being full, so they stop before they’ve eaten too much.

Photo © Stephan Zabel


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About The Zoomer Report

Libby ZnaimerLibby Znaimer, a prominent Canadian journalist specializing in business, politics, and lifestyle issues, is producer and host of The Zoomer Report, a special feature on topics of interest to baby boomers and the 50+. It covers everything from health and wealth to leisure and volunteerism, from the special vantage point of the generation that has changed society in its wake.

Ms. Znaimer is also Vice-President of News and Information for Classical 96.3FM and AM740. Her first book, “In Cancerland – Living Well Is The Best Revenge” – was published in October 2007 by Key Porter.

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