Exercise may reduce genetic risk of obesity in older women, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal Menopause. If you're up there in age and feel like you can coast as a couch potato, you may want to reconsider. A new study suggests, for the first time in women over age 70, that working up a sweat can reduce the influence one's genes have on obesity. "Our sample, which included older women, is the first to show that in the 70- to 79-year-old age group, exercise can mitigate the genetic effects of obesity," said the study's lead author Heather Ochs-Balcom, associate professor of epidemiology and environmental health in the University at Buffalo's School of Public Health and Health Professions. ‘Exercise may reduce genetic risk of obesity in older women. Genetic associations on body mass index (BMI) were strongest in sedentary postmenopausal women and weakest in women who reported high levels of recreational physical activity.’ "The message here is that your genetic risk for obesity is not wholly deterministic," Ochs-Balcom, Ph.D., adds. "The choices we make in our life play a large role in our health." The study included researchers from UB, as well as the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Rush University Medical Center; University of California, Davis; and The Ohio State University. The research team studied 8,206 women of European ancestry who participated in the Women's Health Initiative. They used a larger set of 95 genetic polymorphisms to construct their body mass index genetic risk score to study the interaction between physical activity and obesity. Then, they evaluated whether genetic associations were modified by exercise and age. The study revealed that genetic associations on BMI were strongest in sedentary postmenopausal women and weakest in women who reported high levels of recreational physical activity. "Our work suggests that in older age, we can overcome our destiny for obesity -- given to us by our parents -- through exercise," Ochs-Balcom said. The study is significant in that, up to this point, little had been known about the effect of obesity genes later in life, particularly whether genetic predisposition can be mitigated by healthy behaviors such as physical activity, the researchers note. It's also one of a growing number of studies highlighting the benefits of being physically active, especially as it pertains to healthy aging. "For the elderly, exercise is important for preventing muscle loss, which helps reduce the risk of falls," says Ochs-Balcom. "Plus, there are many other benefits of exercise in older adults."Source: Eurekalert << Sleeping With the Lights On May Harm Your Health – Here’s Wh... Do More Tests After Surgery Benefit Colorectal Cancer Patien... >> Recommended Reading Exercise for Seniors Poor health and recurrent illnesses can severely compromise quality of life for seniors. But with appropriate exercise, seniors can age gracefully and maintain overall good health. READ MORE Walking As An Exercise People walk for many reasons ranging from pleasure to mental relaxation, finding solitude or for exercise. READ MORE Can Exercise Help Reverse an Aging Heart? Regular physical exercise can help reverse the damage done to the heart by aging and sedentary lifestyle, reveals a new study. READ MORE Body Mass Index Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool that is generally used to estimate the total amount of body fat. READ MORE Bulimia Nervosa The term ''Bulimia'' refers to episodes of uncontrolled excessive eating, known as "binges," followed by self-induced vomiting or purgation. READ MORE Exercise and Fitness Exercise is about revamping your lifestyle, not just weight loss. Exercise to get healthy – that way, you’ll last longer at it and get better results. READ MORE Lifestyle Modification: No Big Deal! Simple and practically possible lifestyle changes can make a huge difference in improving our health status without actually putting much effort. READ MORE Liposuction Liposuction is a cosmetic procedure, which is used to suck out the excess or abnormal fat deposition to give a well-contoured shapely look. READ MORE Obesity Obesity is a condition where there is excess accumulation of body fat which poses a risk to the health of the individual. It can affect children and adults. READ MORE Tips to Live Longer Though life is temporary and short, it is possible to maximize the span of our existence by living healthy and savoring every moment of life, read our tips to live longer READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia The Essence of Yoga Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Hearing Loss Calculator More News on: Bariatric SurgeryObesityBulimia NervosaGenetics and Stem CellsDiet Lifestyle and Heart DiseaseBody Mass IndexLiposuctionTips to Live LongerExercise and FitnessLifestyle Modification: No Big Deal!