Everyone knows they should exercise - but how much is enough to provide any benefit? The good news, according to a new study from Yale University, is that a little can go a long way, provided we're prepared to do it regularly.
Researchers tested the theory on 173 sedentary women, all of whom were overweight or obese, and aged between 50 and 75 years. They were split into two groups: one restricted themselves to stretching exercises, while the other carried out some moderate exercise. Most of those in the latter group plumped for brisk walking. This, or some other activity such as cycling or aerobics, was done for an average of 3.5 days and 176 minutes a week.
Within a year, the brisk exercise group was showing a significant reduction in weight and body-fat levels (JAMA, 2003; 289: 323-30).