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.
The message from the study is that your genetic risk for obesity is not wholly deterministic. The choices we make in our life play a large role in our health.
The study also revealed that genetic associations on BMI were strongest in sedentary postmenopausal women and weakest in women who reported high levels of recreational physical activity.
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.
The study was published last month in the journal Menopause.