#448: Benefits of exercise differ by race and sex

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Benefits of exercise differ by sex and race (Podcast)

Dr. Tedd Mitchell, Cooper Clinic president and CEO is interviewed by Todd Whitthorne, and talks about how the benefits of exercise differ by sex and race.

The study, reported in the Journal of Lipid Research (August 2009 issue), began in the late 1980s, and used data from more than 15,000 middle-aged African American and Caucasian men and women (already participating in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study). Researchers wanted to evaluate the benefits of one hour of “mild” or 30 minutes of “moderate” exercise on HDL, the healthy cholesterol.

“Mild” exercise activities included walking for pleasure, bowling, and weight lifting, while “moderate” exercise included playing basketball, hiking, and modern dance. Researchers found that either an hour of mild exercise or a half hour of moderate exercise each week increased the level of heart healthy HDL cholesterol. Regarding triglycerides and LDL (lousy) cholesterol, the impact exercise has is less clear. Researchers saw a reduction in triglycerides in Caucasians, but not in African Americans. And, researchers found that the LDL cholesterol level was reduced, but only in women.

Dr. Mitchell says the big takeaway from this study is that exercise is good, and for health benefits we don’t need that much, and that consistency with exercise, not intensity, is the key. One hour of mild exercise, or 30 minutes of moderate exercise positively impacted HDL cholesterol levels.

Jill Turner is VP of Operations for Cooper Concepts, the company that markets Cooper Complete nutritional supplements. Jill regularly contributes information to the Cooper blog. Email jsturner@cooperwellness.com or call 972-560-3262 with your questions and comments.

Reference Information

Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

http://www.cscc.unc.edu/aric/

Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study: Community Surveillance and Cohort Morbidity/Mortality Follow-up

http://www.cscc.unc.edu/aric/visit/General_Description_and_Study_Management.5_1.pdf

Benefits of exercise differ by sex and race

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE5862SY20090907

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