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THURSDAY, May 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- How well resistance exercises work may depend on a woman's genetic risk for obesity, new research suggests.
Strength-building workouts seem to be most effective for those with a low genetic risk for a high body-mass index (BMI), the study found. BMI is a rough estimate of a person's body fat -- the higher the number, the more fat a person has.
"This doesn't mean that resistance training is futile for women with higher genetic risk for obesity. It means those with lower genetic risk just benefited more," said Jennifer Bea, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson.
"We have previously shown that the resistance training was important for these women in many other ways, including improved bone density. Like most interventions, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. People with higher genetic risk scores for higher BMI may benefit more from aerobic training, for example," Bea said in a university news release.
Researchers examined the genetic markers of nearly 150 women. They were between 30 and 65 years old. All participated in the year-long Bone Estrogen and Strength Training (BEST) study. Each woman received a genetic risk score for obesity, which was based on 21 genetic markers, or indicators, believed to affect body weight.
Eighty-four women were asked to participate in supervised, high-intensity resistance training and moderate weight-bearing exercises. The exercise sessions lasted for 75 minutes each. The women were asked to do these exercises three days a week for one year.
The study was published recently in the International Journal of Obesity.
More research is needed, the study authors pointed out. They said that future studies should include a more diverse group of people. And they added that future studies should also identify ideal weight-management strategies based on an individual's genetic profile.
-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
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