By Lisa Hughes, WBZ-TVBy Lisa Hughes

BOSTON (CBS) — We all know exercising is good for you, but now there’s new evidence that the more intensely and regularly you workout, the less likely you are to gain weight as you get older and that can help protect your health.

Cory Demeth tries to work out several times a week at Healthworks in Brookline to help keep her in shape. “It only gets worse when you get older, moderate levels four days a week really helps. I hope I can maintain that until I get old.”

A new study finds that young adults, particularly women like Cory who work out vigorously on a regular basis over two decades, tend to gain less weight, especially around the waist, when they reach middle age. Those women gained an average of nearly 13-and-a-half pounds less while men put on about five fewer pounds than folks who didn’t exercise regularly.

Leslie Willis, the fitness director at Healthworks, explains, “Habits take a long time to get into, making sure you start at an early age will help them healthy long term.”

WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes reports.

But researchers found that those who only exercised moderately or didn’t work out regularly gained about the same amount of weight as people who only did light activity, so it’s important to stay active, especially as you get older.

“Getting into that routine when you’re younger is much easier rather than trying to start in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s,” said Willis.

Researchers say it’s not easy to maintain those levels over the long haul. Only 11 to 13 percent of those who took part in the study were able to do it.


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