(HealthDay News) – Exercise training is associated with improvements in components of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among postmenopausal women, according to a study published in the June 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Conrad P. Earnest, PhD, from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and colleagues compared the effects of six months of exercise training at 50%, 100%, and 150% of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Recommendations for physical activity (4, 8, and 12kcal/kg of energy expenditure/week [KKW]) vs. a nonexercise control group on MetS in a cohort of sedentary, overweight, moderately hypertensive, postmenopausal women.

The researchers identified significant improvements in the summed z-scores for the National Cholesterol Education Program MetS components expressed as a continuous variable (zMetS) for all exercise groups, while the 8 and 12 KKW groups only correlated with significant improvements in MetS. In post-hoc analyses, compared with the control group, 12 KKW correlated with a significant improvement in zMetS and 8 and 12 KKW correlated with significant improvements for MetS. There were significant trends for improvement in waist circumference (for 4, 8, and 12 KKW), fasting glucose (for 8 and 12 KKW), and systolic blood pressure (for the 12 KKW group).

“Our results suggest that low-to-moderate intensity cardiorespiratory exercise appears to improve components of the MetS in postmenopausal women at levels at or greater than NIH recommendations and that zMetS improves at half the NIH recommendations,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, fitness, and nutrition industries.

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