According to new research, the kind of physical activity you do in childhood could predict whether you will be overweight as an adult.

Published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2018; 50 [4],
709–14), the study examined the relationship between adult weight gain and the following types of exercise in childhood: running, sports and/or fitness/dance.

Researchers logged waist circumference, height, weight and body composition data from 631 participants at ages 12, 16 and 24 and then compared the data against childhood activities of choice. So which forms of exercise were linked with lower weight in adulthood?

The researchers found an association between years spent running during adolescence and lower body weight, smaller waist circumference and lower body mass index at age 24. Sports participation also seemed to positively affect BMI, while fitness/dance did not produce any statistically significant results.

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

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