Harvard Women's Health Watch

Why women stop exercising

It's common knowledge that regular exercise helps you feel better and stay healthier. So why do so many people stop exercising?

For an answer, Canadian researchers probed the database maintained by the National Population Health Survey (NPHS), an ongoing survey of 13,000 Canadians ages 12 and older. The researchers identified people who were regular exercisers when they entered the study but had stopped exercising later. They focused on changes in those persons' socioeconomic status, lifestyle, and health in the two-year period before they stopped exercising. The factors most closely related to women becoming sedentary were obesity, pain, and, surprisingly, becoming healthy.

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