A new study states that staying active could be your best bet to preventing unnecessary weight gain by the time middle-age sets in.

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According to the study by researchers at Feinberh School of Medice revealed that young adults (particularly women) who maintained high levels of moderate and vigorous activity over a period of 20 years experienced smaller gains in weight and waist circumference during the transition from young adulthood to middle age, compared to individuals with lower activity levels.

The study included 3,554 men and women, ages 18 to 30 years. The researchers found that over the study period, maintaining high levels of activity was associated with smaller gains in BMI and waist circumference compared with low activity levels after adjustment for race, baseline BMI, age, education, cigarette smoking status, alcohol use and energy intake.

These findings were published in the December 15 issue of JAMA

via WebMD