DALLAS — Moderate and high levels of fitness can protect against developing metabolic syndrome in both women and men, according to a recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The risk of metabolic syndrome in men was 26 percent lower for those who were moderately fit and 53 percent lower for those who were highly fit, compared to those in the lowest fitness category.

In women, the risk was 20 percent lower for those who were moderately fit and 63 percent lower for those who were highly fit.