Working a Little Harder

Physical activity alone may not be enough to counter the negative effects associated with a sedentary lifestyle. According to a new study, fitness is the key to protecting your body from health risks such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

From Science World Report:

Researchers have suggested that following the public health guidelines for physical activity alone is not enough to escape from the negative effects associated with an inactive lifestyle for seniors.

Even when adults lay down for 12-13 hours per day, if they are fit, they are less prone to cardiovascular diseases. Lack of physical activity can also cause Type II Diabetes, anxiety, obesity, and depression. Sitting for a longer time reduces metabolism and thus affects the blood sugar level and blood pressure.

According to Medical News Today, “Regular physical activity is essential for healthy aging, and adults aged 65 years and over gain substantial health benefits from regular exercise. Physical activity guidelines recommend older adults do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, such as brisk walking, and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days per week to work all major muscle groups.”

However – a second study, also just released, doesn’t go quite that far. This study suggests that “physical fitness, up to 20% below the average for healthy people, is sufficient to produce a preventive effect on most of the risk factors that affect people with cardiovascular disease.”

Researchers were quoted in a news release as saying:

“This is great news for people with heart disease who have difficulty adhering to a regular—mainly aerobic—exercise program,” said Daniel Curnier, a professor at the University of Montreal’s Department of Kinesiology, who led the study. “Small improvements in their fitness level are enough. You don’t have to be an great athlete to benefit from these effects.”

While they may differ some – what both studies have in common is the need to incorporate some amount of fitness into one’s physical activity. Examples might be anything from brisk walks or swimming, to cycling and exercise machines. As always – it is suggested that you speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.

Let us know what you think about these new studies. Will it change the way you approach your own exercise routine? Getting feedback on these types of health stories is critical if we truly hope to move the health needle in our state. And moving that needle is the fastest way to reach our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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