Two Articles That Should Encourage Everyone to Get Off the Couch!
Brisk, Albeit Brief, Activity Beneficially Affects Weight
The current physical activity guideline for Americans is to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, a week, which can be accumulated in eight to 10 minute periods. Jessie X. Fan, from the University of Utah (Utah, USA), and colleagues enrolled 2,202 women and 2,309 men, ages 18 to 64 years, who were free of impairments that otherwise compromise the ability tp walk, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
From 2003 to 2006, participants in the survey wore accelerometers for seven days, which captured data on their physical activity. Researchers compared measurements of physical activity based on length of time and intensity. The study used body mass index (BMI), to measure weight status. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered normal weight, whereas a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is overweight; and over 30 is obese. Results show that for women, each daily minute spent in higher-intensity short bouts was related to a decrease of .07 BMI. In other words, each such minute offset the calorie equivalent of .41 pounds. This means that when comparing two women each 5-feet-5-inches tall, the woman who regularly adds a minute of brisk activity to her day will weigh nearly a half-pound less.
Results were similar for men. Importantly for both, each daily minute of higher-intensity activity lowered the odds of obesity — 5% for women, and 2% for men. The study authors conclude that: �Our findings showed that for weight gain prevention, accumulated higher-intensity [physical activity] bouts of [less than] 10 minutes are highly beneficial, supporting the public health promotion message that �every minute counts.��
Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease & Stroke
Nearly 1 in 3 deaths in the US each year is caused by heart disease and stroke, and at least 200,000 of these deaths may be preventable. While the number of preventable deaths by heart disease and stroke, more than half of these happen to people under age 65.
The US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC; Georgia, USA) recommends that Americans engage in a conversation with their physicians to learn the basics of heart health; stop smoking (or do not start); enjoy a brisk 10-minute walk, 3 times a day, 5 days a week.; consume more fruits and vegetables and less sodium and eliminate trans fats; and know the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke, and call 911 for help if experiencing them.