Study: Every Step You Take Makes You Healthier

We’ve all heard the advice to find ways to be more active during the day: Take the stairs instead of the elevator; park in a spot far away from the store entrance to walk a little farther; or get off the bus one stop early and walk to your destination.Higher Level

While it is relatively easy to make these changes, do you ever wonder if they really make a meaningful difference for your health? I know I do. I always take the stairs, but it just doesn’t feel as important as putting on my sneakers and heading out the door for a planned brisk walk or run. Turns out it is.

A new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion reminded me that literally every step I take during the day really does make me healthier.

The study’s results showed that people who met the physical activity guidelines (at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week) had similar health outcomes regardless of whether they achieved it using a structured exercise approach (10 minutes or more of exercise at a time) or an active lifestyle approach (less than 10 minutes of exercise at a time). The authors looked at several positive health outcomes associated with activity, such as total cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference. Continue reading

Want to Age Healthfully? Take a Hike.

What if you could do one simple thing today to boost your energy, your mood and your chances of growing older without chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer or heart disease? You’d do it, right?

In this week’s edition of Cancer Research Update you can read about a study showing that becoming more physically active in middle age can help reduce your risk for getting chronic diseases as you age. And even if you do eventually develop these diseases, being active can delay their onset, buying you extra years of good health.

The researchers found that the most fit folks had the least risk for chronic diseases, including colon cancer. What’s more, the biggest drop in cancer risk occurred among sedentary people who made a modest but crucial change, moving from couch potato to slightly active. That’s right — if you’re currently inactive, just doing a bit more than you’re doing now provides big benefits. In the study, this was true regardless of a subject’s weight.

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More Americans Walking, More Need To for Good Health and Cancer Prevention

Almost two-thirds of Americans now say we take walks, a figure that has nudged up slightly over the years and may mean more adults are likely to get the recommended amount of exercise, according to a government report released yesterday.

Walkers are almost three times more likely to meet the US physical activity guidelines than non-walkers, the report also found.

The study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The finding bodes well for our health, given that regular physical activity reduces the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Yet even with these slight gains, only 48 percent of Americans meet the physical activity recommendations for good health, the report states. Government recommendations say we should be active at least 150 minutes a week at a moderate-intensity, such as brisk walking. (For cancer prevention, AICR recommends at least 30 minutes of daily activity.)

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