waistline, boost your brain

Exercise remains one of the most powerful interventions for promoting health and preventing disease. An article in the BMJ reviewed 174 studies published over 25 years. The scientists evaluated the amount of physical activity people were engaging in and their chances of developing five chronic health problems.

Which Chronic Health Problems Were Less Common Among Exercisers?

Those who were most active were least likely to develop diabetes, colon cancer, breast cancer, heart attacks or strokes. The greatest gains were seen among people who expended 3,000 to 4,000 MET minutes a week compared to those moving less than 600 MET minutes. The MET minute is a way of factoring in intensity of exercise along with the amount of time spent doing it. Other research has suggested that people who exercise regularly are less prone to develop dementia, another greatly feared and common chronic condition.

How Much Exercise Does It Take?

The investigators say that current exercise recommendations are too low to provide the best protection from chronic health problems. They conclude that “greater attention and investments in interventions to promote physical activity in the general public is required.”

BMJ, online, Aug 9, 2016 

We discussed the benefits of exercise with James Blumenthal, PhD, in our Show #1034.  He has done ground-breaking research on controlling or reversing depression with physical activity.

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  1. Sharon
    Murrieta, CA
    Reply

    I was deemed “permanently disabled” approx 20 years ago and have been on SSDI/SSI since. My conditions are chronic and extremely painful. Since being introduced to a 1 hr cardio class, consisting of others mostly older, I found that I had so much fun laughing at myself that I went back. That was over 2 years ago, and I go because I find that I feel better afterwards. My conditions haven’t changed but I have because I feel better about how I choose to start my day, both physically and mentally. It does work!

  2. Sherry
    eastern PA
    Reply

    I absolutely agree with this article. Exercise is #1 when it comes to staying healthy. I have been a faithful fitness fanatic for over 40 years (every other day for a minimum of 1.5 hours, a combination of cardio and strength training). At worst, I’ll get maybe one cold a year, which goes away after a couple of days. Being in shape strengthens the immune system, helps you to sleep better and improves your response to stress, as well as providing a positive outlook on life. Those of us who exercise on a regular basis are very few, and I’d like to see those numbers increase. There are no negatives, only positives, so I don’t understand why more people don’t take care of their health by exercising!

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