movement

  1. No such thing as sitting pretty

    Never before in human history has it been so easy to get through each day with so little movement -- and it's literally killing us.

    Before I tell you about the latest research on this, think about your own day for a minute and how much time you spend sitting.

    Many people spend between six and eight hours a day on their rears at work, not to mention an hour or more during their commute and a couple of hours a night in front of the TV.

    I know folks who turn the TV on during primetime and don't get up again until Leno says goodnight -- except maybe to get a snack.

    It adds up fast... and if that sounds a little too much like your typical day, find a way to work more movement into it -- because a new study out of Australia finds that eight hours of daily sitting will increase your risk of death in the next three years by 15 percent.

    More sitting adds up to even more risk, with 11 sedentary hours a day causing the death risk to shoot up by 40 percent, according to the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    When you hear about something like this, the temptation is to pull the laundry off the treadmill and start using it again.

    But that's not the answer. People who sit all day and exercise at the beginning or end of it tend to have many of the same health risks as those who sit and don't exercise -- and in the new study, they had the same exact death risk.

    That means you have to get up, get moving, and take a walk every couple of hours if you can.

    If you have a "smart" phone, there are even some apps out there that will remind you to stand and move if you've been sitting too long. Some will also count your daily steps to make sure you're spending enough time on your feet.

    Kind of ironic, isn't it? Technology brought us desk jobs and hours of TV, causing us to spend too much time on our bottoms in the first place... and now technology can help us get up and get moving again.

  2. More meals, less weight

    If you want to weigh less... eat more often.

    That might sound counterintuitive, but some of the most successful dieters around are the ones who make sure they have all three meals each day -- or even more.

    I even know some slim and trim people who eat five or six small meals a day. It's like they're always eating -- yet they never gain any weight.

    A new study confirms that these people aren't just blessed with a magical metabolism -- just good habits. Because as it turns out, overweight and obese people actually eat less frequently than people who keep slim and trim.

    Researchers used data from two studies on eating habits: One looked at how much -- and how often -- obese and overweight people ate, while the other looked at the habits of people who had normal BMIs for at least five years.

    Roughly half of the people in that second study were once overweight or obese themselves, and had to lose at least 30 pounds to get there.

    Regardless of whether they were once fat or always thin, these normal-weight people had a few things in common: First, they were more likely to eat three meals a day and two snacks than the overweight and obese, who actually ate less frequently (including, believe it or not, fewer snacks).

    Second, the thin people consumed up to 200 fewer total calories each day despite their more frequent feedings, according to the study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

    And third, the people who kept the weight off were more likely to get more movement -- a lot more movement. In fact, the researchers say they burned up to 2,200 calories per week more than the overweight and obese.

    If you're overweight and hate the idea of joining a gym, don't worry. The good news is these people weren't iron-pumping fitness fiends. They weren't even treadmill junkies.

    They just walked an average of 60 minutes a day, every day -- something just about anyone can do if they commit to it.

    Naturally, it doesn't matter how often you eat if you eat all the wrong things -- three meals a day at McDonald's will still leave you bloated and sick, and let's not even think about two daily snacks of chips and ice cream.

    So eat more often -- just make sure you eat better, too. And if you commit to a healthy diet low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fats and fresh vegetables, you won't even have to count calories.

    Just eat until you're full, and your body will take care of the rest.

  3. 8 ways to reduce your dementia risk

    There's no surefire way to keep dementia at bay, but there are steps you can take to dramatically slash your risk -- including the following lifestyle changes you can make, starting today.

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