sedentary

  1. Sitting can hurt you

    Don't take aging sitting down. The more time you spend in a seat, the more likely you are to not have a choice about it -- because too much sitting is a major risk factor for mobility problems and even disability.

    In other words, move it... or lose it.

    Every hour you spend seated per day past the age of 60 will increase your risk of disability by 46 percent, according to one new study.

    That's a huge price to pay for a little extra "Wheel of Fortune," if you ask me. (And given the risks, maybe they should rename it "Wheelchair of Misfortune" instead.)

    Now, don't think you can get up, run on the treadmill for half an hour and then return to your easy chair, because it's not the amount of exercise that matters most.

    It's the amount of time you spend sitting, and if you spend too many hours on your butt than even daily exercise sessions won't reduce your disability risk, according to the study.

    All that really matters is how much time you spend up on your feet and moving around.

    And if that's not enough of a reason to get up out of your seat, too much sitting can also increase your risk of dementia, diabetes, heart disease and even death.

    If this is hitting a little too close to home -- if your own easy chair has a permanent indentation in the shape of your rear end -- don't feel too bad.

    You're hardly alone.

    The study finds that the average over-60 spends 9 hours a day either sitting or not moving.

    It's time to break out of this cycle. Get up and get moving throughout the day -- go for walks, spend some time out in the garden and take up and active hobby such as tennis or golf.

    One easy way to track your movements and make sure you get what you need is to wear a pedometer, which will track your daily footsteps. Pick one up, put it on and see how much you move now.

    Then, get to work on increasing that activity. Set some goals -- a good one is to increase your movement in increments of 2,000 steps per day. One recent study finds boosting your own daily steps by this level will help slash your risk of heart attack and stroke.

    Read more about it in this free report from my House Calls archives.

  2. Walking after eating meals can control blood sugar

    Walk away from diabetes

    Preventing diabetes doesn't have to be a big challenge. In fact, it could be as easy as putting one foot in front of the other, because new research shows that walking after eating can help your body deal with the spike in blood sugar that hits after meals.

    You don't have to walk fast, and you don't even have to go very far. All you have to do is wait about 30 minutes after each meal, and then hit the pavement for about 15 minutes at a pace of roughly 3 miles per hour.

    That speed isn't very fast at all.

    But walking after eating can actually help your body control its post-meal blood sugar levels even better than a single 45-minute walk taken at another time of the day, according to a set of experiments on 10 overweight, sedentary, and pre-diabetic seniors.

    The benefits last for up to three hours after that walk, or most of the way to your next meal. But they don't carry over, so if you want to keep getting that benefit, you have to keep walking after eating every day, and after every meal, according to the study published in Diabetes Care.

    That should be easy enough for most people -- but let me throw in a bit of a reality check here as well.

    If you're overweight, sedentary, and pre-diabetic like the seniors in the new study, then that walking after eating is an excellent place to start. But by itself, I don't think it's truly going to keep diabetes at bay.

    To really prevent this disease -- and for overall good health and fitness -- you need more activity than just a 15-minute walk. And don't forget that what's in your meals is even more important than what you do after them -- so along with increasing your activity levels, work on eating better and losing weight.

    I recommend the Mediterranean diet, which can help prevent diabetes and protect the heart without placing too many limits on your food options or leaving you hungry after meals the way other diets will.

  3. Statins don’t improve physical fitness levels

    A new study finds that adding statins to an exercise program provides virtually no improvements in fitness levels and in some cases makes them worse.

3 Item(s)