Thursday, May 30, 2013

2nd most preventable cause of death

Smoking is the #1 preventable cause of death.
Do you know what #2 is?
Top Nine Preventable Causes of Death,
Journal of American Medical Association, 2004
Poor Diet and Lack of Exercise!
Of course I'm a big running advocate, but heck any type of physical activity is better than nothing at all. The American Heart Association promotes any physical activity - walking up the stairs, vacuuming, gardening, heck - even dusting is considered a physical activity. The American College of Sports Medicine encourages exercise - specifically 150 minutes of exercise per week, or 300 minutes of exercise per week for an increased benefits, like losing weight. 
I think this can be daunting to someone who has never exercised. 
If you think this is daunting, here is the secret to success:
Make weekly goals, and make these weekly goals really, really small and manageable - don't worry about how small they are - you can build on these goals, every other week. So, if 150 minutes of exercise seems like too much, start out with two 10 minute sessions per week. After doing these 10 minute sessions for a couple of weeks, increase the time to two 15 or 20 minute sessions per week. After a couple of weeks, and a bit of confidence that you can do these two sessions every week, add a third session in, and so on and so forth. Of course, if you have any health problems you should always consult with a doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
The BIG question ...
The one I get asked a lot:
Is running better than walking?
Well, I just read an article in the Times about this.
I'm a big Gretchen Reynolds fan, but I hafta admit, at first, I was a little disappointed that Ms. Reynolds would pit running and walking against each other. My philosophy is if you're moving, it's better than nothing at all (Re: Chart pictured above). If this means walking - keep walking, baby! If this means running, I'll see you out there!
Anyway, turns out running and walking both have some great benefits. 
I knew Ms. Reynolds wouldn't let me down!
Running has some interesting benefits, especially for those looking to lose weight. The differences were really noticeable amongst the 55 years and older age group. Interestingly, it wasn't that the runners were burning more calories than the walkers - because the study kept this as constant to compare apples to apples. So why did the runners have a lower BMI and a smaller waist circumference?
Hormones!
Runners had higher blood levels of a hormone, peptide YY, which suppresses appetite.
But don't abandon your walking routine. 
Both running and walking can equally diminish risk of age-related cataracts. Just remember to wear those sunglasses when you're out there walking and running because they help block the sun's rays, which also helps lower risks for cataracts.
AND ...
Both running and walking can help reduce the risk of 
high blood pressure, cholesterol, 
diabetes, and heart disease.
So,
Don't become a statistic
Get up and move!
Train Smart Today!
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