What helps stave off depression, lowers blood sugar levels, reduces the risk of cardiovascular events, eases arthritis pain and improves sleep quality? The answer is. . . . (drumroll). . . EXERCISE!
The old adage that says if you could some how put the benefits of exercise into a pill, you’d make millions is certainly true.
Just within the last several days, unrelated studies have underscored the need and the benefits of exercise:
- In a study conducted by the University of South Carolina researchers discovered that over the course of the last 45 years, moms have become much more sedentary. From 1965-2010, women have reduced the number of hours they are physically active from 44 per week to less than 30. This could explain the rise in obesity rates across the board, and also, more importantly it helps explain why childhood obesity is on the rise. But this may actually be good news, because we all know that moms will do for their children what they may not do for themselves. In other words, if they understand that being physically active is necessary to instill healthy habits in their kids, they might be more inclined to begin an exercise program if they haven’t done so.
- In a news release issued yesterday, the American Diabetes Association announced that most people who are at risk for diabetes don’t believe that they are. A survey of 1400 patients aged 40 and older and 600 health care providers revealed that 40% of those at risk for prediabetes or diabetes don’t recognize said risk — 80% of those patients believe they are in good health. 70% of at risk patients are overweight or obese and/or sedentary.
- A study conducted by the Cochrane Collaboration reveals that patients with dementia who exercise regularly improved cognitive function and the quality of every day life. Although they were quick to point out that exercise cannot prevent it, but that can reduce risk and help minimize cognitive decline.