Health Watch readers know how important exercise is. It’s about more than staying in good shape.
Exercise is one of the most effective tools you have for lowering your risk for disease. It may also be your secret for graceful aging. Getting enough may even help you live a longer life. But new research reveals there’s a simple activity that could be erasing all your of your hard work…and any benefits that came with it.
A team of researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that it’s not just a lack of exercise you need to worry about. Simply sitting too much could be killing your heart health.
The researchers looked at 2,223 healthy participants. They were all between ages 12 and 49. And none of them had any history of heart issues. The team measured daily activity and exercise using accelerometer data. It’s more reliable than having them fill out a survey about how active they were.1
Researchers found that six hours of sedentary activity wipes out a full hour’s worth of exercise. In fact, just two hours of sitting may undo the cardiovascular benefits of up to 20 minutes of exercise.2
It’s not exactly a secret that physical inactivity leads to health problems… But this is the first to show the real damage sitting around can do. It also shows that most people working a full-time job may simply be “breaking even” if they choose to hit the gym after work.
Worst of all is that nobody was immune to the effects of sitting. Age, gender, BMI, and physical activity had nothing to do with risk. In other words, you can’t just exercise for an hour or two a week and do nothing else the rest of the time. But this study isn’t all bad news.
Obviously, it confirms that exercise is important… But it’s not the only factor you have to worry about when it comes to your health. How inactive you are when you aren’t exercising is just as important. This means that you should do your best to lead an active lifestyle. But it doesn’t mean you have to quit your desk job…
Try getting up and walking around for a few minutes at least once an hour. You can also find standup desks and other solutions to help keep you up and moving. But it’s not just limited to the workplace. A short walk after dinner can help you digest and even control your blood sugar. It may sound silly… But something as simple as keeping the TV remote out of reach will encourage you to get up out of your chair a little more often.
Another thing to consider is that this study didn’t look at diet… It’s possible that eating heart-healthy foods like high-fiber vegetables and natural saturated fats could lessen the effects of sitting. But a more active life and a clean diet aren’t the only ways to help save your heart in top shape…
Some brave doctors are finally telling the truth about America’s deadliest killer… And what really causes—and treats—heart disease. Like the natural supplement a Mayo Clinic professor prescribes to all his heart patients…and the natural nutrient from fruit that has been shown to lower cholesterol safer than a well-known prescription drug.