There seems to once again be a surge of exercise-related articles in the news lately. Here is a round-up of just some of the recent news:
Five years ago, after ending a long-term relationship, Anita became seriously depressed. It benched the once-physically active writer, who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her privacy.
She stopped running and began gaining weight and falling out of shape. It was not the first time she had been depressed, and traditional therapy had not helped her as much as she had hoped. This time, she sought out someone different. She found Jane Baxter, PhD, a therapist who was able to get her moving again, mentally and physically.
At the same time, evidence accumulates about the positive impact of even small amounts of aerobic activity. Past studies from the University of Illinois found that “just 20 minutes of walking” before a test raised children’s scores, even if the children were otherwise unfit or overweight, says Charles Hillman, a professor of kinesiology at the university and the senior author of many of the recent studies.
Scientists at Northwestern University say sleep problems affect millions of adults, who could likely improve their quality of sleep, vitality, and mood with regular aerobic exercise.
The researchers say the study is the first to examine the effect of aerobic exercise on insomnia in middle-aged and older adults. About 50% of people middle-aged and older complain of symptoms of chronic insomnia.
This was Carol celebrating her 90th birthday at the Curves Gym. Yes, you read that right, she is 90 years old... wow!
The results, published in the American Journal of Public Health, showed that the children with dogs spent an average of 325 minutes doing physical activity every day -- 11 more than those without dogs. The dog-owning participants took 360 more steps than the others, an increase of 4%.
It is a low-impact activity suitable for people of all ages and most states of health, even those who “hate” exercise or have long been sedentary. It is a gentle, calming exercise — some call it meditation in motion — that involves deep breathing but no sweat or breathlessness.
It places minimal stress on joints and muscles and thus is far less likely than other forms of exercise to cause muscle soreness or injury. It requires no special equipment or clothing and can be practiced almost anywhere at any time, alone or with others.
No hip fractures occurred in the exercise group during the follow-up, compared to five hip fractures in the control group. This is significant, the researchers say, because broken hips increase mortality risk in elderly women.
The women who exercised also “demonstrated a significant gain compared with the control group in mean leg strength.”
Let's face it: it's not all that difficult to start a fitness routine. After all, most of us have done it more than once.
The trouble, of course, comes with sticking with it. All too often, our initial enthusiasm and energy wanes, we get distracted by other things going on in our lives, or we don't think we're seeing results quickly enough -- and we throw in the towel.
Yet many people do manage to hang in there, and would no sooner skip their regular workout than their morning shower. What's their secret?
“There have been lots of reasons I could have missed, and I haven’t,” Geiger says proudly.
Geiger’s experience illustrates what exercise experts have learned through research and practice over the years: To succeed in sticking to an exercise routine, people need a reason to carry on when that little voice inside says, "Sit on the couch. Have a doughnut."
There are plenty of reasons we should be exercising. Not only does exercise help us reach and maintain a healthy body weight, it also can help lower blood pressure, "bad" cholesterol and trigycerides; strengthen bones; lower the risk for cancer; help us battle depression; and decrease stress. Many experts say it even improves our sex lives.
So we all know exercise is good for us. Why do so many of us hate it?
If you know you're not very fit – and some days you only walk from home to your car to your desk and back – then exercise advice can feel overwhelming.
After all, most of the books and blogs and podcasts about exercise are produced by keep-fit types. Thin, muscular, glowing with good health...
...and kinda annoying.