Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity ex­tends lives, re­duces can­cer risk

Wellness Update - - Health News -

COL­LEGE STA­TION, Texas – Even mild phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity is as­so­ci­ated with longer life ex­pectancy, re­gard­less of body weight. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study funded by the National Can­cer In­sti­tute, peo­ple who en­gaged in leisure time phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity had life ex­pectancy gains of as much as 4.5 years. “Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity is one of the best things you can do for your­self to stay healthy,” says Re­gents and Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor Mar­cia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the Texas A& M Health Science Cen­ter (TAMHSC) School of Ru­ral Pub­lic Health and a lead­ing re­searcher in can­cer sur­vivor­ship and ag­ing. “Yet, to­day only about 31 per­cent of U.S. adults say they en­gage in any kind of reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.” When it comes to prac­ti­cal tips for mov­ing more, we’ve all heard to “take the stairs, not the el­e­va­tor.” Ac­cord­ing to Dr. Ory, it’s still good ad­vice, but there are many more ways to get phys­i­cally ac­tive breaks in your day:

• Buzz me ac­tive – Set a timer on your phone or your com­puter to re­mind you ev­ery 40- 60 min­utes that it’s time to stand up, stretch and take a brief walk, out­side if pos­si­ble.

• Walk with me – Need to have a quick chat with a fam­ily mem­ber or a co­worker? In­stead of send­ing a text or an email, sug­gest go­ing for a walk.

• Stand to talk – Stand­ing desks are great, but if you don’t have one, you can al­ways stand up ev­ery time you an­swer the phone. If the cord is long enough or you have a speak­er­phone, you can walk around, do deep knee bends and stretch while talk­ing on the phone.

• Stay we­bi­nar fit – Hour-long we­bi­nars are great times for stretch breaks. You can at­tend to busi­ness while stretch­ing or us­ing weights. Keep a flex­i­bil­ity stretch band or a pair of hand weights at your desk for use dur­ing we­bi­nars and long con­fer­ence calls.

• Park to walk – When you are shop­ping or at an off-site meet­ing, park your car at the fur­thest edge of the lot. En­joy the op­por­tu­nity for an out­door phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity break. “Think of ex­er­cise as medicine,” Dr. Ory says. “Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise can re­duce the need for med­i­ca­tions and costly health care treat­ments. There are many dif­fer­ent types of ex­er­cise, chose one that you en­joy – this will help you stay ac­tive for life.”

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