Give Your Health a Make Over through Incidental Exercises
We're always advised that taking the stairs, not the elevator, or getting off the bus early will improve our wellbeing - but just how much difference will those little bits of action actually make? Keeping on the move with small bits of activity throughout the day can really help improve your health.
One of the ways that cholesterol-lowering drugs work is to block production of an enzyme called PCSK9. But recent research from University of Geneva found climbing stairs cuts this naturally. In fact, when hospital employees were told to take the stairs instead of lifts for three months their levels of PCSK9 fell by nearly a fifth, and their levels of harmful LDL cholesterol fell too. As an added bonus, taking the stairs is also associated with significant energy burn. “Climbing five flights of stairs a day during the working week burns 1269kJ,” says researcher Dr. Lewis Halsey from the UK’s University of Roehampton.
Housework reduces the risk of breast cancer by 20 percent in post-menopausal women. Women doing 16 to 17 hours of housework a week reduced the risk by 30 percent. Housework includes walking the dog, shopping for groceries, gardening and playing with your kids.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/give-your-health-a-make-over-through-incidental-exercises/ by Katharine Tate on 2021-01-09T01:41:02.832Z
Walking the magic 10,000 steps a day figure has been shown to reduce blood pressure from an average of 149/98 to 139/90 in little as 12 weeks, shows research from Japan’s Wakayama Medical College. Measuring steps with a pedometer doubles the steps you’re likely to take, shows a University Western Sydney trial. But to power things up, walk everywhere as if you're just a little bit late for everything, faster walking gives the greatest health benefits. Picking music with fast beat and walking in time to it is an easy way to increase speed,” walking expert Diane Westaway.
Researchers looked at which activities best raised vitamin D levels. They found it was gardening. Dr. Marina De Rui from Italy’s University of Padova says, “We suspect it’s because gardening is such a regular pastime, it demands a certain regularity and can keep someone occupied for hours on a daily basis.”
Gardeners may be outdoors closer to the middle of the day than, say, walkers. Vitamin D is more effectively made when the sun is higher in the sky.
Researcher Adam Martin from the UK’s University of East Anglia has studied what happens when people walk, cycle or take public transport to work and he’s found that compared to drivers they are happier and less stressed, and find it easier to concentrate at work.
"You would think problems like service interruption or queues might trigger tension, but since busses and trains allow people time to rest, read and socialize, along with a stroll to the station or a bus stop, it seems cheerful," he says.
“People who take public transport are more likely to include some walking or cycling as part of their journey – from house to station, or between stations,” he says. “And while the biggest losses were seen in those who walked/cycled for at least 30 minutes, it all adds up.”
Researchers at University of Utah School of Medicine looked at which daily habits were associated with longevity. People who took short walks – about two minutes movement for every hour they were awake – lived the longest. Extra movement associated with a 33 per cent lower risk of death during the length of the trial.