Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sitting Kills

It's difficult to stay active during the winter months, especially on days when I am snowed in. I'm reminded of my inactivity, on days like these, when leaving the house becomes difficult. Today, I wasn't able to go to the gym; but, I was still was able to take a brisk walk around the neighborhood. For years, health experts have been telling us to exercise 30 minutes each day. But is that enough for good health? New research suggests that our bodies need more than just one period of active exercise per day, and that inactivity such as sitting maybe harmful to our bodies.

"The body's idling state is very very unhealthy," says James Levine, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic. His research has shown a consistent link between chair time and death from heart disease. The more people sat, the more likely they were to die of heart disease within 12 years--even if they were slim and exercised regularly!! Prolonged sitting (for as little as 2 hours) can negatively change our body's chemistry. The solution: avoid sitting for long periods of time. Standing or walking at regular intervals throughout the day is vital to good health. Standing not only burns more calories than sitting but it reduces cholesterol levels as well. 

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