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Category: Physical Activity (Page 1 of 6)

Over 40% of American adults are obese. Nearly 1 in 10 are morbidly obese.

More than 4 in 10 Americans are now obese.

Key findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study »

  • In 2017–2018, the age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in adults was 42.4%, and there were no significant differences between men and women among all adults or by age group.
  • The age-adjusted prevalence of severe obesity in adults was 9.2% and was higher in women than in men.
  • Among adults, the prevalence of both obesity and severe obesity was highest in non-Hispanic black adults compared with other race and Hispanic-origin groups.
  • The prevalence of severe obesity was highest among adults aged 40–59 compared with other age groups.
  • From 1999–2000 through 2017–2018, the prevalence of both obesity and severe obesity increased among adults.

This research corresponds to earlier studies that suggest half of adult Americans will be obese within 10 years.

More » Associated Press

Five ways hiking is good for you

  1. Hiking keeps your mind sharper than many other forms of exercise
  2. Hiking helps to keep you calm and happy
  3. Hiking helps your relationships
  4. Hiking can increase our creativity
  5. Hiking helps cement a positive relationship with the natural world

Jill Suttie, Greater Good Magazine »

The experience of hiking is unique, research suggests, conveying benefits beyond what you receive from typical exercise. Not only does it oxygenate your heart, it helps keep your mind sharper, your body calmer, your creativity more alive, and your relationships happier. And, if you’re like me and happen to live in a place where nearby woods allow for hiking among trees, all the better: Evidence suggests that being around trees may provide extra benefits, perhaps because of certain organic compounds that trees exude that boost our mood and our overall psychological well-being.

Hiking in nature is so powerful for our health and well-being that some doctors have begun prescribing it as an adjunct to other treatments for disease. As one group of researchers puts it, “The synergistic effect of physical activity and time spent in nature make hiking an ideal activity to increase overall health and wellness.”

Read the whole article to read more about the science behind the benefits of hiking.

Human evolution explains why physical activity is important for our brain health

David A. Raichlen and Gene E. Alexander, Scientific American »

  • It is by now well established that exercise has positive effects on the brain, especially as we age.
  • Less clear has been why physical activity affects the brain in the first place.
  • Key events in the evolutionary history of humans may have forged the link between exercise and brain function.
  • Cognitively challenging exercise may benefit the brain more than physical activity that makes fewer cognitive demands.

[…]

People often consider walking and running to be activities that the body is able to perform on autopilot. But research carried out over the past decade by us and others would indicate that this folk wisdom is wrong. Instead exercise seems to be as much a cognitive activity as a physical one. In fact, this link between physical activity and brain health may trace back millions of years to the origin of hallmark traits of humankind. If we can better understand why and how exercise engages the brain, perhaps we can leverage the relevant physiological pathways to design novel exercise routines that will boost people’s cognition as they age—work that we have begun to undertake.

There’s lots more to this article over at Scientific American »

 

Study predicts 1 in 2 adults in the US will be obese within 10 years » 1 in 4 will be severely obese

Reuters »

In addition, severe obesity – and the serious health problems and extra healthcare costs associated with it – will disproportionately affect women, low-income adults, non-Hispanic black adults and states bordering the lower half of the Mississippi River.

Beth Mole, Ars Technica »

Nearly half of all adults in the US will be obese just 10 years from now, according to new projections published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Nearly a quarter will be severely obese.

Currently, about 40 percent of US adults are obese and about 20 percent are severely obese.

The new modeling study, led by public health researchers at Harvard, attempts to provide the most accurate projections yet for the country’s obesity epidemic, which is increasing at a concerning rate. “Especially worrisome,” the researchers write, “is the projected rise in the prevalence of severe obesity, which is associated with even higher mortality and morbidity and health care costs” than obesity.

For the study, the researchers defined weight categories by body mass index, BMI, defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters. BMI’s of under 25 were considered underweight or normal weight, 25 to 30 were considered overweight (25 to <30), 30 to 35 were considered moderate obesity, and 35 or over were considered severe obesity.

Sedentary lifestyles of adolescents jeopardizes their health

More than 80% of young people between ages 11 and 17 are not exercising enough, according to a World Health Organization-led study based on data from 1.6 million people in 146 countries.

Sarah Boseley, writing in The Guardian »

Dr Mark Tremblay, of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Canada, said in the Journal that physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for premature death worldwide.

“The electronic revolution has fundamentally transformed people’s movement patterns by changing where and how they live, learn, work, play and travel, progressively isolating them indoors,” he said.

People sleep less, sit more, walk less frequently, drive more regularly and do less physical activity than they used to.

“They are increasingly moving from one country to another, from rural to urban areas, from outdoors to indoors, from standing to sitting, from walking to driving, and from active play to digital play.” These changes, he said, could have profound effects on human health.

Stephanie Nebehay and Kate Kelland, writing for Reuters »

In the United States, despite a national plan promoting physical exercise since 2010, obesity rates have risen among adolescents, especially those who eat food high in salt and sugar, studies show.

The WHO study, published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, said many sports in the United States seem designed to attract boys more than girls. The inactivity rate among American girls was 81%, compared to 64% for boys.

Riley said that as teenage activity levels stagnate, rates of weight gain and obesity are growing: “These two phenomenon are of concern. We need to do more if we want to halt the rise in obesity … and promote better rates of physical activity.”

Melissa Davey, writing in The Guardian »

That four in every five adolescents do not experience the enjoyment and social, physical and mental health benefits of regular physical activity is not by chance, but a consequence of political choices and societal design.

More » CBC

Memo doesn’t follow fitness trends, and he’s one of the fastest runners in the world

Memo believes in two things » 1) Hard work, and 2 Never giving up.

NY Times via YouTube »

In a cluttered world of boutique fitness studios and high-end gear, Guillermo Piñeda Morales reminds us that we don’t need much to be our best.

In the Video Op-Ed above, we trail Guillermo Piñeda Morales, a.k.a. Memo. He clocked a 2:28:42 at this year’s Boston Marathon, placing him in the top 10 marathon runners for his age group globally. That’s very fast.

The American fitness industry is worth $30 billion, but Memo’s not in on the trend. He won’t pop up in your Instagram #fitspo feed and you won’t get a glimpse of him at your gym. But if you’re at the New York City Marathon this Sunday — or if you have a resolution to run a marathon next year — Memo is likely to be whizzing past you.

What’s Memo’s trick? Well, you can find that in the video. But it’s far simpler and cheaper than anything else out there.

Running as little as once a week reduces the risk of early death

Good news for Australia’s 1.35 million runners and joggers.
Nutthaseth Van

Željko Pedišić, Victoria University

It’s free, requires no equipment and the scenery can be stunning – it’s no wonder running is among the world’s most popular sports.

The number of recreational runners in Australia has doubled from 2006 to 2014. Now more than 1.35 million Australians (7.4%) run for fun and exercise.

Our study, published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests running can significantly improve your health and reduce the risk of death at a given point in time.

And you don’t have to run fast or far to reap the benefits.
Continue reading

Canadian adults receive failing grade on overall physical activity report card

ParticipACTION, a non-profit group that promotes healthy living, released the first-ever Report Card on Physical Activity for Adults yesterday, giving adults living in Canada a “D” for overall physical activity.

The report stated that even though 83 percent of adults think physical inactivity is a serious health issue, only 16 percent meet the national guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each week.

The research shows that 29 percent of adults in Canada fall within the low active lifestyle category and adults 18 to 79 years old are sedentary for almost 10 hours per day.

The research also shows that sedentary time increases with age and adults 65 and older are spending the most time inactive. This is extra concerning as for the first time in Canadian history, adults over the age of 65 make up a larger percentage of our population than those aged 15 and under.

Physical inactivity can lead to increased risk of chronic diseases, cognitive decline, slips and falls, and social isolation. We can’t stop aging, but we can age better with physical activity.

Fortunately, the Report Card is not all negative. 74 percent of adults in Canada say they have strong intentions to be physically active within the next six months. Perhaps they just require a little extra motivation.

As we age, natural changes such as slowed reaction times and decreased muscle and bone strength contribute to an increase in slips and falls. Engaging in activities like strength training or tai chi can help participants meet their weekly activity goals while improving balance, core strength, and stability.

Research shows that being physically active can also help protect against the onset of dementia and slow its progression. Regular brain stimulation along with physical activity can extend our years of strong brain health.

About 20 percent of adults in Canada experience some level of loneliness or isolation. Older adults are at higher risk due to a lack of mobility and shrinking social networks. Staying active, and making time to get active with others helps to build social connections and enhances community engagement.

Source: ParticipACTION

More » CBC

Are pets really good for us?

Jules Howard, writing in The Guardian »

The good news, at face value, is this: if you are looking for proof that having a pet improves your general health, the evidence abounds. For instance, there is plenty about how a bout of pet-stroking can lower your heart rate (and the pet’s), easing your body into a less stressed condition. This seems to apply across the spectrum, from dogs and cats to snakes and goats. And there’s more. There’s evidence from Germany and Australia (sample size: 10,000) that pet-owners make fewer visits to the doctor and, from China, that pet-owners sleep more soundly than those who aren’t. Just last week, the American Heart Association reported that the survival prospects for people who have had heart attacks and strokes are better in dog-owners than in those who are not.

and

If we were able to put all these pros and cons into a melting pot and come up with a definitive answer to the question of whether or not pets are good for us, what would the answer be? The answer would be … complicated. Because humans and our circumstances are so universally mixed up and complex. The simple truth is that having a pet has good and bad sides, and it may not be for everyone. Which means we have a duty to think carefully before acquiring one. We need to imagine the good times we might have with a pet and to consider the bad times, too: the insecurity, the grumpiness in old age, the infirmity.

Read the whole article at The Guardian »

Exercise and increased physical activity can prevent and treat depression

Exercise training and increased physical activity are effective for both prevention and treatment of depression, concludes research published in the Current Sports Medicine Reports, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

The evidence of the use of physical activity and exercise for the management of depression is substantial and growing fast,”comment Felipe Barretto Schuch, PhD, of Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, Brazil, and Brendon Stubbs, PhD, of King’s College London, lead authors of the special ‘Exercise Is Medicine’ article. “Despite this substantial evidence, the incorporation of exercise as a key component in treatment is often inconstant and often given a low priority.” Continue reading

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