Posts Tagged ‘exercise & diabetes’

Sir John Falstaff--see below!

An actor friend–who has type two diabetes and had a tendency to be overweight–told me a couple of days ago that he had taken up walking with hiking poles. He’d lost 10lbs and was feeling all the better for it.

(Meredith bought me a pair a couple of years back but I was too self conscious to use them for long!)

Professor Steven Blair (Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina) writes
in this month’s GI news, that there is now overwhelming evidence that regular physical activity has important and wide-ranging health benefits, including reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

Fit people come in all shapes and sizes the professor says:

“I often tell people that I was short, fat and bald when I started running, but that after running nearly every day for more than 40 years and covering about 70,000 miles … I am still short, fat, and bald. But I suspect I’m in much better shape than I’d be if I didn’t run.”

Being fit, he believes, means accumulating 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, such as walking, each week–a brisk walk of about 40 minutes 4 times a week.

Overall, his data showed about a 50% lower mortality rate in the moderately fit as compared with the unfit.

Professor Blair believes that weight isn’t everything (he would wouldn’t he!) and recommends focusing on good health habits, no matter what number you see on the scales.

  • Give fruits, vegetables and whole grains a major place in your daily diet.
  • Be moderate about fat and alcohol.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Work on managing stress.
  • Perhaps most important, get out of your chair and start moving for at least 150 minutes/week.

His studies show that a normal weight person who is unfit is twice as likely to die in the next decade as a person who is overweight and fit.

Nevertheless, next time my friend plays Sir John Falstaff--which he has done several times–he’ll have to use artificial padding–and good for him I say!

Prof. Steven Blair–who believes that physical inactivity is the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.

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“Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen, this is train 127 to Waahshington–train 127 to Waahshington”

En route to Washington from NYC by Amtrak–a three hour journey.

We find the “Quiet Coach” (no loud voices–no cell phone use)–perfect.

Meredith starts to read the in-house magazine, which has a photo of Michelle Obama on the cover looking in radiant health. Her mission is to stem the rise in juvenile obesity.

The theme this month is Health and Wellness–no escape.

Inside Meredith finds a short article written by Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the NIH–the National Institutes of Health–entitled: “Change your life style and save your life”–no escape.

These days you can’t even take a trip in the “quiet coach”  without being exhorted to examine your lifestyle!

Dr.  Collins  writes that shortly before taking up his post, he took advantage of one of the programmes funded  by the NIH and had a DNA scan designed to look at the hereditory risks of disease.

To his surprise the scan revealed he had a risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“The strategy that caught my eye,” he writes, “was an NIH funded Diabetes Prevention Program which found the the combination of increased physical activity and modest weight loss is a highly effective way to lower the risk of Type 2 Diabetes. When trial participants–all with elevated levels of glucose–exercised 2.5 hours a week and lost 7% of their weight on avereage, many were protected from developing diabetes, with preventive benefits lasting at least a decade.”

He decided to act and started working out. In the first six months of his new routine he lost 25 pounds.

“I’ve never felt fitter, ” he says.

“Taking charge of your health by choosing the right foods and the right exercise programme is among the most important investments you can make in your future”–no escape!!

“Ladies and Gentlemen–15 minutes to New Carrolt’n– New Carrolt’n 15 minutes. Twenty-five minutes to Waahshington, 25 minutes to Waahshington–New Carrolt’n, Maryland is next”.

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