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Posts Tagged ‘exercise & health’

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!

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

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