You Can Run But You Can't Escape the Benefits of Exercise – and other stuff

by DavalosMcCormack on August 13, 2008

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Exercise is good for you. You haven’t? Where the heck have you been! Oh, I see, you were being sarcastic. Sorry, but that doesn’t work online without emoticoms – and I hate those bloody things. But, before I get carried away I wanted to tell you about some new research that adds yet more reasons why you should be getting out and moving around, regardless of how old you are.

First, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that running throughout middle and older ages can help reduce disability and may also help you live longer. Yeah, we’ve all heard that joke that a low fat diet, exercise and no alcohol won’t help you live longer, it will just feel that way.

Anyway, they followed a bunch of runners who were 50 years old and older at the start of the study, and a bunch of other healthy folks the same age range. At the start of the study the runners were leaner, and less likely to smoke than the other group. By the end of the study, 19 years later, 15 percent of the running group had died compared to 34 percent of the non-running group.

The researchers say this shows that being active, at any age, can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and a bunch of other stuff you don’t want to have.

Exercise Helps Lower Blood Pressure

As someone who sweats easily, and a lot (you really don’t want to be anywhere near me while I’m exercising, it can get ugly, and wet) I loved reading that breaking a sweat can help lower your blood pressure.

That’s the word from the latest issue of Ethnicity and Disease. I could go into the details but trust me, it’s a good study, and really all you need to know you read in the first paragraph. So you can stop reading now and move on to the next item.

Losing Weight Can Help Prevent Diabetes Problems

Diabetes is on the rise in America, a sad side-effect of the growth in the numbers of people who are overweight. The good news is that even after being diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes people who go on and lose weight get better control of the condition.

The study, by researchers at Kaiser Permanente is published in the online version of the journal Diabetes Care. The researchers followed more than 2,500 adults with type 2 diabetes for more than four years. They found that people who lost weight within an average of 18 months after first being diagnosed were up to twice as likely to lower their blood pressure and get their blood sugar under control as patients who didn’t lose weight.

Those are no small achievements. Failing to get diabetes under control can lead to a lot of pretty nasty side effects, such as heart disease, blindness, nerve and kidney problems, even death. See, I told you they were nasty.

More than 20 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. Most are overweight or obese. By doing something about their weight they could do a lot to improve not just their health but the quality of their life.

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