Exercise for Cash or For Health

by DavalosMcCormack on February 13, 2009

Turn on the TV news, listen to the radio, read a newspaper in print or online and all they ever seem to be talking about these days is the financial bailout plan. It seems that everyone is getting some money, except me. And perhaps you too.

Well, now some older adults apparently want in on the act. A new study of sedentary people over 50 says they’ll be more active if we pay them to. That’s right, they want “walking around money” to walk around.

The study appears in the March issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The researchers wanted to know what incentives might work to get a bunch of folks in their 50’s, who spent most of the time on the couch, up and moving around. They found that offering them cash payments of just $9 a week raised the enthusiasm for walking among these slackers by 31 percent.

So they are not just lazy, they are also cheap. $9!! They’d probably just use the money to walk to the nearest McDonalds and buy themselves a burger.

That $9 Could Have Saved Their Colon

If only those folks would get up off the couch and go for a walk, with or without the cash incentive, they might reduce their reduce their risk of colon cancer.

A new study in the British Journal of Cancer says that people who exercise regularly can reduce their risk of getting colon cancer, the third most common form of cancer in the U.S.

What’s nice is that the reduced risk applies to all forms of exercise whether it’s running, swimming, biking, walking, dancing or even digging in the garden. It’s all good.

And the more active the people were, the lower their risk. So what are you sitting there reading this for, get moving…..

And One More Thing

OK, I promise no more exercise benefits – after this. But this is important, particularly for postmenopausal women.

A study in the February 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine found that regular exercise can improve the quality of life for postmenopausal women, regardless of whether they lose weight.

Being active helped the women reduce their risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and several forms of cancer. Not bad payoff for just going for a brisk walk eh!

And while this study was only done in women there is enough other evidence out there to show that the benefits also apply to men of all ages and to premenopausal women too. That means, all of us.

And on that note, I’ll shut up.

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