Strong Women Have Fewer Arguments – and Other News

by DavalosMcCormack on January 27, 2010

Sometimes it feels as if you can’t turn around without bumping into another study that tells you how wonderful exercise is. Most of it is stuff you probably already know – at least it is if you read Health and Simple regularly – but once in a while you come across some fun new benefit that makes you think “cool”.

We’ll get to that in a minute.

But first.. Just Being Fat Increases a Kids Risk of Heart Disease
Now, we all know that more and more children are becoming overweight or even obese. Not just here in the U.S. but throughout Europe and other developed and affluent nations. Now a new study says the consequences of that may be far graver than we thought.

The study, in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that as early as age 7, being obese may raise a child’s risk of future heart disease and stroke, even if they don’t have any other risk factors for cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure.

That’s a wake-up call to parents, schools and pediatricians that they need to be more aggressive in working with kids with weight problems, to tackle them early and often so that those kids don’t grow up overweight or obese. The longer the problems persist, the greater the risk of future health problems.

Now, the news that fat kids start showing signs of heart disease early on is not new. But this adds an extra wrinkle. This shows that even if the kids are otherwise healthy and show no other indications of heart problems, just being fat shows they are heading for a world of health problems, unless we act quickly.

Move More Live Longer, and Healthier
OK, stop me if you heard this before. Exercise or physical activity is linked to a friggin’ host of wonderful things such as reduced risk of:

  • arthritis
  • falls
  • fractures
  • heart disease
  • lung disease
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • watching the Kardashians (OK, the evidence isn’t all in on this one but hopefully if you workout regularly you won’t have time to watch this dreadful, awful, scripted “reality” show) (note from Shirl:  I kinda like it…love the make-up!)

But now a bunch of new studies in the Archives of Internal Medicine show that exercise can have benefits in all sorts of fun, new ways

  • Among women who are 70 or older, those who exercise regularly during middle age are healthier in many areas of health from less risk of chronic disease to lower risk of heart problems or dementia
  • Exercise programs are associated with denser bones in older women. Why is that good? Because stronger bones mean less likely of fracture or other serious problems if you fall – either fall in love or fall in the shower
  • Here’s my favorite. Resistance training can improve some cognitive skills in older women. This is such a cool study. The researchers found that doing resistance training just once or twice a week can not only improve attention and concentration skills among older women, but it can also improve conflict resolution skills. Amazing eh. Better conflict resolution skills. But then I figured that no one wants to argue with an old woman who’s built like Arnold Schwarzenneger so maybe that explains it. But what a cool granny eh!

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