If you read this blog on a regular basis, you already know that we all need to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity in order to keep our hearts and bodies in good shape. But a new study suggests that the prescription for healthy aging should include more than just exercise. We need to stop sitting, as well.
Don’t Just Sit There!
A study released this week in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise evaluated the way in which exercise and sedentary behavior (like sitting) are connected to heart health in older adults. Researchers evaluated almost 2000 older adults aged 65 and over. They found that even though exercise was associated with lower body weight, blood pressure and other positive health markers, it didn’t offset the negative effects of sedentary behavior. As a result, study authors suggest that the prescription for healthy aging should include both exercise and avoiding long periods of sitting.
How to Be More Active
Exercise is great, but don’t forget about the rest of your day. Start to pay attention to the amount of time you spend sitting in your favorite chair or lounging on the couch. Do you watch a lot of television? Set a 1-2 hour limit and set a timer to remind yourself to get up and move.
Need ideas? Make a commitment to take the dog outside for a walk 2-3 times each day. Help your wife fold the laundry. Stand up and wash the dishes by hand instead of putting them in the dishwasher. Get creative. Remember, if it takes you out of your chair or off the couch, it’s probably good for you. These little changes may improve your longevity and your overall heart health!