Friday, January 24, 2014

Get Off the Couch! Even Light Exercise Has Health Benefits


Light-intensity activities that get you off the couch may be beneficial to your health, even if you don't work up a sweat, a new study suggests.

People in the study who spent more time moving around than sitting during the day generally had favorable insulin and triglyceride (blood fat) levels, even if they did not do the amount of exercise that national guidelines recommend.

"These findings demonstrate the importance of minimizing sedentary activities, and replacing some of them with light-intensity activities, such as pacing back and forth when on the phone, standing at your desk periodically instead of sitting and having walking meetings instead of sit-down meetings," study researcher Paul Loprinzi, an assistant professor at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., said in a statement. [How Many Calories Am I Burning? (Infographic)

Other light activities that can reduce sedentary time include leisurely biking, playing Wii Fit, sitting on a balance ball, playing a musical instrument and gardening.

Although these light exercises may not be as beneficial to your health as vigorous activities are, they are still "much better than lying on the couch, watching TV," said study researcher Bradley Cardinal, co-director of the Sport and Exercise Psychology Program at Oregon State University.

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