Get moving and improve your healthBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/physical-activity/MY01779
- With Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist
Donald Hensrud, M.D.read biographyclose window
Donald Hensrud, M.D.Donald Hensrud, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.
Dr. Donald D. Hensrud is chair of the Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine with a joint appointment in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic. He is an associate professor of preventive medicine and nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. Dr. Hensrud directed the Executive Health Program at Mayo Clinic for more than 10 years.
He received his B.S. from the University of North Dakota, M.D. from the University of Hawaii, M.P.H. from the University of Minnesota and M.S. in nutrition sciences from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in preventive medicine at Mayo Clinic and completed a clinical nutrition fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Hensrud is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, the American Board of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists, of which he is a past president.
His career interests have combined nutrition, weight management, and prevention. He is the author of many scientific articles and book chapters and was editor of Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody; The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook, which won a 2005 James Beard Foundation award; The Mayo Clinic Plan: 10 Essential Steps to a Better Body & Healthier Life; and The Mayo Clinic Diet, published in January 2010.
Dr. Hensrud says healthy lifestyle habits in diet and physical activity are extremely important as evidenced by a large body of scientific evidence. He also says implementing these lifestyle habits is realistic, sustainable and enjoyable. A primary goal of his work is to help people achieve this.
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Get moving and improve your health
By Donald Hensrud, M.D.
We all know it's important to be physically active. However, knowing and doing are 2 different things and putting that into practice in our daily lives can be challenging.
Physical activity can be divided up into exercise and activities throughout our daily lives. As discussed in our book "The Mayo Clinic Diet", any activity is good activity. Whether it's exercise, walking, taking the stairs, whatever — it's all good. It helps us burn calories, decrease our health risks, and feel better along with many other benefits.
Some recent studies have provided us with new information about the health risks of being sedentary. One study ("Journal of the American College of Cardiology", Jan. 18, 2011) totaled up all the time that people spent sitting while watching television, working on a computer, etc, over a period of years. In this study and others, the people who sat the most had the highest risk of heart disease and dying — a pretty important outcome.
What was most fascinating, however, was that this was true regardless of how much exercise someone did. In other words, even among people who exercised, those who sat the longest had higher mortality.
What does this mean? Let's say 2 people exercise vigorously 5 days per week for 30 minutes per session; a good amount of exercise by anyone's standards. One of these people has a desk job and sits most of the day. The other one is in sales and is on their feet most of the day. According to these new studies, the person who is on their feet most of the day has fewer health risks even though they both exercise the same amount.
We all know we should try to be active some of the time. But this new information suggests we should also try to not be sedentary the rest of the time. And while they sound the same, technically they aren't. How can we do this?
Well, certainly continue to exercise. If you have a desk job, consider taking frequent breaks to stand and move around. When talking on your cell phone, for example, stand up and move about. If you have to meet with someone, consider a walking meeting.
Perhaps the most important thing to do at home is not sit in front of the television for hours on end. Standing and minimally moving around burns 2 1/2 times more calories than sitting. As I'm typing this, I'm getting used to standing at my desk (and thinking about how I can raise it higher!). Awareness is the first step in solving any problem. Realize it's important to both move and not sit around. Both of these strategies will help burn calories, manage weight, and improve health. Please share your ideas.blog index