Why Activity Is Essential

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) More and more studies are providing evidence that we were made to move. Activity is not an option for good health it is an essential.

Over the last few years sitting for long periods has been shown to be an independent risk factor for several common chronic diseases. This means that lack of physical activity is bad for us. Studies of high-income countries show that we spend the majority of our waking hours sitting down. Typically we take the bus, train or drive to work, sit at a desk for most of the day, take the same trip home, sit for dinner and then move to a comfy chair for watching TV.

The current activity guideline calls for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week. This amounts to just over 20 minutes per day. However, only about 20 percent of Americans actually accomplish this. The researchers found that 60-75 minutes per day were needed to counteract the effects of 8 hours of sitting.

The risk of early death was between 28%-59% more likely in the most inactive group regardless of time spent sitting. The more active a person was, the lower the comparable risk of early death from any cause.

“There is an obvious correlation between optimal health and daily activity. Every study comes to the same conclusion. We were designed to move and be active. There appears to be no upper limit because according to research, the more active a person is the lower mortality risk becomes from any cause over any time period,” according to Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust.

Although the reason for this protection is still not understood, recent research suggests that endurance exercise training changes the activity of thousands of genes, providing benefits on a molecular level. Researchers have found approximately 3400 RNA variants, associated with 2600 genes that are changed in response to training. How our genes express themselves, good or bad, is greatly influenced by our diet, lifestyle and other environmental factors. Epigenetics is the study of how environmental factors can cause our genes to switch on or off and change how cells express genes. Exercise and activity in general have been conclusively shown to have a positive effect on gene expression.

Griesel adds, “Movement is essential to life. The more active we are the better. You do not need to become an exercise fanatic or marathon runner. Simply being up on your feet moving and doing something is what appears to be most important. Walking is a low impact, natural and enjoyable activity. Most people can begin to walk more, gradually increasing time and distances whenever time allows. Proper doses of activity and exercise energize our bodies and condition them to handle and accomplish more.”

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