According to an article in the Washington Post on August 14 (here), a new study finds that “even low amounts of weekly physical activity can reduce blood pressure and improve overall fitness in adults.” This was a 12-week study that was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. It involved 106 healthy but sedentary people between the ages of 40 to 60. What they found was that even the group that did 30 minutes of brisk walking only three days a week also had significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and waist and hip girth, along with the group that did the exercise five days a week. The group that maintained their normal, sedentary lifestyle made no such improvements.
What a comforting thought. I’ve been trying to take better care of myself by exercising more often, flossing daily, taking my vitamins, eating more fruits and vegetables, and so on. But there are just days when I cannot fit my exercise in. I suppose it makes sense to think that some exercise is better than none, but it is nice to have it confirmed that there are visible and measurable improvements to be made even by moderate exercise. According to the article, “even slimming a few centimeters off hip and waist circumference and gaining a slight reduction in blood pressure is enough to reduce the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.”
Now, I know that I can work in 30 minutes of exercise three times a week at least, even if I can’t work in 5 times a week. That relieves some of the pressure of trying to fit everything into my week, and I hope it will relieve some of the guilt. I think that feeling guilty about letting other things overtake my exercise time is one reason I tend to quit exercising after a certain length of time.
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