Walk this way for better heart health
Whether it’s binge-watching Netflix… conserving your energy on a hot day… or taking a load off your aching knees… there are a lot of good ways of justifying a little couch time.
But, for too many of us, a “day of rest” turns into day… after day… after day!
On average, folks over 60 spend two-thirds of their time sedentary — or, about nine hours a day.
And that could be about as dangerous for your health as smoking a pack a day.
Prolonged sitting can raise your blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride (lipid) levels — all of which are risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
And it can even make it more likely that you’ll DIE from pretty much any cause.
But according to a new study, it doesn’t take much to counteract the negative effects of all that sitting.
All you need are some short, brisk walks throughout the day to break it up!
The study out of New Zealand involved 36 office workers who typically spend long hours sitting during the workday.
They participated in three interventions over the course of two days:
- prolonged sitting plus a half hour of continuous walking at the end of the day,
- sitting with two minutes of moderate intensity walking every half hour, and
- a combination of the above two interventions.
On the second day, the researchers found that taking walking breaks for just two minutes every half-hour significantly lowered the participants’ “postprandial” triglycerides — a.k.a. the fats that are turned loose in your blood after you chow down — as compared to the those who just sat without getting up.
And combining those activity breaks with a half hour of continuous walking each day led to a reduction in BOTH triglycerides and insulin levels.
So, it turns out that you can undo the damage of a whole lot of sitting… with just a little bit of WALKING!
And you know how long the average commercial break is during your favorite TV show? Two minutes!
That means you don’t even have to miss any TV action.
And a half-hour walk at the end of the day is an easy and enjoyable way to seal the deal.
Of course, if you’re at risk of heart disease, you also want to watch what you’re munching on while bound to the couch.
Instead of carbo-bomb chips and cookies, try snacking on Paleo treats like fresh fruit, veggies, nuts, and seeds that are packed with fiber and heart-healthy nutrients.