Exercise: A little goes a long way
If you haven’t made it to the gym much so far this year, take heart–you may be able to gain as many health benefits from everyday activities. A study from Oregon State University found that simple activities, such as shoveling snow, raking leaves, walking up and down stairs and even pacing during a phone conversation could provide health benefits similar to a more structured exercise regimen.
After analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey – a large, ongoing study that assesses the health and nutrition of American adults and children – researchers found that 43 percent adults who did only small bouts of physical activity several times a day managed to meet the federal recommendation of 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week.
Interestingly, the researchers also found that only about 10 percent of people who relied on more structured workouts for their exercise (the kind that involve a gym and a shower afterward) met the federal guidelines.
Sourced from: Live Science, Short Bouts of Exercise Benefit Health, Too
Vegetarians have healthier hearts
While it’s not always easy to forgo a juicy cheeseburger or steak, vegetarians enjoy a real benefit of abstaining–a significantly lower risk of heart disease. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians are 32 percent less likely to die of or need hospitalization because of heart disease. The reason? They avoid high cholesterol levels, the number one cause of heart disease.
Scientists at the University of Oxford analysed data from 15,100 vegetarians and 29,400 people who ate meat and fish. Over the course of 11 years, 169 people in the study died from heart disease and 1,066 needed hospital treatment. They were more likely to have been meat and fish eaters than vegetarians. Even lean cuts of meat contain some cholesterol.
The study’s authors noted, however, that you can still have a healthy diet without eliminating meat and fish. They wrote: “The research reminds us that we should try to eat a balanced and varied diet – whether this includes meat or not.”
Sourced from: BBC News, Vegetarians ‘cut heart risk by 32%’
Marriage is good for the heart
Unmarried people appear to be more likely to die of a heart attack than people who tie the knot. So concludes a Finnish study of 15,330 cardiac events that happened in Finland between 1993 and 2003.
Researchers found that heart-related incidents were about 58 to 66 percent higher in unmarried men compared to married men. Unmarried women did not fare any better-- their incidents of cardiac events were 60 to 65 percent higher than married women.
The research authors had several theories for why marriage seems to protect the heart. One is that married people tend to have better health habits than unmarried people and have more emotional and financial support than unmarried people. Married people are also more likely to seek medical attention when they need it and to take preventive medications as prescribed–presumably because their spouse told them to.
Sourced from: Live Science, Single Adults Have Greater Heart Attack Risk