It’s Proven – High Activity Levels Keep Us Healthy and Slim

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association clearly pointed out that those individuals who maintain a high activity level over a twenty year period gain less weight than individuals with a low activity level.  The Association followed 3,554 men and women in Chicago Illinois, Birmingham Alabama, Minneapolis Minnesota and Oakland California over twenty years.  They found that men with a high activity level gained about 12 pounds less than inactive men. The weight difference in women was more profound at 25 pounds.

This study clearly pointed out that the reduction in weight gained was extremely significant as adults entered middle age. The duration of daily exercise required to obtain this benefit was only about thirty minutes. Walking twenty minute miles provided the benefit.

If staying thin and trim isn’t a strong enough incentive to stay active, then avoiding colds and flu is an additional incentive. A recent study cited that individuals who exercised regularly for thirty minutes a day five days a week had fewer colds than sedentary individuals. When they were unlucky enough to catch a cold, the illness was shorter and less intense. The researchers hypothesized that exercise moved the blood and cells responsible for immunity through the system more frequently and this contributed to the protective effect.

There is currently an epidemic of obesity in the United States.  According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, as published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site, 73.7% of American adults are either overweight or obese.

  • 34.2% are overweight
  • 33.8% are obese
  • 5.7% are extremely obese

Staying active, making good choices concerning portion size and food groups is all part of the strategy to keep Americans healthier. It is all part of a formula to stay healthy that you should talk to your doctor about annually.