New York Times “Well” columnist Gretchen Reynolds recently summarized the year’s wellness findings in “Good and Bad, the Little Things Add Up in Fitness.” Here are, to my mind, the highlights:
Everything in Moderation
Rejoice! Your New Year’s resolution needn’t be quite so arduous. Milder workouts appear to be as effective as intense ones, if not more so. You may on average lose just as much weight with moderate, 30-minute exercise, and you’ll eat less afterwards and have more energy for work and life.
More on moderation: 10 minutes of daily physical activity could increase your life expectancy by two years.
Be careful with painkillers. The workout fanatics among you are taking care of your bodies in one way, but may be damaging it in others. Ibuprofen has long been taken to reduce inflammation, but they might not actually benefit your body, and can damage your intestines with regular use.
Worried about getting old and frail? Exercise can help with that, too. Middle-age fitness can help stave off chronic illness late in life.
Drop those bad habits!
If your closet’s stuffed with stilettos, you could be changing the way you walk—even after taking off the heels. You walk less efficiently and require more energy to do so. That may sound like a great work-time workout, but those four-inchers make you more susceptible to muscle fatigue and injury.
The scariest bit for me? “Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.”
How might your habits change this year?