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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday's Science News-Inactivity

I have chosen the article from Tuesday's NY Times Science section titled "To avoid the pitfalls of inactivity, just walk away," because I use the same sentence every day. I substitute many words for "inactivity" however. When dealing with challenging behaviors with a demented spouse, walking away, but not too far away, is usually better than confrontation. When I have a knotty problem to solve, walking will help me sort it out.
But today, we are actually speaking about less physical activity. Healthy adults, on average, walk 10,000 steps a day. Healthy adults do not get blood sugar spikes and swings in blood sugar after eating a meal, as do folks with type two diabetes or heart disease.The study required young healthy adults to measure their steps, keep a food journal for three days, then cut their walking in half for the next three days keeping food intake the same. When their blood sugar levels were monitored, they, too, had blood sugar spikes after eating. When they resumed walking, their results went back to normal.
The lesson learned is that walking keeps us healthy, even if it's walking around our apartment in bad weather, or in a big box store, taking the steps instead of the elevator, parking the car further from the entrance in the lot. Formal exercise is fine, but "the evidence is clear that you do need to move."

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