February 2013 – Say YES to PHYSICAL ACTIVITY in the SUNLIGHT daily
FACT: Regular exercise can’t make up for the risk of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. A study of 91 healthy women between 40 and 75 years old found that although participants spent an average of 146 minutes in moderate or vigorous activity a week, they still spent as many waking hours sitting down (63%) as those who don't get much exercise. This largely sedentary lifestyle increases risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and premature death.1
HOPE: Think about how you spend your entire day—even your non-exercise time. Get creative and see where can you stand up, walk, and move more. Set a timer so that once an hour you’ll get up (or drink more water for a built-in timer). By grabbing every opportunity to move more during your non-exercise time, you’ll further decrease your risk for chronic health problems.
FACT: Research confirms that the sun provides many health benefits beyond that of vitamin D production, including better mood and energy through the release of endorphins, and regulation of the sleep-wake cycle through serotonin production. Exposure to the sun also induces nitric oxide, which helps protect skin against UV damage, reduces blood pressure, promotes wound healing, and has some anti-cancer activity.2
HOPE: From a health perspective, it makes sense to expose our skin to the sun in appropriate and measured timeframes. Just 15 minutes of sunlight each day will provide health benefits without the harmful effects of burning. Enjoy God’s gift of sunshine—and health benefits.
FACT: There’s a direct relationship between how much you exercise and how long you will live. A recent study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that adults who include at least 150 minutes of physical activity in their routines each week live longer than those who don’t. Researchers determined that we can potentially gain 2.3–5.6 hours of life for every hour of moderate physical activity, and 5.2–11.3 hours of life for every hour of vigorous physical activity we accumulate during adulthood.3
HOPE: Feel like you don’t have enough time to exercise? This research shows that we actually gain time by becoming more physically active. Pull out your schedule and plan when you can take some brisk walks this week. The investment you make now will be more than compensated for by the years of life gained later.
FACT: The American Heart Association has identified sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) as the primary source of added sugars in the American diet, contributing to the pandemic of obesity in our country. SSBs are also linked to insulin resistance, impaired B-cell function, and belly fat—precursors to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, recent studies have found that these beverages increase inflammation, which contributes to atherosclerosis, plaque stability, thrombosis, and risk for heart attack and stroke.4
HOPE: God gave us a perfect beverage that does not promote weight gain or chronic disease. Water has no calories or additives and is widely available, inexpensive, and generally safe. The average person needs at least 1 mL of water for every calorie burned (about 8 glasses a day for a 2000-calorie diet). Feeling thirsty? Go pour yourself a tall glass of God’s perfect beverage!
Craft, L. L., Zderic, T. W., Gapstur, S. M., VanIterson, E. H., Thomas, D. M., Siddique, J. & Hamilton, M. T. (2012). Evidence that women meeting physical activity guidelines do not sit less: An observational inclinometry study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 9(122). doi:10.1186/1479-5868-9-122
Juzeniene, A. & Moan, J. (2012). Beneficial effects of UV radiation other than via vitamin D production. Dermato-Endocrinology 4(2), 109–117. doi: 10.4161/derm.20013.
Janssen, I., Carson, V., Lee, I., Katzmarzyk, P. T., & Blair, S. N. (2013). Years of life gained due to leisure-time physical activity in the U.S. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 44(1), 23-29. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.09.056
Malik, V. S., Popkin, B. M., Bray, G. A., Despre’s, J-P & Hu, F. B. (2010). Sugar-sweetened beverages, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease risk. Circulation 121, 1356-1364. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.876185