CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Health

May 2, 2013

Benefits of exercise go beyond weight loss

Exercise is good for you, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why? The answers are varied and may not be as obvious as you might think.

Most people exercise – and spend billions of dollars doing so – to lose or control weight. While regular exercise will help with weight control, it's really only a small part of that equation. It takes a lot of exercise to burn calories. Good nutrition and controlling calorie intake plays a bigger role in weight control.

The best reason to get exercise is to improve overall health, and here there are many benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can ward off heart disease, prevent high blood pressure and boost the level of “good” cholesterol relative to “bad” cholesterol.

Doctors say a lifestyle that includes regular exercise can also reduce the chances of stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and even arthritis. There's also evidence it can reduce some cancer risks.

Reduced cancer risk

Researchers in the Netherlands last week reported results of tests using laboratory mice that showed regular exercise to be effective at reducing liver cancer.

"We know that modern, unhealthy lifestyles predispose people to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which may lead to liver cancer; however it's been previously unknown whether regular exercise reduces the risk of developing HCC (liver cancer),” said Prof. Jean-Francois Dufour of EASL, a European scientific society. “This research is significant because it opens the door for further studies to prove that regular exercise can reduce the chance of people developing HCC."

For some time, doctors have prescribed regular exercise for people at risk for developing cancer. But controlling weight and preventing serious disease aren't the only benefits of exercise.

Regular exercise can improve your mood and relieve stress. Physical activity stimulates chemicals in your brain that make you relaxed and happier. And because it also helps you control your weight, you may have more self-confidence.

Text Only
Health
  • COMMENTARY: An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.

    July 18, 2014

  • Guideline: Most healthy women can skip pelvic exam

    No more dreaded pelvic exam? New guidelines say most healthy women can skip the yearly ritual.

    July 1, 2014

  • Sanofi targets fake Viagra market with non-prescription Cialis

    Sanofi sees an attractive opportunity in the rampant market for counterfeit Viagra: luring men away from dodgy online pharmacies with an over-the-counter version of a competing erection drug.

    June 5, 2014

  • Hospital charges to treat chest pain jump 10 percent in a year

    The charge to treat Medicare patients with chest pain at U.S. hospitals rose 10 percent to $18,568 in just a year, the biggest rise seen among the most common inpatient procedures, according to federal data.

    June 2, 2014

  • Study: Both men and women feel less stress at work than at home

    In a newly released study in the Journal of Science and Medicine, researchers carefully examined the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, of a variety of workers throughout the day. The data clearly showed that both men and women are significantly less stressed out at work than they are at home.
     And the women they studied said they were happier at work. While the men said they felt happier at home.

    May 26, 2014

  • Jobless contend with weight gain as they search for work

    A subject long ignored by policymakers, and one that unemployment counselors are too sheepish to raise with job seekers, the link between bulging waistlines and joblessness is now of intense interest to researchers studying the long-term effects of the country's economic malaise.

    May 12, 2014

  • COMMENTARY: Helmets won't protect your kids from concussions

    When I was a kid, helmets were for motorcyclists. Now I see children wearing helmets when they're scooting down sidewalks, skating, skiing, sledding and playing soccer. Last week one of my friends saw a helmeted kid power-walking in Prospect Park. You can even buy $40 baby helmets on Amazon, because, according to the product description, "babies will always fall taking their first steps."

    May 2, 2014

  • 400px-Cannabis_Plant.jpg How bad is marijuana for your health?

    The Journal of Neuroscience recently published a study linking recreational marijuana use to subtle changes in brain structure. The researchers, led by Jodi Gilman of Massachusetts General Hospital, identified increased gray matter density in the left nucleus accumbens and some bordering areas.

    May 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014