Cardio, resistance training have long-term benefits
Recent news stories have confirmed what we already knew: Diet and exercise are key components to leading a healthy life.
A study conducted in conjunction with the Ford Exercise Testing (FIT) Project found that better cardio health caused a 50 percent “reduction in the risk of dying early” compared with those in poor cardiac health. Similarly, the benefits to weight-bearing and resistance-training exercises – such as lifting weights – go beyond improving shape and muscle tone: They go so far as to reverse the bone loss characteristic of the aging process. Lift weights to strengthen bone, not just muscle. (Don’t have a gym membership? No sweat – that article also contains weight-bearing exercises.)
I know: “It’s inspiring, but who has time to do all that?” One might ask. Apparently, a lot of Americans are dealing with the same constraints. Obligations prevent them from budgeting time for fitness and for cooking healthful meals. So, it becomes easier to lead sedentary lifestyles fueled by fast food and sweets.
According to this CBS News story: “The U.S. government recommends adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or a combination of both. Adults should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities like lifting weights or doing push-ups at least twice per week.
And, if anyone is looking to support their fitness efforts with improved diet, this look at the Mediterranean diet sings the praises of the characteristics of “high amounts of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, fish, olive oil, and whole grains; modest amounts of alcohol (especially red wine); and low amounts of dairy, meat, and sweets.”
If you need help incorporating nutritious foods into your diet, the Maryland WIC Program's 2nd Annual Farmers' Market Cookbook could be a great tool for you to use. Given the state and national trends toward being overweight or obese, try to incorporate the cookbook – especially its emphasis on dark and leafy vegetables – into your family’s diet.
Start small, if need be, to get good habits to stick. Science points to the benefits of living a healthier life.