Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Need Energy? Get Off the Couch!

tidbits that tantalizeCouch Free Zone...

Are you a basketball fan? If so, you already know what time of year it is - March Madness! Woohoo! What better excuse is there to move the refrigerator into the family room, plop down on the couch and settle in for, oh, a good three or four weeks? Not a sports fan? No problem. There are countless couch related activities that will suit your persona. After all, this is the golden age of cable television. You love crocheting? There's a channel for that.

That's exactly the problem.

There is sufficient opportunity for everyone to become a steadfast couch potato. Then the downward spiral begins. Sitting on the couch causes people to become less fit and less energetic. As they lose their physical tone they're less likely to exercise, resulting in a further decrease in fitness and energy. It's a tough cycle to break.

But, researchers at the university of Georgia say it can be broken. Their study finds that sedentary people who get off the couch, and exercise even a modest amount, both reduce fatigue and boost energy. It's really quite terrific news.

These are simple steps everyone can take. The benefits are experienced from only 20 minutes of exercise, completed just three days per week. And, the study actually found that low intensity exercise helped more than intense exercise. The researchers believe people who are sedentary may simply become overly tired if their initial efforts are too strenuous.

20 minutes - 3 times per week.

It's really quite doable. There are also other benefits to be derived.

"Exercise traditionally has been associated with physical health, but we are quickly learning that exercise has a more holistic effect on the human body and includes effects on psychological health," said researcher Tim Puetz. "What this means is that in every workout a single step is not just a step closer to a healthier body, but also to a healthier mind."

A healthier body and mind... Come on - it's worth it. Get off the couch today!

To read more about the study, see this from Reuters. To read more about the benefits of exercise, see this from the Mayo Clinic.


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