Physicians of the Roman Empire used to believe that walnuts could cure head ailments, since their shape was similar to that of a brain. In medical writings of that time, the walnut was recommended as, “if chewed and laid on as a plaster, cures gangrene, carbuncles, stye in the eye, and hair loss”.
Moving forward to modern medicine, researchers at the National Cancer Institute gathered and pooled data about people’s exercise habits. (The study) This study included six health surveys totaling more than 661,000 adults, most of them middle-aged.
With this cumulative data, the researchers grouped the adults by their weekly exercise time; comparing those who did not exercise at all to adults who worked out for various amounts of weekly exercise, including 10 times the current health and exercise national recommendations or more. That category meant that the highest exercise group did more than a regular amount of weekly exercise, exercising moderately for 25 hours per week or more.
Using the data from these groups, the researchers then compared 14 years’ worth of death records for the group. Not surprisingly, they determined that the adults who did not exercise at all were at the highest risk of early death.
Those who exercised a little, not meeting the recommendations but at least exercising a little bit, lowered their risk of premature death by 20 percent.
Those who met minimal recommended exercise guidelines precisely, completing 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise; statistically lived longer lives and a 31% less risk of dying during the 14-year period compared with those who never exercised.
Here’s the “kicker”. The blue ribbon” for best exercise benefits resulted among those who tripled the recommended level of exercise by working out moderately; mostly by walking, for a total of 450 minutes of exercise per week. Their reward: those adults were 39 percent less likely to die prematurely than people who did not exercise.
So what’s the conclusion? Anyone who is physically capable of activity should try to “reach at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week and have around 20 to 30 minutes of that be vigorous activity,” says Klaus Gebel, a senior research fellow at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. And… even more exercise is better.
Despite these statistics on exercise, it usually doesn’t impact someone to exercise. It’s the same reason that a pack of cigarettes can warn of imminent danger from smoking, while a person ignores and lights up.
I am going to use these statistics to touch on a final point that is one of my “soapbox items”. Last week, owners of hotels in Virginia Beach came out against any offshore drilling of the shores of Virginia Beach. (Pilot Online) They are against it because they know that any drilling that causes an oil spill will end all tourism in Virginia Beach. Still, politicians continue to push offshore drilling to “create jobs”. I guess facts can’t get in the way.
One final note, I did perk up when the Romans suggested using walnuts to fight hair loss. Hmm!
And for pic o’ day:
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