exercise

  1. A good excuse to skip the gym

    Normal activity as good as gym exercise

    If you've signed up for a gym membership, you've been hoodwinked into one of the biggest retail scams of the past half-century. But don't feel too bad, because you're hardly alone: Millions of Americans waste billions of dollars on gym memberships many of them barely use.

    But even people who wear out their membership cards aren't getting their money's worth, because a new study confirms that ordinary movements throughout the day can help prevent metabolic syndrome every bit as well as regular sweat-and-torture sessions in a gym.

    These everyday movements don't have to be anything special. You don't have to break out into jumping jacks while waiting for the ATM or do sit-ups while watching TV.

    All you have to do is take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away, and rake the leaves yourself instead of paying the neighborhood delinquent to do it for you.

    Try some gardening, or daily walks in the park. Or, if you're really feeling spry, hit the tennis court or practice your golf swing out on the back nine.

    But for God's sake, DON'T join a gym -- because the study of more than 6,000 adults also finds that only 10 percent of the gym dummies actually get the right amount of physical activity needed for good health.

    Apparently, paying $49 a month to visit a treadmill twice a week (if that) doesn't cut it.

    Meanwhile, a full 43 percent of the adults who focus on getting natural daily activity actually get the recommended levels of physical activity.

    I'd say sign yourself up for THAT... but unlike gyms, you don't need to sign a contract to take the stairs.

  2. How depression and disability go hand-in-hand

    Lift your mood to keep your strength

    There's nothing worse than turning into a living, breathing stereotype as you age -- and if you're a sad sack senior, moping around, you're doing just that.

    It's not just bad for your mental health -- it's positively ruinous for your physical health, too, as seniors who fall into a funk have a dramatically higher risk of disability.

    In fact, the latest research out of Australia finds that even moderate levels of depression or anxiety can cause your risk of physical disability to shoot up by 700 percent.

    Lower levels, meanwhile, will up your odds by 400 percent, according to the study of 100,000 Australian seniors published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

    Naturally, the researchers behind the study and the experts yakking about it say this is more proof of the importance of exercise, since regular activity will reduce the risks of both disability and depression.

    But let's be clear about this: You absolutely do NOT need to join a gym or engage in any of the prison-camp-style labor that passes for "exercise" these days -- because those are just about the fastest ways to crippling disability around.

    Forget the word "exercise" and focus instead on "movement." Think walking, biking, hiking, swimming, gardening, or even a little tennis -- just keep it light and enjoyable, not intense and punishing.

    Of course, it works the other way around too -- if you're crippled or battling so much pain you can barely get up out of your chair, of course you're going to be depressed (and naturally, you won't get much movement either).

    If that sounds like you, take charge of your pain now before it sends you into a funk of your own. Just make sure you skip the pain pills and try the safe and natural alternatives I've told you about over the years in The Douglass Report.

    Not a subscriber? It's like the medical library you always wished you had -- sign up here, and you'll find the answers to just about anything in my online archives.

    For more on depression -- with or without pain -- keep reading.

  3. Bulging bellies and broken knees

    Today, you don't even need the "old" part to battle crippling osteoarthritis of the knees -- because the newest numbers show that it's kicking in earlier than ever... and you can thank the obesity epidemic for that.
  4. The four great diabetes myths

    The headline in Time magazine certainly caught my eye: "5 Ways to Avoid Diabetes -- Without Medications." ...Turns out I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up -- because the headline refers to a new study filled with the same tired advice that helped CAUSE the diabetes epidemic in the first place.
  5. You can live longer if you'll just...

    But you tell me what to make of the latest studies: One finds you can extend your life by three years or more with just 15 minutes of exercise a day... while the other finds that every hour of TV shortens your life by 22 minutes. Put 'em together, and you can use one to cancel out the other.
  6. Exercises in futility

    A slew of new studies is pumping all my favorite exercise myths -- and rather than go after them one at a time, I'm going to take them all on at once, right here, with one hand tied behind my back (you'll have to trust me on that last bit).
  7. Sitting your way to obesity

    Now, a new study shows just what our jobs have done to our overall activity levels -- and we're not sitting pretty.
  8. Don't give your sperm a workout

    Exercise won't help your sperm -- and cycling will kill them.
  9. Lifelong fitness freaks aren't much thinner

    A new study finds that people who exercise for much of their lives have almost nothing to show for it by middle age -- they're only slightly thinner than those who haven't exercised at all.
  10. Newsflash: Diet leads to weight loss

    Here's a real head-smacker: Researchers have "discovered" that you can lose weight by going on a diet.

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