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Are standing desks really doing us any good? That question has divided workplaces since sitting started going out of fashion about five years ago. Our sedentary lifestyles wereÂ killingÂ us, so standing, the thinking went, was the logicalÂ antidote.Â Sitting too long has been associated with diabetes, hypertension, some forms of cancer, anxiety and a generally greater probability ofÂ early death. However, a few years and hundreds of studies later, the naysayers beganÂ arguingÂ that the benefits of standing had been exaggerated.Â Â“What is the real answer?Â” askedÂ Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Â“How many calories would someone burn in standing or sitting up?Â” A new study may provide the most definitive answer to date, at least as far as losing weight is concerned.Â Standing does, in fact, burn calories, researchers found, just not that many: about 54 calories for a six-hour day of standing. Read more:Â
Guest posted a topic in Health & Medicine's TopicsIt’s pretty obvious that carrying around extra weight can make you feel sluggish, affect your self-esteem and put you at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. But increasingly, researchers are also making connections between obesity and cancer—several different types of cancer, in fact. Cancer is caused by mutations within cells, which cause those cells to grow and multiply at unnatural rates. Many cases of cancer occur because of genetic traits, or purely because of chance. But for others, obesity can be a big contributing factor. “We know that a good third of cancers are associated with our lifestyle behaviors, such as what we eat, how much we exercise, and collectively, our weight,” says Melinda Irwin, director of Cancer Prevention and Control at Yale University. “And obesity is now the leading modifiable risk factor, even ahead of tobacco use, that’s associated with cancer risk and mortality.” How does obesity encourage cancer growth? High-levels of long-term inflammation—the immune system’s response to injury, illness, or other disturbances in the body—has been shown to fuel the growth of cancer cells. “And we know that obesity is basically a chronic inflammatory state,” says Irwin. Not only can obesity itself trigger inflammation; so can some of the the eating behaviors that lead to weight gain in the first place—like high-sugar and high-fat diets. Having too much fat around the belly, regardless of body mass index, increases inflammation in the body, as well. Some cancers are also linked to sex hormones like estrogen. Women’s bodies produces estrogen in their fat cells, especially after menopause. “The higher levels of body fat you have, the higher levels of estrogen,” says Irwin. Then there’s the way that obesity contributes to insulin resistance—a condition in which the body loses its sensitivity to the hormone and can’t respond normally. This can lead to excess levels of insulin and insulin-related growth hormones in the body, which has been linked to cell proliferation and several types of cancer. Read more
Walking is one of the most efficient and easiest ways to lose weight, because you don’t need a gym membership or any equipment. All you need is yourself and some motivation. If you’re considering adding walking to your daily life to lose weight, you have to make sure that you do it right. Plan Out Your Walk The first step to walking off your weight is to make sure that you set a schedule so you can adapt to this new healthy lifestyle. Experts recommend getting 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week — that means you have to walk 30 minutes a day to achieve that goal. Planning out your 30 minutes will ensure success. Ask yourself questions about when and where you’ll walk to get started. For example, if you’re busy at work all day you may want to consider taking three 10-minute walks around or outside of your building, but if you have more free time, taking a 30-minute walk after dinner may be more ideal. Walk the Right Way While walking is a natural instinct, making sure you’re walking the right way is key to bust your belly fat, tone your legs, and improve your overall health. When you walk you should have good posture, slightly bent and swinging arms, and an engaged core. These three things will help ensure you are getting the most out of your walks and burning more calories. Additionally, remember to stretch at the end of your walks to avoid any stiff muscles or potential injury. Walk Long Enough to Burn Calories Walking is only effective at burning calories if you do it long enough and fast enough: taking a stroll in the park does not burn as many calories as taking a brisk, paced walk. Walking 30 minutes a day at a moderate pace will help you burn an average 150 calories, but the longer and faster you walk, means the more calories you will burn. While walking is a great form of exercise and helpful for weight loss, a key thing to remember about losing weight is you have to eat less calories in order to lose or maintain weight. That is why having a healthy diet in conjunction with daily exercise is the best way to ensure you lose the weight you want. Other Health Benefits of Walking Walking isn’t just for burning fat, it helps a lot of other things in your body too. A daily walk gets your blood pumping and can therefore lower your risk for heart disease and blood clots. Walking may also reduce your risk for a stroke, improve your mood, help your sleep quality, reduce stress, and sharpen your mind. So what are you waiting for? Start walking today!