We all want to be fit, but a recent study claims that not exercising is actually more harmful to your health than smoking. From 1991 to 2014, the Cleveland Clinic collected data from over 122,000 patients by measuring their overall fitness and mortality rates. Not surprisingly, researchers found a clear connection between a longer, healthier life and high levels of exercise. Even patients who were hypertensive, diabetic or current smokers had less mortality than those who simply did not exercise.
Need more encouragement to workout? Canadian research finds that exercising during pregnancy is not only safe but can reduce the risk of major complications. After doing a meta-analysis on previous studies, researchers found a 40% reduction in the risk of developing gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia. Each pregnancy is different, so be sure you are cleared to exercise before starting. But with such a significant reduction in risk, be sure to start the conversation with your doctor even if they don’t.
Eating This Will Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer
There are some major risk factors for breast cancer – like age, gender, or genetics – over which we have no control. However, two recent studies suggest two lifestyle choices we can make to reduce our risk. Results from new data analysis of the US Nurses’ Health Studies strengthen the previously found correlation between eating fruits and vegetables and a lower risk of breast cancer. Specifically, researchers found that women who ate more than 5.5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day had an 11% lower risk than those who ate 2.5 or fewer servings. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and yellow and orange vegetables were noted as being the most effective in reducing risk. More good news: the higher intake of fruits and vegetables was particularly associated with lower risk of the more aggressive forms of breast cancer.
A similar data analysis of a population study – this time from Spain – found a link between an earlier dinner and a 20% reduction of risk of breast and prostate cancer. For this study, “early” was defined as before 9 pm or at least waiting two hours after eating before going to bed. While both studies used large datasets; the results may not be the same for all population groups. Still, eating more produce before 9 pm is a simple lifestyle tweak that has benefits beyond lower cancer risk and virtually no negative side effects. Give it a try!
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Article reviewed and approved by Dr. Didi Emokpare
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