Health & Safety

July 13, 2012

Staying active keeps heart healthy, prevents disease

by Airman 1st Class Grace Lee
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Staying active doesn’t just help get or keep weight off; it helps lower the chances of getting weight-related diseases. It also can improve one’s sleep, self esteem and ability to handle everyday stresses.

Unfortunately, not everyone leads an active lifestyle and the consequences of an inactive lifestyle may increase the risk of developing heart disease.

Marian Budnik, 56th Medical Group healthcare coach, said sedentary behavior is when one engages in an activity with very low energy expenditure. Some examples are working on a computer, watching TV, playing video games, driving and lying down. Simply put, a sedentary lifestyle is not an active lifestyle.

A research article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology indicated that the risk of getting heart disease doubles if a person spends more than four hours a day staring into a screen for entertainment.

While being sedentary may increase one’s chance of developing diseases, staying active helps lower the chances of getting chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For Sherri Biringer, 56th Force Support Squadron fitness specialist supervisor, staying active increases one’s quality of life all around.

“If you are active, your body burns more fat,” Biringer said. “Your muscles, bones and joints also stay moving and healthy which lowers the chance of injury.”

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin states that 30 minutes or more of physical activity five days a week is a good amount of activity.

Although exercise helps a person stay healthy, another way to get physically active is by doing the things one likes to do.

Staying active isn’t just about spending countless hours at the gym, according to Budnik.

“Do the things you enjoy,” she said. “I do not belong to a health club, but I do walk daily, climb stairs and when it is not 110 degrees outside, I ride my bicycle. My suggestion is do the things you love; exercise should not be drudgery but a means of enjoying life.”




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