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The next time you go to your doctor’s office, you might want to question him about those prescriptions he’s so quick to write out.
If they’re treating your cholesterol, you could end up with one that doubles your dementia risk.
If it’s your blood pressure, they may have you on the medication that was found to make things worse because it actually thickens blood vessels.
Maybe it’s time to walk away with a brand new and surprising prescription. It’s one that has nothing to do with taking a drug churned out by Big Pharma.
Yet according to the American Heart Association, it’s the best prescription you can get to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol healthy.
So what will your new prescription say?
Just two words – “Sit less!”
Physical activity is the best medicine you can get
In fact, researchers at the American Heart Association say that a whopping 21 percent of Americans live with mildly or moderately-raised blood pressure. And another 28 to 37 percent already have mildly-elevated cholesterol levels.
And their findings show that spending less time on their tooshes and more time up and at ‘em (rather than turning to costly drugs) is the best medicine.
“The first treatment strategy for many of these patients should be healthy lifestyle changes beginning with increasing physical activity,” said Bethany Barone Gibbs, Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh.
If you fall into one or both of these categories, but are otherwise at low risk of developing heart disease, shoot for a less sedentary lifestyle.
They say that moving more losing weight, eating better, quitting smoking, and cutting back on alcohol intake is the best prescription for a healthier life.
And it’s a prescription that can lower your blood pressure reading by three to four mm Hg and reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) levels by three to six mg/dL. Additionally boosting physical activity lowers your risk of developing heart disease by a full 21 percent and your risk of dying from heart disease by a whopping 36 percent.
As an added bonus, they point out that making these lifestyle changes also:
- Lowers your risk of cancer
- Boost bone health
- Improves your mental health
- Helps you get better quality sleep
Sit less, move more for better numbers
And the researchers say that even small improvements in the amount of physical activity you get each day are important and should be celebrated.
In fact, they point out that while the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends you get 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise, even five to 10 minutes comes with big benefits.
It comes down to the fact that every little bit of activity is better than none.
Five easy ways to move more you can try include:
- Walk your dog (or your spouse) – Make time each day for a relaxing walk. You’ll not only stay active, but you’ll also spend more time outdoors which has been shown to boost mental health.
- Walk and talk – Instead of sitting down when you’re on the phone, whether with your work colleagues, family, or friends, make a habit of walking and talking.
- Park at the back – If you usually look for a parking space right at the front of the lot, try parking farther away so that you have to get your steps.
- Take the stairs – Ditch the elevator and use the stairs instead to get some great aerobic activity in.
- Use your T.V. time – Watching your favorite show on Netflix? Don’t stay glued to the couch. Get up walk around, jog in place or do lunges.
Consider this your prescription to sit less. No doctor’s appointment required!
Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!
Nature and mental health – Mind.org