For exercise, climb the stairs

Exercise physiologists at Missouri State University say climbing a few flights of stairs can provide needed cardiovascular exercise and relieve stress.
For those who have the opportunity to climb stairs three or four days a week, it’s a great fitness habit.

Diabetes: The disease that affects every part of the body

Until now, you may not have thought much about diabetes. You probably know people who have type 2 and they seem to be OK. It makes you wonder, “How serious can it be?”
It’s a killer. How serious is that? While deaths from cancer, heart disease and stroke have declined significantly since 1987, deaths from diabetes increased by 45 percent. And that percentage will grow with each passing year unless individuals begin to take prevention more seriously.
Nearly 24 million Americans already have diabetes. That’s an amazing number, but another 57 million are at risk. They have pre-diabetes and may not realize it.
If you are overweight, don’t exercise and have been feeling pretty tired lately, it’s time to see your doctor for a glucose tolerance test.
Normal fasting glucose is below 100 mg/dl. A person with pre-diabetes has a level between 100 and 125 mg/dl. If the level is above 126, the person has diabetes.
The good news is that even if your glucose level is high, you can keep from getting type 2 diabetes. But you have to get serious about doing it.
* Get 30 minutes a day of regular exercise. You’ll have to do it anyway if you move to type 2, so why not walk or exercise to prevent it?
* Have a better diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer high-fat meats and dairy products. Consume fewer sugars, like regular soda, and fewer simple carbohydrates like those in white flour, doughnuts and rolls.
* Lose a few pounds. If you exercise and eat better, you probably will, but also eat smaller portions of foods. Even a 5 percent weight loss makes a difference, but 10 percent reduces type 2 risk by 58 percent.
In November, the American Diabetes Association asks, “How will you ‘Stop Diabetes?’ The future is in your hands.”

Exercise takes the edge off of chronic pain

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say that when you are in pain, exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. But it could be more important than you think.

Regular exercise is a versatile weapon in the fight against chronic pain. It may seem difficult to start, but your body will thank you, say the Mayo people. What exercise can do:

* It increases endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers.

* Exercise builds strength, which takes the load off bones and cartilage.

* It increases flexibility when you exercise. That means joints are able to move through their full range of motion and are less likely to ache or be painful.

* It increases your energy level and gives you the strength to cope with life and with pain.

* It helps you maintain a healthy weight and contributes to better sleep.

* It enhances your mood and gives a sense of well-being. You look better and have the confidence to continue.

* Exercise protects the heart.