Studies tell us that sitting for long periods of time throughout the day is unhealthy, and those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more prone to obesity, heart disease, and even premature death. The good news? According to a recent Australian study, simply replacing a couple hours of sitting with standing can provide big benefits.
In a study involving nearly 800 middle-aged to elderly men and women, researchers found that standing up more during the day has a positive impact on both blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which in turn supports a healthy heart. Specifically, they determined that replacing just two hours of sitting with standing:
- lowered average triglycerides by 11 percent;
- lowered blood sugar levels by 2 percent; and
- increased HDL and lowered LDL levels in the body.
Further, when sitting was replaced with walking or running, even greater benefits were seen. Triglyceride and blood sugar levels dropped even more, and overall body mass index fell by 11 percent on average. Waist size also decreased by an average of 3 inches.
Study authors stress that standing more frequently is a simple change most people can incorporate into their daily lives. At home, activities such as cooking, talking on the phone, or paying bills can be done on your feet. And in many offices, standing desks and chairless meetings are being incorporated into workplace health initiatives.
Earlier this month we celebrated National Watermelon Day—and with good reason! In addition to being a refreshing summer treat, the fruit-slash-vegetable is loaded with beneficial nutrients known to support health. Here are six great reasons to grab a slice (or a few) before the season is over:
Scientists at Florida State University recently found that the amino acids L-citrulline and L-arginine found in watermelon may protect against heart disease. In addition to improving circulation, they support the health of the arteries around the heart and help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Watermelon is rich in lycopene (which gives it its red color) and choline—two nutrients valued for their beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. Together, they support a healthy inflammation response in the body to promote immunity and overall health.
Did you know watermelons are more than 90% water? On hot days, eating the fruit can help you stay hydrated as well as replace important electrolytes lost when you sweat.
Combined with its high water content, the fiber in watermelon supports healthy digestion and regularity. Watermelon is also low in sugar, which means it benefits the good bacteria in your gut.
Skin and Hair Supporter
Watermelon contains a healthy dose of vitamin A and vitamin C, which together support healthy cell and tissue growth. In addition, vitamin A helps produce a substance called sebum that keeps hair and skin moisturized
Try adding watermelon to your post-workout nourishment. Its amino acids work to improve circulation and help maintain a healthy heart rate. They also support muscle health and help reduce next-day soreness.