Sure, fitting into your high school prom
dress would be nice. But that’s not the only
reason to exercise.
ɋ RISK OF TYPE-2 DIABETES People with elevated blood
sugar (prediabetes) can reduce their risk of developing
type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent with daily physical
activity and modest weight loss, according to the
American Diabetes Association.
ɋ IMMUNITY A study in the British Medical Journal of
Sports Medicine found that people who worked out five
or more times a week recovered more quickly from colds
than people who weren’t active.
ɋ SLEEP QUALIT Y Compared with women who avoid
workouts, those who exercise tend to fall asleep faster—
and snooze more deeply once they do.
ɋ ENERGY On average, sedentary people reported 20
percent less daytime fatigue when they started exercising
regularly, according to a study from the University of
Georgia in Athens.
ɋ RISK OF DEPRESSION Researchers in Norway found
that physically active people were half as likely as
their sedentary counterparts to develop symptoms of
ɋ RISK OF BREAST CANCER A study in the Journal of the
American Cancer Society found that women of all ages
who exercised regularly and maintained a healthy weight
were less likely to develop breast cancer than those who
The word meditation often conjures up
images of saffron-robed monks in faraway
mountain retreats—but the age-old
practice is actually much more accessible
than that. Even in its simplest forms, it
can drop your blood pressure and heart
and respiration rates significantly. It
doesn’t have to take long—just 10 to 20
minutes a day, says Dr. Herbert Benson,
associate professor of medicine at
Harvard Medical School and author of
The Relaxation Response.
You can breathe stress away in a
matter of minutes. Here’s a simple
routine to get you started:
P Find a chair or a bench where you can
sit comfortably and quietly.
P Keep your legs uncrossed, feet flat on
the floor, hands laid loosely in your lap.
P Close your eyes.
P Take a few deep breaths to begin.
P Breathe into your abdomen slowly and
gently. Your tummy should expand as you
P Concentrate on your breath and remove
your focus from the chatter of your mind.
P Don’t try to stop thinking, just don’t
attach your attention to it. Each time you
get swept up in your thoughts, move your
attention back to breathing and the relaxed feeling of your abdomen expanding
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