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Any kind—and any amount—of exercise is better than no exercise. Some studies sug- gest that as long as you burn 1,000 calories a week, you’ll lower your risk of disease. But if you want to know which exercise is best for weight loss, this chart—based on exercise specialist David Nieman’s book
But if you want to know which exercise is best for weight loss, this information here —based on exercise specialist David Nieman’s book Exercise Testing and Prescription—shows how many calories a 150-pound person burns by doing any of 30 common physical activities for an hour. (If you weigh more, you’ll burn more calories; if you weigh less, you’ll burn fewer calories.)
We’ve also included information about how well each activity builds cardiovascular health, burns fat, or builds muscle strength (1 = not at all, 2 = a little, 3 = moderately, 4 = strongly, and 5 = very strongly). For muscle strength, the activity is rated high if both upper and lower body muscles are strengthened.
Most people know that calcium is good for bones, fiber is good for constipation, and iron is good for blood, to name a few. But once you go beyond the basics, the picture gets murky.
Here’s a healthy food quiz (questions and answers included) to see how well you know which foods or nutrients can prevent or promote which diseases.
Feel free to cheat. The questions aren’t really a test of how well you read (and remember) every issue of Nutrition Action. They’re just a sneaky way to get you to look at the answers, which contain a wealth of information on how your diet affects your health.
Staying active can help keep your brain in good shape, say two studies that tracked exercise and mental decline over time.
And the extra benefits of walking daily are clear in these studies.
In the first, which followed more than 2,200 Hawaiian men aged 71 to 93, those who walked the least (less than a quarter mile a day) were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with dementia than those who walked the most (more than two miles a day) over the next seven years. Men who walked between a quarter and one mile a day had a 70 percent increased risk.
In a second study, which tracked nearly 19,000 women aged 70 to 81 for at least nine years, those who exercised the most had a 20 percent lower risk of cognitive impairment than those who exercised the least. Women who walked for at least 11/2 hours a week scored better on memory, attention, and other tests than women who walked less than 40 minutes a week.
“Want to lose weight? Then run, don’t walk,” reported U.S. News & World Report in the April 2013 issue.
When it comes to running vs. walking, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California conducted a six year National Walkers’ and Runners’ Health Study. When they compared men and women who increased their walking or running, they found that running expended more energy than walking.
But people who choose to run may be different—they may be more physically fit, for example—than people who choose to walk.
Sitting for hours on end can hurt more than your back end, say two studies.
British researchers tracked 153 younger and 725 older adults who all had risk factors for diabetes. Each participant wore an accelerometer to measure how much time he or she spent sedentary or engaged in moderate-to-vigorous exercise (like running or brisk walking) for at least a week. The results helped researchers hone in on why sitting is bad for people who are at risk for health problems such as diabetes.
Does it matter if you walk slowly instead of briskly for exercise? Is 30 minutes a day of slow walking good enough, or are you better off walking for an hour?
It depends on what your goals are, says Robert Ross, an exercise physiologist at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario.