Originally published September 29 2015
Brief walks miraculously reverse health damage caused by sitting for too long
by L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
(NaturalNews) Sedentary lifestyles are more commonplace than ever before. It's easy to let a haze of laziness fall over the body when everything has become so convenient. The depravity of modern society is self-inflicted. More and more people are crying victim, but all along have been victimizing themselves.
Something as simple as walking has become a chore for many people. Out in the public square, people limp and drag their feet with no apparent injury. They simply have lost the energy in their gait, the muscle in their step, and the fluidity in their motion. Society has descended into such a convenient state that people no longer appreciate their ability to move, walk or run. For many, it hurts to move. Transported around in motorized carts, hobbling along — people with so much potential aren't even up and walking like they should. With their heads hung low, sometimes they can't even talk or say hello.
When did fully capable adults become such a mockery of those who are truly born disabled? Was it when society started awarding the victim mentality, reinforcing those who disabled themselves, those who lay in their self-inflicted state of doom, craving sympathy?
Arterial strength miraculously restored after ten minutes of walkingA new study calls out to everyone, the young and the old, to take more walks throughout the day to maintain vascular strength. In a society of conveniences, even the healthiest are guilty of taking their vascular system for granted. For those whose work is behind a computer day after day, this study is even more important. The study, from the University of Missouri (MU) School of Medicine, finds a shocking correlation between prolonged sitting and a deteriorating vascular system. When a person sits for six straight hours during the day, vascular elasticity declines drastically. However, when a person breaks up these long periods of sitting with 10 minute walking breaks, vascular health is replenished and kept strong.
"It's easy for all of us to be consumed by work and lose track of time, subjecting ourselves to prolonged periods of inactivity," said lead author Jaume Padilla, Ph.D., an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at the MU School of Medicine. "However, our study found that when you sit for six straight hours, or the majority of an eight-hour work day, blood flow to your legs is greatly reduced. We also found that just 10 minutes of walking after sitting for an extended time reversed the detrimental consequences."
The study, which examined in detail the vascular functions of 11 healthy young men, found that blood flow in an artery in the lower legs (the popliteal) slows tremendously after six hours of constant sitting, making it harder for the artery to dilate and respond to stimuli. The blood flow was immediately improved after the participants walked for ten minutes.
"When you have decreased blood flow, the friction of the flowing blood on the artery wall, called shear stress, is also reduced," Padilla said. "Moderate levels of shear stress are good for arterial health, whereas low levels of shear stress appear to be detrimental and reduce the ability of the artery to dilate. Dilation is a sign of vascular health. The more the artery can dilate and respond to stimuli, the healthier it is."
Padilla summarized the findings, "Studies have shown that sitting less can lead to better metabolic and cardiovascular health. However, more research is needed to determine if repeated periods of reduced vascular function with prolonged sitting lead to long-term vascular complications.
Sometimes, the cure is as simple as getting up and taking a walk and remembering how blessed we really are, with the ability to move and interact. We should always remember that when the gifts we are given are taken for granted, they might just gradually deteriorate and waste away...
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