Even a 5-minute run can help prevent heart disease
July 28th, 2014
03:31 PM ET

Even a 5-minute run can help prevent heart disease

Good news for runners: A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests running, even for a few minutes a day, can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease - whether you plod along or go at race speed.

Researchers studied more than 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over a 15-year period, looking at their overall health, whether they ran and how long they lived.

Compared to nonrunners, those who ran had a 30% lower risk of death from all causes and a 45% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, investigators found. In fact, runners on average lived three years longer than those who did not hit the pavement. When data was broken down by age, sex, body mass index, and smoking and alcohol use, the benefits were still the same.

Exercise lengthens your life - even if you're overweight
November 6th, 2012
05:02 PM ET

Exercise lengthens your life - even if you're overweight

Add this to the list of reasons why exercise is good for you: A new study says 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, leisure time exercise is associated with roughly 3.4 years added to a person's life.

Researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, and other organizations analyzed six different prospective cohort studies of more than 632,000 people ages 40 and older. The studies had a median follow-up period of 10 years, with roughly 82,000 reported deaths. Regular, moderate intensity exercise was associated with an increased life expectancy, even when the person exercising had an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI).

Dr. I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the senior author of the study, says that not exercising but having a healthy weight was associated with 3.1 fewer years of life, compared to obese people who were active. Conversely, people who exercised 150 minutes a week and had a healthy BMI gained an extra 7.2 years of life. FULL POST

You can be fat AND fit, researchers say
September 4th, 2012
07:01 PM ET

You can be fat AND fit, researchers say

"I'm in shape," a friend of mine repeatedly quips at the gym. "Round is a shape."

It's an old joke, but there may be some truth to it. A new study published this week in the European Heart Journal shows it is possible to be both obese and healthy.

"It is well known that obesity is linked to a large number of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular problems and cancer," lead study author Dr. Francisco Ortega said in a statement. "However, there appears to be a sub-set of obese people who seem to be protected from obesity-related metabolic complications."

Most kids don't get enough PE, says study
July 10th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Most kids don't get enough PE, says study

Most schools in the United States are not offering children the suggested amount of physical education, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Bryan McCullick, a kinesiology professor at the University of Georgia, examined all 50 of the United States and found six states where elementary schools followed recommended physical education guidelines. Two states followed the guidelines at the middle school level, and no states had strong enough regulations at the high school level.

Several other states had some form of physical education requirement, but they did not reach a threshold the researchers thought was appropriate.

What’s the issue? McCullick says schools may be cutting time for physical education to increase time for other subjects, in the hope of raising standardized test scores.

5 ways to run smarter
Runners should pay attention to their bodies when training and may need to take days of rest.
July 6th, 2012
01:29 PM ET

5 ways to run smarter

After completing more than 150 marathons, running coach Jeff Horowitz got sick of running himself ragged with 70 to 100-mile weeks during training.

In order to avoid injury and burnout, he designed a less-is-more, quality over quantity philosophy in his book "Smart Marathon Training." Adapt some of his principles into your triathlon training program.

1. Ditch the junk miles.

Only add workouts that have a purpose.

Overheard on CNN.com: Fitness trainer's intentional weight rollercoaster
June 6th, 2012
10:58 AM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Fitness trainer's intentional weight rollercoaster

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Since he revealed his re-svelte body on “Good Morning America” this week, “Fit2Fat2Fit” fitness trainer Drew Manning has sparked both inspiration and controversy about the lessons to be learned from his experiment. Readers on CNN were quick to participate in the conversation.

Manning, who lost 70 pounds just 6 months after he purposely gained it, has drawn praise from some. They said the strategy shows his desire to grow in understanding his clients’ weight loss struggles:

My wife says that unless you've walked a mile in some[one] else's shoes, you truly have no idea what is inside someone's head. Undoing a lifetime of bad habits and bad self talk is a huge undertaking. The trick or the truth is that people have to feel they are worth the effort and get their head in the game. My wife went from 203 pounds at 5' 1" to 149 [pounds] in 2 years and still is working hard to get to her goal and stay there. I love her no matter what, but she is so happy to be free of her extra poundage, free of the size war in her closet and her self confidence has definitely gone up. That is what makes me happy. Kudos to Drew Manning... now you know part of the rest of the story.


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Filed under: Body Image • Diet and Fitness • Exercise • Fitness • Obesity • Weight loss

Longer commutes may steal health and fitness
May 8th, 2012
12:05 AM ET

Longer commutes may steal health and fitness

Anybody who has a long daily commute knows the frustration of sitting in traffic with nothing to do but wait. Now, a study suggests that long commutes can take away more than just precious time - they also negatively impact your fitness and health.

Previous research has linked longer commutes with obesity. But this new research is believed to be "the first study to show that long commutes can take away from exercise time,” explained lead investigator Christine M. Hoehner of Washington University in St. Louis.

Long commutes are associated with "higher weight, lower fitness levels and higher blood pressure, all of which are strong predictors of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers,” she said.


Open-water swimming tips from the pros
April 27th, 2012
07:13 AM ET

Open-water swimming tips from the pros

Editor's note: In this post from Triathlete magazine, pros Julie Dibens and James Cunnama share five rules of a successful open-water swim.

Rule 1: Keep your space

“In the pool, you’re in a lane by yourself. In a triathlon, you have 50, 100, even 200 people trying to get to the same spot. It’s hard to stay in a straight line. You have to figure out how to make the most of it and get a draft,” says Dibens.

“Don’t hang on to a boat, kayak or buoy [before a deep water start],” adds Cunnama. “It doesn’t make a good start because something is in your way. It’s hard to get a good kick in. Get some space.”

March 21st, 2012
04:18 PM ET

Red flag found for imminent heart attack

Most heart attacks hit without warning – when a blister plaque on the blood vessel wall ruptures. The resulting clot starves the heart of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, causing a heart attack and possibly death.

Traditional diagnostic tools like treadmill stress tests only pick up major blockages in the blood vessels, but they don’t alert doctors to this type of impending catastrophe. That’s because the vast majority of heart attacks occur in people whose blood vessels are narrowed only slightly by cholesterol-laden plaque.

“We can’t detect these mild narrowings, which are almost exclusively responsible for heart attacks,” says Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California.

But Topol and a team of researchers now think they’ve found a way to determine which patients are only days or weeks away from a heart attack.

Weight loss key is habits, not willpower, says Weight Watchers chief
October 28th, 2011
01:01 PM ET

Weight loss key is habits, not willpower, says Weight Watchers chief

What helped David Kirchhoff, president and CEO of Weight Watchers International, shed 38 pounds, start exercising and eat healthy breakfasts?

Of course, you’d expect a CEO to toot the horn of his company.

He did at TEDMED, a conference about medical innovations and ideas. But he also stressed that the essential factor that shaped his metamorphosis - from an overweight 33-year-old needing Lipitor to a fit man who exercises - was the habits he formed.  FULL POST

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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