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Achieving an Effective Fitness Plan in 2016

Here are some practical tips to achieve your goal of staying fit and healthy!

Improved physical fitness is one of the most common resolutions made each New Year! Have you enthusiastically embarked on a fitness program, but abandoned it within a few weeks? Dominique Wakefield, a fitness expert, just published a set of 9 strategies you can follow to create an effective fitness plan you will stick with not only this year, but in the years to come.

PositiveTip: Do not allow last years failures to dictate this years behaviors. Press forward and keep moving!

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Exercise Training Without Fitness Improvement is Beneficial for Diabetics

Movement, not fitness, seems to mediate glucose control in diabetics.

Does physical activity in type 2 diabetics help even if  fitness levels do not improve? Researchers reanalyzed the data from the HART-D trial and found that the HbA1c levels improved by just over 25% and body fat percentage along with waistlines decreased--even without improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness. The movement of physical activity seems to improve diabetic control regardless of changes in fitness.

PositiveTip: Don't give up on moving, even if you feel your fitness level is not improving.

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Midlife Physical Fitness Conveys Lower Risk for Cancer

High midlife fitness was associated with lower cancer deaths later in life.

Men in the highest fitness level when tested in mid-life had a 50% lower incidence of lung and colorectal cancer (but not prostate cancer) after age 65 compared to those in the lowest fitness category. Those who who did develop any of these three cancers after age 65 lived longer when they were physically fit during midlife.

PositiveTip: Midlife physical fitness reduces the risk of certain cancers and decreases the chances of dying from those cancers later.

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Fit and Fat or Fit and Lean?

Healthy obese people were 8x more likely than the nonobese to become unhealthy in 20 years.

Almost 32% of obese adults who did not have multiple metabolic risk factors at baseline had developed them in 5 years time. The percentage rose to 40.9% in 10 years, and 51.5% after 20 years. This data was gathered from the long-running Whitehall II study in Britain. Only one in 10 of these people lost enough weight over 20 years to become healthy nonobese people.

PositiveTip: Healthy lifestyles almost always result in both relative leanness and fitness.

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Physical Activity Keeps Kids Fit

Elementary school kids who did not participate in exercise gained weight.

Physical education has declined dramatically in most elementary schools. Researchers found that a 9-month, after school exercise program for 8 and 9 year old elementary school children improved their physical fitness and helped them control their weight. The control group showed no improvements. This program provided moderate to vigorous physical activity 5 times per week.

PositiveTip: Provide your children regular physical activity--even if school does not.

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Fitness in Middle-age Reduces Risk of Dementia

People with the highest levels of fitness at 50 are less likely to develop dementia.

Researchers at the Cooper Institute report that individuals in the highest quintile of cardiorespiratory fitness at age 50 had a 36% lower risk of dementia after age 65 when compared to those in the lowest fitness group. This finding is based on an analysis of almost 20,000 individuals. While this study did not prove that fitness prevents dementia, it is certainly plausible, as fitness reduces other known risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension. 

PositiveTip: Keep up those fitness activities! It lowers known risk factors and may help prevent dementia, also.

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Declining Fitness Increases Risks

Fitness alone curbs all-cause and CVD deaths.

Middle-aged men who maintained or increased their fitness over 11 years experienced 30% and 40% reductions, respectively, in cardiovascular disease deaths and all-cause mortality--even without losing weight. When fitness declined during the study period, risk of dying increased.

PositiveTip: What are you doing to stay fit? Make at least 30 minutes of physical activity a part of your life every day.

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Kids and Exercise!

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6, NIV

The behaviors we learn when we are kids stay with us throughout our lives. This is why it is so important to instill healthy behaviors in our kids so they can grow into healthy adults. Part of this requires a lot of physical activity, at least one hour or more a day. Over half of that hour should involve aerobic activity, like running. About three days out of the week your child should also be including muscle building and bone strengthening activities, such and pushups and jump rope.