I am often struck by the image presented to the world of American farmers in our magazines and occasional media coverage. We are not a slender profession.
It is understandable to snark back at me or anyone who has by luck or effort kept their BMI below 25 as cheap-shooters. But c'mon people, look at recent farm magazine photos.
We know the reasons. Too much food, and (despite our protestations to the contrary) too little exercise. There is some good news in this post, however. It wouldn't take a big change in our lifestyle to make a big change in our waistline.
Before exercising regularly, 41 percent of the study subjects met the criteria for metabolic syndrome. At the end of the 8-month exercise program, only 27 percent did.
"That's a significant decline in prevalence," said Johnson. "It's also encouraging news for sedentary, middle-aged adults who want to improve their health. It means they don't have to go out running 4 or 5 days a week; they can get significant health benefits by simply walking around the neighborhood after dinner every night."
The results of the STRRIDE study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, appear in the American Journal of Cardiology this month.
People in the study who exercised the least - walking 30 minutes 6 days a week or the equivalent of about 11 miles per week -- gained significant benefit, while those who exercised the most, jogging about 17 miles per week, gained slightly more benefit in terms of lowered metabolic syndrome scores. [More]
It also pointed out that I would be better off walking more frequently instead of running less frequently. And considering the slipping around I did yesterday while the dog laughed, I might live to make it back without sprains and twists.
This is deep winter, and the reluctance to go outside and move around is immense. But walking over your farm now could do much for your stress level, cardio-vascular system, and sex appeal (if any).