Physical Fitness Reduces Chronic Disease Risk

Staying in shape may bolster the metabolic profiles of college students. In an epidemiological study, researchers found an association between physical fitness, body fat percentage and metabolic risk factors that are precursors to cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes.

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Researchers tracked four biomarkers of metabolic risk — high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), triglycerides and blood glucose levels.

According to Eurekalert:
Physical fitness appeared to have a greater impact on certain metabolic risk factors than body fat. Being fit correlated with lower triglycerides and higher HDL … healthy cholesterol in women and lower blood glucose levels in men.”

Even though more Americans are exercising, rates of obesity and smoking have not changed.  A survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that obesity rates remained at around 28 percent of adults, the same as in 2008.

However, 34.7 percent claimed that they engaged in regular leisure physical activity, up from 31.9 percent in 2008.

Reuters reports:
“Health experts and the U.S. government both recommend getting daily exercise — about an hour a day of moderate exercise for most adults — to keep weight off and prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”

Reources:
Eurekalert June 17, 2010
Reuters June 16, 2010
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise June 2010; 42(6):1039-44

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