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Don’t fear The Reaper, out-hustle him

The list of excuses for not exercising is getting shorter.

Time — or, more accurately, the lack thereof — is no longer a valid excuse for failing to exercise.

Many people cite excessive “busyness” as the reason for forgoing visits to the gym, but new research demonstrates that even short periods of exercise contribute to one’s physical well being.

Working at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, Dr. Mark Tully and his colleagues conducted a 12-week study involving 106 healthy, but sedentary, adults ages 40-61, to determine whether less is as good as more when it comes to activity.

Some participants walked 30 minutes, three days a week, while others followed the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), clocking 30 minutes each day for five days.

Both groups recorded marked improvements in their blood pressure, as well as significant decrease in their waist and hip measurements.

Even heart problems are no longer an acceptable reason to avoid activity.

A four-month study of 37 heart failure patients, led by Dr. Robert Hollriegel at Germany’s Leipzig University, found that those who cycled for 30 minutes a day not only developed new stem cells in their bones — a feat that no drug can duplicate — but also had a greater number of small blood vessels in their muscles, increasing oxygenation.

Dr. John Cleland, a heart specialist at the University of Hull in Britain, and a spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology, says he hopes this information will “prevent people from getting into a cycle of deterioration when they’re afraid to exercise and they avoid activity that leaves them out of breath.”

Now that spring is here (I think) and a bluebird is back (I saw it last Sunday), the weather is ideal for breaking out your walking shoes.

Get out, enjoy the day and add a little pep in your step to keep you ahead in the race for a longer and higher quality life.

According to the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, older people who were fast walkers lived longer than those with slower strides.

So, don’t fear The Reaper — just out-hustle him by staying a step ahead.

PLPOA board

The PLPOA Board of Directors will hold its regular monthly meeting tonight at 7 p.m. in the Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse at 230 Port Ave.

All members are encouraged to attend, participate and learn about their association.

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