Lots of us are pretty great at coming up with reasons NOT to exercise—I’m too tired after work; it’s too hot out; it’s too cold out; they opened a Krispy Kreme next to my gym; all of my workout clothes perished in a tragic laundry “accident.”
As for coming up for reasons to get moving? We’ve got that covered. The past few weeks have been chock-full of new studies and data extolling some pretty convincing new-found benefits of exercise. You might want to start lacing up as you read, and don’t even try to tell us that your dog ate your sneakers. We’re on to you.
1. Exercise Helps Reverse Aging
A recent study found that positive lifestyle changes like good diet and exercise habits can reverse the aging deep in our cells. It has to do with telomere length, the protective caps made of DNA and protein at the end of chromosomes that help protect a cell from aging. Telomeres become shorter and weaker over time, leading cells to age and die, and leaving you at increased risk for some cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes, and more. But the study found that a healthy diet and moderate exercise (walking 30 minutes a day, six days a week) lengthened oneÂ’s telomere length by 10 percent after five years. Telomere length was three percent shorter after five years in the study group that didnÂ’t make those lifestyle changes.
2. Exercise Can Lessen Depression Symptoms
ThereÂ’s been a lot of research over the years on the link between exercise and depression, and a new review of studies published in the Cochrane Library looks promising. Exercise causes your pituitary gland to release endorphins to help ease your physical stress and pain while you work outÂ—but those endorphins may have more long-term results too. A team that examined 39 past studies on depression and exercise (they included a total of 2,326 people with depression), found that exercise did indeed moderately benefit symptoms of depression.
Warmth will continue to build over much of the eastern United States into next week, ahead of what could be a major snowstorm for parts of the Central states.
Bitter cold and snow lashed Italy and the Balkan Peninsula during the first half of January, and more inclement weather is expected this week.
Germany will endure its longest stretch of cold weather so far this season.
Soaking rain will elevate the flood threat over the southern United States late this week, followed by a severe weather threat this weekend.
A new round of storms will bring locally drenching rain and heavy mountain snow, with possible flooding and travel disruptions, in California.
A return of storms to the northwestern United States will deliver drenching rain and wintry travel hazards this week.