By Kathy Walsh
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– One of the top New Year’s resolutions is to exercise more, but plenty of people complain there is not enough time. Now, you might not be able to use that excuse.
Until recently, scientists believed at least 10 minutes of exercise in a row was required to achieve health benefits. But, new research has shown that all movement, even just a few minutes of physical activity several times a day, can make a difference.
Glenda Wells-Evans of Aurora tries to walk every morning. The 68-year-old got moving after a wakeup call from her doctor.
“He just said that I was borderline diabetic,” Glenda said. “That’s extremely scary for me.”
It was alarming enough for Glenda to enroll in a physical activity study.
“Any step they take is important for their health,” said Dr. Amy Huebschmann with the Center for Women’s Health Research at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
Huebschmann researches methods to get people more active. Right now, she is studying 50 people with Type 2 diabetes. Half, including Glenda, get physical activity coaching by telephone. The others get a handout explaining the guidelines.
“So far, our pilot data show that there’s more physical activity, as well as better function, better ability to do activities of daily living in the patients who receive the coaching,” said Huebschmann.
“They’re very encouraging in the study,” said Glenda.
Glenda now enjoys line dancing twice a week. She picks the parking spot farthest away to walk to her destination. She’s active, even when on the phone.
“Instead of sitting down, sedentary, now I get up and I move around,” said Glenda.
This year’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Adult Americans call for at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week.
“Just small steps, doing a few minutes at a time, counts just as much as doing 10 minutes or a half hour at a time,” said Huebschmann.
Glenda has lost 15 pounds. She says her blood sugar levels have improved and her knees no longer hurt.
“Changing something can really make a difference,” said Glenda.
- Huebschmann shared some tips to make 2019 exercise goals achievable.
- Do what you enjoy
- Take small steps
- Use a tracker to set and achieve goals
- Do activities with others (social support helps with motivation)