Today’s Headlines: Exercising Can Help Lower Risk of Heart Disease, How to Undo the Damage of a Sedentary Lifestyle, and What May Be Causing Your Gluten Sensitivity

Exercising for two and a half hours per week may decrease your risk of heart disease. Women under the age of 50 can lower their risk by about 25 percent if they maintain an active lifestyle. “Regardless of body weight, women who reported doing moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking had lower risk of heart disease than those with little or no exercise. Overall, women who spent a total of 2.5 hours per week being moderately active were about 25 percent less likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease than those who were not active at all. Though apparent benefits were seen even in overweight and obese women, researchers found the greatest benefit among normal-weight women. Those who were active for 2.5 hours a week had half the heart disease risk of obese, inactive women.” The intensity of the exercise did not seem to matter; only the amount – researchers agreed that any exercise, whether light, moderate, or vigorous, could help the heart if done on a regular basis. (Fox)

There may be a way to undo the damage caused by sitting too much. A sedentary lifestyle has been associated with an increased risk of health problems and a lower life expectancy in many different studies. “It comes down to fitting in an hour of walking or other physical activity a day. It doesn’t have to be a super-intense fitness routine to offer benefits, say the authors of a new study…The increased risk of death linked with sitting for eight hours a day was eliminated for people who were physically active for at least one hour a day. What’s more, the eight-hour-a-day sitters who exercised had a significantly lower risk of death compared to people who sat for fewer hours a day but weren’t active, the authors found.” If you sit for a majority of the day at your job, make sure to add an hour of exercise into your day to improve your overall health. (CBS)

The reason people are sensitive to gluten may have been discovered. A new study from Columbia University, in conjunction with the University of Bologna, has found a possible cause for gluten sensitivity. “The team…found that patients who experience various gastrointestinal symptoms in response to wheat ingestion may be suffering from a body-wide inflammatory immune reaction not seen in patients with celiac disease. The inflammation, researchers said, is due to a weakened gut, and the condition is referred to as non-celiac gluten or wheat sensitivity (NCWS). Symptoms of NCWS include intestinal problems, as well as fatigue, cognitive difficulties, or mood disturbances. The study did not extend to those with celiac disease, a more serious condition involving gluten, but the researchers are hoping that further studies will help them find more answers involving both issues. (Fox)