Today’s Headlines: Gym Substitutes, Perils of a Late Lunch, and Stress Sapping Away Your Years

Taking Stairs, Raking Leaves May Have Same Health Benefits as a Trip to the Gym: New research suggests the health benefits of small amounts of activity done throughout the day – even as small as one- and two-minute increments that add up to 30 minutes per day – can be just as beneficial as longer bouts of physical exercise achieved by a trip to the gym. They can improve health outcomes, “including preventing metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.” Researchers suggested making small changes to daily routines to increase your physical activity. “Instead of driving half a mile, try biking or walking the same distance; instead of using a riding lawn mower, use a push lawn mower. Instead of sitting through TV commercials, try doing some sit-ups, push-ups, or jumping jacks during the commercial breaks; and instead of sitting and being a spectator at a child’s sporting event, try walking around during the halftime break.” (EurekAlert!)

Late Lunch May Mean Less Weight Loss: A new study suggests that “people who like to eat lunch late in the afternoon may have more trouble shedding pounds than those who dine earlier.” The study, which was conducted in Spain, found that those who ate their lunch after 3 p.m. lost 25% less weight. Researchers aren’t completely sure why a late lunch would lead to slower weight loss; however, one possibility is the negative effects of going too long between meals, which may slow the metabolism. (Health)

Stress Soaks Up at Least Two Hours a Day, Five Years of Our Lifetime: A British research study suggests that we spend, on average, 14 hours each week worrying or in a state of angst. Of the research participants, 45% admitted that stress and worry had “directly affected their health,” while “32% of people had even gone to the doctor because of worry or stress.” Common worries included “concerns over low energy levels, fearing the aging process, or work concerns.” (Medical News Today)