Thursday, September 2, 2010

Aerobic Exercise Has Lifelong Impact

According to a recent study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a moderate aerobic exercise program can alter the metabolism of sugar in children and adolescents.  This is promising news because it can reduce their risk of developing heart disease and diabetes later in life!

Researchers studied both lean and obese teenagers who were sedentary.  The teens participated in a 12-week exercise program of four, 30-minute exercise sessions every week.  By the end of the program, none of the teens had lost weight, but all of them increased their insulin sensitivity and their ability to maintain normal blood glucose levels.  The obese teenagers also lost some of their abdominal fat which is considered more "dangerous" fat because it is linked with insulin resistance.

Just one more reminder for all of us that we really need to ensure that children are getting the recommended physical activity* every day! 

*Toddlers should accumulate at least 30 minutes daily of structured physical activity; preschoolers at least 60 minutes.  Toddlers and preschoolers should engage in at least 60 minutes and up to several hours of daily, unstructured physical activity and should not be sedentary for more than 60 minutes at a time except when sleeping.

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