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Consumer Reports' Shop Smart: Shape up at Home

from Consumer Reports via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most powerful drugs ever invented, according to Consumer Reports.

Chances are, you've heard many variations of that sentiment. It's not hype. A 2010 review of 40 studies in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, for example, found that being active can help prevent about 25 conditions. Other research suggests that exercise can cut the risk of colon cancer by 60 percent, Type 2 diabetes by 58 percent, heart disease by 40 percent and Alzheimer's disease by 40 percent. Another study, which compared regular exercisers with couch potatoes, concluded that each minute of physical activity added an average of 7 minutes of life span.

Yet powerful evidence isn't powerful enough: Just 20 percent of Americans say they get the recommended amount of aerobic and strength exercise.

"Convenience and proximity are key predictors of exercise," says Carol Ewing Garber, associate professor of movement sciences at Columbia University and president elect of the American College of Sports Medicine. So it makes sense that working out at home ups the odds not only that you'll become active but also that you'll stick with a routine. more


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