What It Takes To Reverse The Effects Of Being A Couch Potato

Sitting all day can really take its toll on your health, but it is possible to un-do couch potato damage. A new study published in the journal Circulation reveals you can make up for years of sedentary behavior with two years of exercise. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center researchers looked at 53 health people ages 45 to 64 who were all relatively sedentary for most of their adult lives. Half were randomly assigned to an intensive exercise regimen for two years, while the other half did a program more focused on balance and flexibility three to four times per week. The more intense program included a weekly hour-long exercise session, a weekly high-tensity interval training workout, moderate intensity exercise two to three times a week, and at least one strength training session weekly. Researchers found intensive exercise lead to greater heart health. Researcher Dr. Benjamin Levine says, “The idea that sedentary behavior by itself is injurious and can’t be overcome by exercise is not really true. Given the right kind and the right amount of [exercise] training, you can prevent the effects of extreme sedentary behavior.” Still, for it to be most effective you’ll have to get moving by late middle age, from 55 to 65 years old for most people. (Time