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How Do You Get to Work?

A study in the November 2004 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology points out that those of us making the effort to use the commute to work as an exercise session may be saving ourselves from colon cancer.

Researchers took a look at physical activity-in particular commuting activity-and its effects on colon cancer risk. The study included 1,552 randomly selected control subjects and 931 colon cancer patients. The findings showed that colon cancer risk was significantly decreased in those who chose physical activity as their method of getting to work. In particular, those who had high commuting physical activity for at least 35 years had the lowest risk for developing this common form of cancer. Those subjects with the lowest activity levels were at highest risk. So, why not rethink how you get to work?

Change is Good

Are you stuck in an exercise rut? Taking the time to mix up your workouts and be creative with different types of exercise is the best thing for your body, and recent research is showing that it may also be beneficial for your mind.

An interesting study published in the April 2005 American Journal of Epidemiology focused on a group of 3,375 dementia-free men and women aged 65 or older. The purpose of the study was to determine if there is a link between exercise and the risk of dementia, vascular dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. The researchers of this study measured many
variables, including the number of different physical activities each participant incorporated into his or her lifestyle. At the end of 5.4 years, 480 cases of dementia were found. The individuals who had reported engaging in four or more different types of activities were shown to have less risk of developing dementia than their counterparts who took part in just
one type of activity or none at all.

The causes of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease are still unclear, although researchers have clearly defined risk factors of advanced age and family history to be two contributors. However, more and more evidence is suggesting that healthy eating habits, mentally stimulating activities, and regular exercise may lower one's risk of developing dementia. So, take part in as many different types of activity as you are able to-not only will your physical health be enhanced, but your mind may also stay sharper as you age.

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