Physical activity and vacations can improve health, researchers say

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Physical activity and vacations can improve health, researchers say - Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5pm on July 20, 2018.

Move more and take a vacation - that's the message from some researchers on how to improve your overall health.

The first study is out of the United Kingdom and it looks at exercise may help slow down the aging process.

Want to stay young? Or at least stave off some of the effects of aging, research published in Aging Cell shows cycling can help.

"What they found was that individuals who are really physically active, master cyclists, all of the markers of inflammation that are associated with aging were all lower," said Dr. Ronan Factora at the Cleveland Clinic.

Scientists compared 125 people ages 55 to 79 who cycled regularly to adults who didn't exercise. Results show the bikers had stronger immune systems, better muscle mass and less inflammation.

Inflammation is part of the normal aging process and can lead to arthritis and heart problems.

Other studies show all kinds of physical activity can improve your health. It can help lower or maintain blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It's also important for brain health, which is why healthcare providers prescribe people to simply move more.

"If you think about all the benefits of physical activity, this is more than any pill that I could give and it should just encourage in some sort of physical activity to get up off the couch and to do more," said Dr. Factora.

But when it comes to work, the message may be do less - or at least take some time off. Researchers say if you're feeling unhealthy lately, a vacation may be the best medicine.

In fact, according to the Framingham Heart Study, men who don't take vacations could be 30 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack. For women, the risk goes up to 50 percent.

The best way to rest and recharge is to plan ahead, schedule your time off and delegate priorities.

And you shouldn't feel guilty about taking time off. For many people, they're more productive after some time away.

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