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Be happy and lean; exercise green!

Exercise of any kind can be beneficial to our health and fitness, but exercise in nature, called ‘green exercise,’ can provide additional physical and mental health benefits. As we swarm the treadmills at the local gym, perhaps we should consider hitting the trails, the park or the lake, too.

“When you go outside, you have a more rich, holistic benefit to your exercise routine,” said Jean Larson, Ph.D., director of nature-based therapies at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. “Green and traditional exercises are both beneficial, but there is a bump in the satisfaction and overall impact of the experience when you go outside.”

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U of M expert: Maximize your health through diet and exercise

Regular exercise is extremely important for people of all ages in order to stay healthy, whether it’s running a marathon or simply setting aside time to power walk a few times per week. But knowing when to eat, what to eat and what exercises are safe at a given age can have a major impact on how someone gains muscle or loses excess fat.

In order to fully understand some variables that impact the effectiveness of a diet and exercise routine, Health Talk consulted David Jewison, M.D. in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

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U of M study: Walking while working improves health, may boost productivity

According to new research from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, walking on a treadmill during the workday not only improves health, it can also potentially boost productivity.

Researchers outfitted 40 workstations at a Twin Cities financial services company with a computer, phone, writing area and treadmill. As subjects worked, they could adjust their walking speed up to two mph. To help gauge workout intensity, each subject was also given an energy expenditure device to be worn during work hours…

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Sedentary lifestyle, not shoveling itself, contributes to health hazards

This probably isn’t news to you but shoveling that wet, heavy snow can be a real pain in the neck, err back. Unfortunately, some people have experienced that shoveling snow has led to aches, pains and in some severe instances heart attacks.

And while true in certain cases, the problem isn’t solely dependent upon the snow shoveling activity itself but rather the sedentary lifestyle that some of these people live.

Shoveling is a lot of work and you do use a lot of muscles in your legs, arms and back which places extra strain on your heart.

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Winter is the perfect time for outdoor exercise

We know that exercising outdoors during winter months can be challenging. The days are shorter. The nights are longer and even colder. And at times, the weather can be downright dreadful and seemingly unforgiving. The ice, the snow, oh no!

According to William Roberts, M.D., professor with the University of Minnesota Medical School, Family Medicine and Community Health, there are no bad days, only bad clothes.

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Health Talk Recommends: Why do sore muscles feel worse on the second day?

If exercise always felt good, you’d probably see a lot more people filling gyms year round or pounding the pavement when the weather gets warm. But anyone who has ever pushed their body athletically knows that sometimes exercising can just plain hurt.

For most, pain during or immediately after a workout (such as pulled muscles or joint pain) is a sign that we pushed things too far. But sometimes even a good workout can lead to muscle pain or sensitivity that doesn’t fully present for 24-48 hours. The question most people wonder usually wonder is why? What’s taken the muscles so long to issue their formal protest?

In a Huffington Post article for the site’s new Ask Healthy Living effort, writer Sarah Klein tackled that very question. With the help of Steven Stovitz, M.D., an associate professor in the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (and a team physician at the U of M) Klein explains a condition known as “delayed onset muscle soreness” or DOMS.

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