Don't Bench Yourself

What do 2019 NFL quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Trevor Siemian and Drew Brees (as well as several other QBs) have in common? They've been sidelined by injury and illness - for the trio, it's mono, an ankle and elbow injury, and torn thumb ligaments. You can bet their respective teams hope they'll bounce back after being sidelined for weeks or months. But a study out of the U.K.'s Newcastle University might make you wonder.

Researchers tracked a group of healthy men and women around age 32 who habitually walked 10,000 steps a day. They then asked them to be completely sedentary for 14 days. It turns out that short amount of downtime measurably decreased the participants' cardiovascular function, insulin sensitivity and cardiorespiratory fitness. The shift to being sedentary also increased body fat, waist circumference and liver fat! Luckily, they were able to reclaim their previous fitness level by working out again for two weeks.

But what happens when sedentary behavior drags on for longer than that? What if cold weather stops you from getting regular exercise or you're sidelined post-surgery or from illness? Well, the health toll becomes even greater - and the rebound that much harder.

If you've been benched ...

- Start an indoor routine with workout videos or a stationary bike. Join a gym or find routines at

- Post-surgery, -injury or -illness, get a prescription for physical therapy, and do it conscientiously.

- Buy good walking shoes and start a walking routine.

© 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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