Sedentary lifestyles come with major health risks

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — As winter sets in and outdoor activities slow down most people put their sunscreen back in the cabinets.

Just because you can’t see the sun doesn’t mean it still can’t harm you.
Using UV protection and staying active during the winter season is still important.

Staying active and wearing sunscreen is something health care professionals say everyone should do. But just because the temperatures drop, doesn’t mean you should scale back on protecting yourself.

“I don’t even use too much sunscreen actually, not even in the summertime,” said Bloomington resident Jake Mcclary.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than two million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year. We all think because we don’t feel the sun it can’t harm us, but that’s not necessarily true.

“I don’t take too much protection when it comes to my skin, but I should definitely look into it because I know some people that got skin cancer and it’s some pretty serious stuff,” said Mcclary.

Wearing sunscreen isn’t the only thing you should do this time of year. A study by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows those who live a sedentary lifestyle have a much higher risk of death than their more active peers.

“I think it’s a real wakeup call, we shouldn’t be so shocked that exercise is good, because we’ve been saying that for a long time. But now when we compare it to doing nothing,” said interventional cardiologist at OSF Healthcare, Dr. Darrel Gumm. “Those people who don’t do anything more than get up and walk around during the day, that are truly sedentary, it is up to a 500% difference, and we’re talking about cardiovascular death. so it’s really a big deal.”

The study shows only 23% of Americans are sufficiently active.

“Many people think, I walk around at work. I’m required to do this and do that. but that still isn’t the same as continuous aerobic exercise that would go for 20, 30, 40 minutes. doing that three to five times a week pays off a huge benefit,” said Dr. Gumm.

Dr. Gumm recommends following a heart-healthy diet like eating more fruits and vegetables and being more active.

If you want to get active but don’t know where to start, speak with your primary care physician about starting an exercise program.

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