Profile: Travis Saunders
Asst. Prof., Applied Human Science
Travis Saunders has a PhD in Human Kinetics, and is an Assistant Professor in Applied Human Science. His research focuses on the relationship between sedentary time (e.g. sitting) and chronic disease risk in both children and adults. He is also a Certified Exercise Physiologist and competitive distance runner.
NoteStreams By Travis Saunders
Regardless of your shape or size, physical activity has been shown to add years to your life, and life to your years. But believe it or not, the benefits of physical activity are not restricted to exercise performed in the gym. In fact, one of the easiest ways to improve your health may be through increasing the amount of low intensity physical activity you perform throughout the day.
PLoS Blogs: Obesity Panacea
At various points over the past few years, I have been fortunate to basically have a gym as my office. I’ve worked near treadmills, exercise bikes, light free weights, and a bunch of machines (bench press, leg press, a chin-up bar, etc). The gyms have always been for research and data collection, but there were plenty of opportunities for those of us working in the lab to pop out and do a quick set almost anytime we liked. And it was awesome.
This past winter I taught a course titled Physical Activity and Aging. It was a fun course, and really drove home an issue that I’ve known for a while, but hadn’t previously given a lot of thought: the impact of aging is identical to the detraining that happens in response to reduced physical activity and/or increased sedentary behavior. Aging is associated with reduced fitness, weaker bones, reduced insulin sensitivity, reduced muscle strength, and reduced balance. Lack of physical activity is also associated with all of those things. This isn’t a coincidence – many (probably most) of the health impacts of aging are not really due to aging at all.
Word emerged last week that Health Canada was re-considering whether it should continue to view a serving of juice (125 ml) as being equivalent to a half cup of fresh/frozen fruit. I think this would be a wonderful development, and I believe that my own personal experience helps to explain why.