The message from exercise and nutrition studies seems to generally be that more is better. While balance is obviously a good thing as well, doing beneficial activities more often pays off.

What helps confirm this the myriad of activities that lead to reduced risks of conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It can also simplify your strategy for keeping healthy, doing away with myths and complexities that can make initially motivated people give up.

Simply, More Exercise is Better

The debate between the relative benefits of moderate vs vigorous exercise is ongoing. Federal guidelines encourage a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. In contrast, earlier guidelines suggested vigorous exercise for at least 20 minutes three or more times per week.

A study in The New England Journal of Medicine compared the incidence of heart attacks and strokes in approximately 75,000 women ages 50-79, based on total time spent doing any physical activity; walking; vigorously exercising; and sitting. Activity was determined by questionnaires, and classified as mild, moderate or vigorous.

The more physical activity completed by the women, the less likely they were to suffer from heart attack or stroke over the next six years, regardless of race, weight or age. Women who walked or performed vigorous exercise 2.5 hours or more per week reduced their total risk for cardiovascular conditions by approximately 30%. Brisker walking pace and less time spent sitting daily reduced the risk even more.

It all adds up. The more time you spend being active -- a little here, a little there -- the healthier and less stressed you will be. Ideally, you should try to complete aerobic workouts at a moderate to vigorous pace. But don't give up altogether if you can't accomplish this. Simply be as active as you can, as often as you can.

Two Apples-A-Day Keep Lots More Away

We hear one apple a day will keep a doctor away, well how about 2 a day and gain more health and prevent serious illness!

Nutrition studies indicate that high intake of quercetin, a plant pigment and antioxidant nutrient is associated not only with a reduction in lung cancer risk, but also with improved lung function and a lower risk of asthma, bronchitis and emphysema. Quercetin also reduces the oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol! High LDL is associated with the number one cause of death in North America - Heart Disease!

Quercetin may also even prevent prostate cancer according to research at the Mayo Clinic. Men with an inflamed prostate (prostatitis) reported reduced urinary symptoms when they took quercetin.

People with high intakes of foods containing quercetin and other flavonoids tend to have lower rates of heart disease and lung cancer. Best foods sources of quercetin are apples, onions, raspberries, green tea, red wine, red grapes, citrus fruit, cherries, broccoli and leafy greens. Please be sure to eat the skins, but only if they're organic and supplement with Omega 3 rich foods!

Author's Bio: 

Clare McLeod is a research psychologist. She has a Master of Professional Psychology degree from Monash University.