According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder, adults who are overweight may be able to achieve some of the cardiovascular benefits of exercise, without having to actually exercise. The results of the study were presented in Atlanta at the American Psychological Society’s annual meeting, reports the LA Times.
The study included the careful examination of 35 overweight subjects and the effects of Vitamin C on their cardiovascular health. Before the trial began, all of the participants showed signs of impaired vascular tones. Of the participants, 15 subjects were asked to take up a three-month regimen of brisk walking from five to seven times a week. The other 20 participants took a supplement of 500 milligrams of Vitamin C once a day.
Those participants who took the daily Vitamin C supplements saw equal improvement in their cardiovascular system as those who took up regular walking for exercise.
Doctor Caitlin Dow, the study’s lead author, believes that this discovery can benefit those adults who have difficulty getting exercise due to injury or physical limitations. While it may not help them lose the weight, it can help lessen some of the serious side effects of carrying excess pounds, such as inflammation or blood clots.
“If we can improve different measure of risk for disease without changing weight, it takes a little bit of the pressure off some people,” says Dow. “It’s important to know what other lifestyle changes we can offer people who can’t exercise.
While the study did find that the supplements can improve one’s cardiovascular health, the researchers stress that Vitamin C should not be a replacement for regular exercise. Compared to Vitamin C, regular physical activity has more benefits, such as lowering cholesterol or improving your metabolism.
To stay healthy, experts say that adults get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity. Children also need exercise, and should get at least one hour or more of physical activity each day.