More Deadly Than Obesity

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There is one thing that is more deadly than obesity, and it might surprise you.

It is lack of exercise.

A study done on 334,161 people showed that by just walking 20 minutes a day we can reduce all causes of mortality by up to 30%. (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/01/14/ajcn.114.100065.abstract)

Such a small effort could add years to your life.

We focus on reducing our weight, but we really should focus more on being active. The interesting part of the study is that twice as many deaths were linked to lack of physical activity than to obesity. It looks like increasing physical activity is more important than reducing obesity in terms of health.

One out of five deaths in the US is associated with obesity. But those who are sedentary have up to six times greater risk of dying from heart disease than people who exercise regularly! (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3873278/) And the greatest health benefits are gained by sedentary people who suddenly start being physically active.

Data from 650,000 people over the age of 40 was carefully examined by Swedish and American experts. (http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001335) They linked 75 minutes per week of brisk walking to an average increase in life expectancy of 2 years compared to people who did not do any form of physical activity. When subjects performed at least 150 minutes of walking per week (the amount that the World Health Organization suggests), their life expectancy was 3 to 4.5 years longer than people who did not exercise.

It’s particularly interesting that physically active people with normal weight added 7 years to their lives compared to inactive and obese individuals. And people with normal weight who did not exercise had 3 fewer years of life when compared to ACTIVE and OBESE individuals.

It looks like more is better. Researchers concluded that the increase in longevity starts to plateau at 300 minutes of walking per week.

When you reach your seventies, walking and climbing stairs become more difficult. You experience age-related muscle loss as you get older, which makes you feel weaker. Exercising is the perfect way to prevent this age-related muscle loss by strengthening your muscles.

There are numerous other benefits of exercise, such as:

  • An increase in insulin sensitivity. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4995180/) Regular exercise has a significant benefit in insulin sensitivity, even for an impressive 72 hours after your last exercise!!!
  • An antidepressant – The most effective way to combat depression is through exercise. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3674785/) Combine exercise with beer and you will never feel depressed in your life. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4053968) I am not making this up; the happiest time of my life was when I exercised vigorously and drank two beers every day.
  • Bone density – Exercising is the most powerful way to prevent osteoporosis, which is characterized by low bone mass that makes you prone to bone fractures. Osteoporosis is estimated to cause 1.5 million fractures each year in the US in people over 50 years of age. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9927006)

There are so many other benefits of exercise that it would take a whole book to name them.

The time has come, my friend, to close this web-page and start walking – NOW!

See you tomorrow.

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