Working Out Boosts Survival
This news comes from a study of 479,856 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 85 who reported the amount of time they spent per week in aerobic activities and muscle strengthening as part of the National Health Interview Surveys from 1997 to 2014. The researchers found that compared with study participants who weren’t as active as recommended, those who engaged in sufficient muscle strengthening had an 11 percent lower risk of death from any cause. Those whose aerobic activity was sufficient to meet the recommendations had a 29 percent lower risk of death, while those who reported performing both recommended amounts of muscle strengthening and aerobic activities had a 40 percent lower risk of death from any cause. In particular, those who met recommendations for aerobic activity were at reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory tract diseases, accidents and injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes. The researchers estimated that lack of physical activity was responsible for six to 10 percent of all major chronic non-communicable diseases and nine percent of early deaths in 2008.
My take? Although there are many ways to make it enjoyable, and even though the experts tell you about how great you will feel, when you first start regular aerobic exercise, you will probably resist it. Developing habits of healthy living takes time and effort. A physiologic principal, well known to those who have become habitual exercisers, is that effort creates energy. Do not wait for energy to come when you are tired; create it by expending effort. You can easily prove to yourself that this principle works. Just try it!
Min Zhao et al, “Recommended physical activity and all cause and cause specific mortality in US adults: prospective cohort study,” BMJ, July 1,2020, doi: doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2031
More current health news from this week’s bulletin:
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- A cool treat on a hot day – Cocoa-Banana Frozen Dessert!
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