Longer Life Within Walking Distance

Longer Life Within Walking Distance
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Researchers find exercise often works just as well as drugs for the treatment of heart disease and stroke, and the prevention of diabetes. Exercise is medicine.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Physical inactivity [has been called] the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.” Of course, just because someone calls it that doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, physical inactivity ranks down at #5 in terms of risk factors for death, and #6 in terms of risk factors for disability. Diet is by far our greatest killer, followed by smoking.

But still, “there is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the…prevention of several chronic diseases (…cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) [as well as] premature death, adding an additional one or two years onto our lifespan—helping to “add years to [our] life”, and, above all, “life to [our] years.” It truly may be survival of the fittest.

How much do we need to exercise? In general, the answer is the more the better. “Currently, most health and fitness organizations advocate a minimum of” a thousand calories burned of exercise a week, which is like walking an hour a day, five days a week. But, seven days a week may be even better in terms of extending one’s lifespan. Moderate intensity can be practically defined by the “Talk but Not Sing Test,” where you can still “carry on a conversation but would feel breathless if trying to sing.”

Exercise is so important that not walking an hour a day is considered a “high-risk” behavior, alongside smoking, excess drinking, and being obese. Having any one of these effectively ages us three to five years in terms of risk of dying prematurely—though, interestingly, those that ate green vegetables on a daily basis did not appear to have that same bump in risk. But, even if broccoli-eating couch potatoes do live as long as walkers, there are a multitude of ancillary health benefits to physical activity—so much so, that doctors are encouraged to prescribe it, “to signal [to the patient] that exercise is medicine.” In fact, powerful medicine.

Researchers at the London School, Harvard, and Stanford compared exercise to drug interventions, and found that exercise often worked just as well as drugs for the treatment of heart disease and stroke, and the prevention of diabetes. Of course, there’s not a lot of money to fund exercise studies, so one option would be to require drug companies to compare any new drug to exercise. “In cases where drug options provide only modest benefit, patients deserve to understand the relative impact that physical activity might have on their condition.” We could throw diet into the mix, too. Yes, the FDA could tell drug companies, your new drug beats out placebo, but, does it work as well as kale?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nemo via Pixabay

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“Physical inactivity [has been called] the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.” Of course, just because someone calls it that doesn’t mean it’s true. In fact, physical inactivity ranks down at #5 in terms of risk factors for death, and #6 in terms of risk factors for disability. Diet is by far our greatest killer, followed by smoking.

But still, “there is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the…prevention of several chronic diseases (…cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis) [as well as] premature death, adding an additional one or two years onto our lifespan—helping to “add years to [our] life”, and, above all, “life to [our] years.” It truly may be survival of the fittest.

How much do we need to exercise? In general, the answer is the more the better. “Currently, most health and fitness organizations advocate a minimum of” a thousand calories burned of exercise a week, which is like walking an hour a day, five days a week. But, seven days a week may be even better in terms of extending one’s lifespan. Moderate intensity can be practically defined by the “Talk but Not Sing Test,” where you can still “carry on a conversation but would feel breathless if trying to sing.”

Exercise is so important that not walking an hour a day is considered a “high-risk” behavior, alongside smoking, excess drinking, and being obese. Having any one of these effectively ages us three to five years in terms of risk of dying prematurely—though, interestingly, those that ate green vegetables on a daily basis did not appear to have that same bump in risk. But, even if broccoli-eating couch potatoes do live as long as walkers, there are a multitude of ancillary health benefits to physical activity—so much so, that doctors are encouraged to prescribe it, “to signal [to the patient] that exercise is medicine.” In fact, powerful medicine.

Researchers at the London School, Harvard, and Stanford compared exercise to drug interventions, and found that exercise often worked just as well as drugs for the treatment of heart disease and stroke, and the prevention of diabetes. Of course, there’s not a lot of money to fund exercise studies, so one option would be to require drug companies to compare any new drug to exercise. “In cases where drug options provide only modest benefit, patients deserve to understand the relative impact that physical activity might have on their condition.” We could throw diet into the mix, too. Yes, the FDA could tell drug companies, your new drug beats out placebo, but, does it work as well as kale?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nemo via Pixabay

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