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.
Physical inactivity ranks at number 5 in terms of risk factors for death and number 6 in terms of risk factors for disability. Diet is by far our greatest killer, followed by smoking.
There is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of regular physical activity in the prevention of several chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, obesity, depression and osteoporosis, as well as premature death, helping to add years to our life and above all life to our years.
Longer Life Within Walking Distance
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 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.
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