80 percent of us do this deadly deed daily

There’s nothing quite as bad for your health as smoking…

Most of us have gotten the message: it’s a killer–which is why it’s getting harder and harder to find a die-hard smoker nowadays.

But there’s something nearly all of us are still doing that’s almost as bad as sucking down the old cancer sticks…

And it’s more likely to kill you than having high blood pressure or high cholesterol. In fact, according to a new study, it’s the highest risk factor for premature death… after smoking, of course…

This incredibly deadly but also incredibly common habit is being physically inactive. Fact is… doing nothing kills you.

Even though study after study has confirmed the dangers of physical inactivity, people aren’t getting the message. The CDC reports that a whopping 80 percent of adults in the U.S. still aren’t meeting the minimum requirements for physical activity.

But researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden hope their latest findings will get the message across once and for all… because they say that when it comes to public health, physical inactivity is as big a danger as smoking.

And you really need to start thinking of it that way.

“We have come a long way in reducing smoking. The next major challenge is to keep us physically active and also to reduce physical inactivity, such as prolonged sitting,” said lead author Dr. Per Ladenvall, a researcher in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Ladenvall and his fellow researchers examined health data from a group of 792 men born in 1913. These men participated in an exercise test in 1967 that gauged their physical fitness. They then also participated in physical examinations every ten years or so until they turned 100. Unsurprisingly, researchers found that the men with the highest level of physical fitness had a 21 percent lower chance of dying prematurely.

“Low aerobic capacity was associated with increased rates of death,” said Ladenvall. “The association between exercise capacity and all-cause death was graded, with the strongest risk in the [group] with the lowest maximum aerobic capacity. The effect of aerobic capacity on risk of death was second only to smoking.”

So that means sitting is literally killing you. And there’s only one thing to do: Peel yourself off the couch or out of your office chair and move, walk, exercise…. whatever it takes just raise your heart rate a little. Here are few simple ways you can get more exercise (and a longer life):

  • Exercise while you watch TV. If it’s your TV habit that’s cutting into your exercise time, get a stationary bike or treadmill, so you can stay up-to-date on your favorite shows and stay healthy.
  • Find an exercise buddy. You’re less likely to flake out on your daily exercise if you know someone’s counting on you.
  • Turn chores into a workout. Try running errands on foot or by bike instead of hopping in your car. Wash your car by hand instead of taking it the car wash. Clean the house. Mow the lawn with a push reel mower. There are countless ways you can be productive and exercise at the same time.
  • Make your exercise fun. You don’t have to go to a boring gym to exercise. Turn on your favorite music and dance around your house. Go to the park and play Frisbee with a friend. Fun exercise counts too. Maybe even more so, because having fun is great for your health!
  • Take the stairs more often. Go further to get water or visit the restroom when you are at the office or at home. If you work on the 1st floor, visit the breakroom on the 2nd
  • Park further away from the entrance. At work or at the mall, park so that you have to walk further to your destination.

Editor’s note: No one really wants to “sit” by and let their health slip away. But with all the conflicting messages about diet and fitness where do you start? A great place is with Dr. Cutler’s guide, The Part-Time Health Nut. In it you’ll discover how easy it can be to attain your best health ever — without extreme diets, dangerous pills or brutal workouts. Click here to get it today–along with 4 FREE health reports

Sources:
  1. Ladenvall, C. U. Persson, Z. Mandalenakis, L. Wilhelmsen, G. Grimby, K. Sva rdsudd, P.-O. Hansson. “Low aerobic capacity in middle-aged men associated with increased mortality rates during 45 years of follow-up.” European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 2016.
  2. “Physical Activity.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov. Retrieved July 28, 2016.

 

Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.