Poor eating habits and a lack of exercise will surely make for an increased risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a few different types of cancer. To be more specific, if your diet is inadequate and you just don’t exercise, the chances of you dying prematurely may also rise. Therefore, it is certainly beneficial to your well-being to eat properly and exercise regularly.
However, researchers have discovered that one of these actions is more important than the other. If you want to improve your longevity, they’ve found you should exercise regularly.
The Need for Exercise
A study published in the July, 2014 edition of the American Journal of Medicine, showed that lack of exercise might be the key reason for obesity in America. Women age 40 and younger seem to be particularly vulnerable.
In the last 20 years, American women who said they engaged in no physical activity in their free time rose from 19 percent in 1994 to almost 52 percent in 2010. The percentage among men rose from 11 percent in 1994 to 44 percent in 2010. Body mass index increased by 0.37 percent for both sexes with the most dramatic rise among women ages 18 to 39. However, overall caloric intake did not increase across that same time period.
Researchers noted two groups who deviated from the average regarding calories consumed. Women who stated they did not engage in any physical activity in their leisure time had an increase in caloric intake. And men with high levels of physical activity in their leisure took in fewer calories.
Abdominal obesity was also examined whereas it is a marker for mortality, even for people who have acceptable BMIs. The criteria for abdominal obesity is a waist circumference of 34.65 inches or more for women and 40.16 inches or more for men. The average waist circumference was shown to increase by 0.37 percent for women and 0.27 percnent for men annually.
Small Changes Get Big Results
No one is suggesting you begin engaging in a program of exercise that would qualify you for Olympic decathlon honors. Moderate daily exercise can make for all the difference.
Twenty minutes of brisk walking per day can decrease a sedentary person’s risk of early death, which can be double for a person who does not exercise.
Walking twenty minutes a day results in the burning of 90-110 calories per day, which in turn translates into a reduction of risk for an early death by 16-30 percent for people who are inactive or moderately inactive.
Although this modest degree of exercise can certainly improve longevity, it is recommended that a person go beyond that point because of the overall health benefits of exercise.
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