Of course, smoking is bad for your health. That has been common knowledge for decades. Others argue your diet leads to more health problems than anything else. However, a new study found that a third factor is more important and most Americans are ignoring it completely: fitness. Not exercising may, in fact, be more deadly than smoking.
Study: Not Exercising is More Deadly Than Smoking
The study, which was published Friday in JAMA Network Open, took a look at 122,007 patients between 1991 and 2014. Each of the patients involved was subjected to a treadmill exercise test. After recording the results of the tests, researchers then took note of each patient’s mortality rate.
They also took a look at the patients’ habits, medical history, and how long they survived after the treadmill test (noting the median follow-up after the test was 8.4 years). What they found was a clear connection between high levels of exercise and longer, healthier lives.
While the study isn’t necessarily telling us anything new (we all know we should exercise), it points out something much more problematic. That is that a sedentary lifestyle or a lifestyle that incorporates no exercise is equal to having a major disease.
Are You Skipping Your Workout?
In some cases, researchers found a sedentary lifestyle to be three times as bad as smoking for health. Only about 23% of Americans get enough exercise.
Researchers called upon healthcare professionals to begin to encourage their patients to lead more active lives. It is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do to extend your lifespan and increase your overall health. And, it is undoubtedly one of the easiest things to push off.
If you get home at the end of a busy day, the last thing you want to do is go on a run. Getting up earlier simply means you are getting less sleep. So, it is easy to say you don’t have time, but just imagine how much time you’re adding to your life by doing this one simple thing.
Exercise on a Dime
Another excuse many people use to talk themselves into not exercising is the cost of going to a gym. However, that isn’t a good excuse anymore. There are plenty of ways to get your workout in on a dime.
- Groupon: Groupon is a great place to get cheap exercise classes. For instance, there is a cycling class nearby that usually runs $99 per month. Groupon is running a deal that makes it so you’ll only pay $30 for the first month (and you can cancel after that).
- Free places to workout: If your local park has an outdoor gym or other “workout” machines outdoors, take advantage of it. You can also find other locally-run places to workout for free (or really cheap).
- Discounted memberships: As mentioned above, Groupon is a great place to get discounted memberships or exercise classes. However, you can also see about getting a discounted membership at the gym itself. Sometimes they run deals that will cut your membership in half or wave the joining fee. Keep an eye out for these deals.
- Workout videos online: You don’t necessarily even need to leave your home either. Check out these workout videos online and get your cardio in in the comfort of your own home.
- Check out Pinterest: Pinterest is another great place to find workouts you can do at home. Search for exercises by body part or skill level and you’ll be able to put together the perfect at-home workout.
- Walk! Walking is one of the best ways to get exercise every day and most people don’t do enough of it. Instead of driving to lunch, consider going somewhere within walking distance. Or map out some time during the day where you can take a break, soak up some sunshine, and get some exercise.
There was no doubt that making time to exercise is important. Now, with the findings from this new study, you really can’t afford to be not exercising.
Readers, what do you think of these findings? Does it make you want to jump into the gym this week?