How Breaking a Sweat Could Save Your Life

Your show is coming back on in thirty seconds, you work a desk job, or there’s no time to hit the gym. Sound familiar? Add these commonalities together and you have a recipe for an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and higher mortality rate. Yikes right? Getting your heart thumping as a middle aged adult is proving to be a lifesaving move not to be taken lightly.  

Exercise is more than a battle of the bulge, and according to experts, the lack of is being linked to early death right up there with cigarettes, and alcoholism.  In a publication of the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology, a study performed at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden followed a group of 792 middle aged men from 1967-2012. Participants performed an exercise test that pushed them to their max, and were tested for aerobic capacity every ten years to measure their level of oxygen uptake.  Those with increased aerobic capacity over this time period had a 21% lower risk of mortality according to study findings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, those who engage in seven hours or so physical activity per week lower their risk of premature death by about forty percent.  Regular exercise is essential for older adults to strengthen muscles, and bones helping to reduce the risk of fragility fractures, and pain associated with arthritis.  

There’s promising news for all the cubicle dwellers out there.  In a recent article by The Lancet, research found 60-75 minutes of daily moderate intensity exercise may reverse the harmful effects of prolonged sitting.  Don’t have a full hour or more to devote to your workout?  Break it up throughout the day. Wake up a bit earlier to squeeze in 10-15 minutes, go for a walk during your breaks, or better yet, walk or bike to work. You’d be surprised how fast it can add up from parking further from the store, to taking the dog for a walk when you get home.  Pedometers or the popular Fitbit device can help track your progress, and remind you to get moving.

Finding an activity you enjoy is the only way to ensure you’ll stick with it, so don’t commit to a five am spin class, if a brisk after dinner walk is more your style. 

We found this list of sports from the UK BBC