Is Not Exercising Worse Than Smoking?

It’s not exactly surprising to hear that exercise is extremely beneficial for the human body, but a new study is now setting out to prove that skipping out on regular exercise (aerobic, to be exact) is one of the worst things you can possibly do when it comes to keeping your body healthy. So bad, in fact, that researchers are now claiming that not participating in regular exercise is even worse for you than smoking.

The shocking results that stemmed from the brand new study were published last week in the journal JAMA Network Open. The results them self detail extensive research conducted by the Cleveland Clinic. The research has a total of 122,007 patients from 1991 to 2014 where the study participants were put under treadmill testing with researchers later recording mortality information. Over the span of the study, researchers quickly came to discover that high levels of aerobic exercise were clearly connected to longevity.

The study says, “Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with long-term mortality with no observed upper limit of benefit. Extremely high aerobic fitness was associated with the greatest survival and was associated with benefit in older patients and those with hypertension.”

To put it simply, exercise is one of the most important aspects of your life if you want to stay as healthy as possible to further the quality of your life as a whole. Dr Wael Jaber, the study’s co-author, thinks the results are pretty “surprising.” and states that “Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker.” Wael also commented, saying “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.”

Jaber also stated that another incredible part of his study was finding that not only does physical fitness lead to a longer life, aerobic exercise also has many profound health benefits. While researchers have previously questioned whether or not super-intense forms of exercise are really healthy or not, this particular study has finally pin-pointed that “There is no level of exercise or fitness that exposes you to risk.”

Jaber further noted that “We can see from the study that the ultra-fit still have lower mortality … There is actually no ceiling for the benefit of exercise,” and that “There’s no age limit that doesn’t benefit from being physically fit.”

While the new findings are something to keep in mind when perusing a healthy lifestyle, researchers have also cautioned that there are reasons to proceed with caution prior to altering any fitness scheme regimen you might already have, or potentially want to try in the future. Researchers have also recommended that individuals should always check in with a doctor and discuss any existing medical conditions that could be at risk when entering a new exercise program.

“Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the most expensive diseases in the United States. We spend more than $200 billion per year treating these diseases and their complications. Rather than pay huge sums for disease treatment, we should be encouraging our patients and communities to be active and exercise daily,” said Dr. Jordan Metzl, sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery and author of the book “The Exercise Cure.”

Of course, it’s pretty well accepted amongst just about everyone in 2018 that an active lifestyle is an important part of living a healthy life, but this research points to being sedentary as a more serious problem than some might realise. The study even looked at possible downfalls of exercising too much, and discovered that the more a person works out, the better off they are as far as living a long, healthy life.

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