LOCAL BOOT CAMP OWNER: EXERCISE IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
(PALM HARBOR, FL October 25, 2010) – We would all like to live longer and better, and we have the resources to do that. However, a recent study shows a truly alarming statistic: When it comes to life expectancy rates, the United States lags behind other wealthy nations.
The study’s findings, published in the current issue of Health Affairs magazine, shows that 15-year survival rates among 45- and 65-year-old Americans dropped to the 12th place worldwide. Among the main culprits for the decline in longevity are smoking and obesity.
“While smoking is prevalent in many other countries as well, studies show that the US remains the home of the most obese adults,” says John Kent owner of the North Pinellas & Westchase Adventure Boot Camp for Women. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 67 percent of Americans aged 20 and older are either overweight or obese. And research has shown that these people have an increased risk of premature death as compared to individuals with a healthy weight.”
Kent points to what doctors and public health officials have been saying for years: that obesity-caused ailments such as heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, as well as some kinds of cancer, can lead to premature death.
“The obvious conclusion is that obese or grossly overweight people must lose weight and get healthy,” Kent notes. “They should speak with their physicians about proper nutrition and physical exercise.”
In fact, many studies suggest that, when practiced along with healthy eating habits, regular exercise halves the risk of dying prematurely. “There is plenty of convincing evidence that physical activity helps prevent the very same diseases that are responsible for early death,” Kent notes.
The “convincing evidence” Kent is referring to is borne out by several studies examining the effects of exercise on longevity. “Basically, they all reached the same conclusion, which is that regular exercise reduces early mortality in both men and women by 20 to 35 percent,” he says. “But that’s not all – one study showed that being physically fit can lower the risk of premature death by as much as 50 percent.”
What is the connection between exercise and increased life span? Kent says there are several. Firstly, a regular fitness routine can prevent heart disease - the nation's leading killer. Secondly, it will help people lose weight, staving off diabetes and other diseases.
“Whichever way you look at it, exercise can be very beneficial in preventing serious medical conditions and, consequently, increasing your life span,” he points out.
Of course, if you are not used to working out on regular basis – or at all – getting into a fitness routine so that you can lose weight and stay healthy may not be easy, at least initially.
“It’s a gradual process but you shouldn’t give up,” Kent cautions. “Keep at it and not only will you see results such as weight loss and better health, but you will actually live long enough to enjoy them!”