A government sponsored study of more than 15,000 black and white men over a 23-year period has
proved that fitness levels are better indicators of longevity than age, blood pressure or body mass index.
The researchers, who work in the cardiology department of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, DC, say their studies also show that even moderate exercise can ‘dramatically’ prolong a man’s life. By ‘moderate,’ they mean walking as little as 30 minutes a day four days a week. And, that’s a piece of cake for most of us.
In fact, the more one exercises, the greater effect on longevity, says the study. ‘Very high-fit’ men cut their risk of early death by 70 percent, ‘high-fit men cut it by. 50 percent and even low-fit guys had a 20 percent lower risk, said the researchers.
And, yet, the couch potato generation continues to proliferate at an alarming rate. What don’t American men get? Here’s proof positive that just a little exercise can have a profoundly positive effect. But, two-thirds or more of American men literally fail to take the steps necessary to prolong their lives.
The most common excuse I hear is a lack of time. Then, there’s the complaint about not being able to afford a health club membership. Last, but not least, is the lament that, ‘Well, I don’ know how to use those complicated exercise machines, and I don’t want to get hurt.’
The researchers emphasized that none of these excuses hold water, stating: ‘What’s really important to understand is that you don’t need special clothes, special memberships or special equipment…It’s something everyone can engage in.’
My take on all this? The average joe could care less that he looks just like the Pillsbury dough boy. And, he’ll continue to channel-surf his life away until, and unless, it hurts him in the wallet. So, here’s hoping that more and more organizations start mandating regular fitness as a condition of hiring and ongoing employment. After all, it will simultaneously increase productivity while lowering health care costs (and force all those sedentary souls off the friggin’ couch).
I’d say more, but it’s time for a run.
Thanks to Greg Schmalz for the idea.