“I’m skinny, so I must be healthy?” WRONG.
Physical inactivity is a leading cause of disease and disability – it’s not just your waist size that matters.
You already know that exercise will help you fit into your jeans, but the benefits are far greater than just looking good. A huge percentage of diseases and chronic illnesses can be improved, or prevented altogether, simply through regular exercise. In an effort to combat our sedentary lifestyles and get patients moving, some physicians are even starting to write prescriptions for physical activity (http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/doctors-writing-prescriptions-to-get-patients-active-1.1355824).
The World Health Organization attributes nearly 2 million deaths per year to physical inactivity, which has prompted them to issue a warning that “a sedentary lifestyle could very well be among the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the world.” Between 60-85% of people in the developed and undeveloped world lead inactive lifestyles, making this a serious health problem.
Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and also increase the risks of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety. Recent evidence also shows that exercise is linked to a decrease in colon cancer, breast tumors and other malignancies. It has been suggested recently that physical inactivity is much like cigarette smoking or obesity, in that it causes disease and shortens people’s lives.
Plain and simple, people who are physically active most often outlive those who are inactive.
It’s never too late to start being more active! The World Health Organization recommends moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day. Start slowly and safely and build up to the recommended frequency, duration and time. Besides lengthening your life and preventing chronic illness, you are also likely to improve the quality of your life, have more energy, relieve stress, improve confidence and reduce depression.
Life is better when you’re active. It all comes down to prevention: nobody feels like they have the time but if it’s a choice between making time for exercise or making time for illness, choose exercise.