We already know that hitting the gym is good for you. But did you know that failing to exercise can be more harmful to your health than lighting up a cigarette?
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic looked at 122,007 patients over a 13 year period. Over this time, they tested them on treadmills and then recorded mortality rates.
They observed a clear connection between high levels of exercise and a longer, healthier life.
“Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with long-term mortality with no observed upper limit of benefit,” the study said.
“Extremely high aerobic fitness was associated with the greatest survival and was associated with benefit in older patients and those with hypertension.”
According to the study, having a sedentary lifestyle is as damaging as having a major disease.
Inactivity increases your risk of developing an array of health problems ranging from heart disease to type-2 diabetes and some cancers.
“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,” study co-author Wael Jaber told CNN.
The solution? Quite simply to exercise. The study encouraged health care professionals to get their patients to embrace a fitness regime.
As for whether you can exercise too much, the study suggested that this is not the case.
The research showed that those that exercised more had lower mortality rates, even the “ultra” exercisers.